Carina has been typing on the internets before there was a www in front of everything. This is why she’s cranky and wants to know when you’ll get off her lawn. She resides in a hopelessly outdated home in the Mountain West with a mathematician and three children hell-bent on destruction. Her laundry is not done, but her Twitter is totally up to date. Carina does not have a Tumblr, because get serious.

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Favorite Books for My Kids

Editorial Note:

We’re celebrating the end of cabin fever with some of our favorite kid books. You can check out Rachael’s recommendations here. It’s Carina’s turn today. Are we missing yours?

I have such dear memories of my father reading us book after book at bedtime. He’d “do” the voices and bring the stories to life. Those reading lessons lasted a lifetime. I hope I’m doing as good a job with my kids.

The little ones in my house are rough on books; I live Where The Wild Things Are. I guess there are worse fates for a book than being loved to death! Here are a few classics (both old and new) that are dog-eared and loved-up in our house:

When Dinosaurs Came With Everything

The story of what happens when a boy and his mother go out running errands, and instead of a balloon or a treat, all the destinations give out a dinosaur. Truly delightful.


OOOooooooh I absolutely love, love, love Eloise. The classic story of the little girl who lives at the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan and absolutely runs roughshod all over the place.

Never too Little to Love

What happens when a mouse loves a giraffe? A sweet story with an inventive pop-up format that’s wonderful for 2-4 year-olds.

The Country Bunny

The 1939 classic about a cottontail bunny who gives up her dreams of being an Easter bunny to raise children. Once she’s taught her babies, she decides to give being an Easter bunny another chance. A beautiful story about a mother’s talents and persistence.

How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?

The perfect book for your little dinosaurs who give bedtime a bad name. The whole series is really cute: check out How Dinosaurs Play With Their Friends for a great lesson on playtime manners.

The King Who Rained

Homophones are a source of fun in this tale of a little girl who imagines actual forks in the road. I also love that it was written by Fred Gwynne–who played Herman Munster! Best for kids 5-11 who can understand the word play (“deer” vs. “dear”.)

The Great Brain

This series is hard to find, but they’re worth the search. The story of John, little brother to The Great Brain, Tom, is a classic tale of kids growing up at the end of the frontier in a small Utah town. If you can track down the series, they’re great, adventurous fun. Best for 8-12 year olds.

The Oz books

You think you know about Oz. You have no idea. If you’ve only ever seen the movie The Wizard of Oz, you are missing out on the dozen Oz books and the intricate and wonderful world Frank L. Baum created. They were the Harry Potter of the early 20th century! I couldn’t love the art nouveau illustrations more. Get yourself to the library and start reading them!

Mary Poppins

Another gentle scolding if you’ve only ever seen the Disney movie version and never read the books. The entire Mary Poppins series is just downright enchanting! (Mary Poppins in the Park is probably my favorite.) You’ll meet a different Mary than Julie Andrew’s–she’s more detached, reserved, and less emotionally available, but she’s also more adventurous. Best read for ages 5+

What do you think? Any of these rank among your favorites?

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Comments (1)

  1. Barb @ getupandplay 03/22/2011 at 3:15 pm

    What a great list, Carina! I loved the Wizard of Oz series as a kid, now I want to re-read it! I loved the Boxcar Children, too.