Bedtime Stories We Loved: Volume 3

Reading to T as he rests his head on my shoulder is a joyful way to unwind.

We’ve been reading at night with T since we adopted him at 14 months.

As noted by the American Library Association, young kids that are frequently read to are more likely to recognize letters, have word-sight recognition, and understand words in context.

More recently, it’s nice to see T becoming more active in asking questions, retelling bits of the story and occasionally asking to read along.

In the last year, we are focusing hard on building his reading and decoding skills.

We’re thankful his teacher gives daily reading homework. Combined with bedtime reading – where there is no expectation other than to listen – we will slowly grow his skills.

As a follow up to my posts in 2020 and 2021, I’d like to share a selection of bedtime stories we’ve enjoyed in the past year.

It’s Okay To Be Different by Todd Parr

Todd Parr’s books are filled with positive messages that celebrate diversity and his joyful art reminds me of Keith Haring’s work.

This book was one of the weekly books T borrowed from his school library. I love the message that affirms to kids – with images of kids of all ages, sizes and abilities, from different backgrounds and family compositions – that it’s okay to be different!

The last time we read this, T asked to read. With the exception of a few words, he read it cover to cover on his own. The best part? One page stated: “It’s okay to be adopted.”

Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds

As a horror enthusiast, I love that T is discovering a love of scary things.

This book is more funny than scary and is about Jasper Rabbit who loves devouring wild carrots, until they start stalking him. Is he losing his mind or is he being gaslit?

Beautiful illustrations bring this comical story – and its twist ending – to life!

Clifford’s Good Deeds by Norman Bridwell

I discovered Clifford books when my family immigrated to Canada when I was eight and it’s been fun introducing them to T.

T owns a collection of the first six Clifford books. He loves the idea of having a big red dog. The story about Clifford doing good deeds that go awry was particularly amusing to him.

Bon Voyage Mister Rodriguez by Christiane Duchesne

As T gets older, he is naturally asking bigger questions about life, such as death.

Books provide kids with safe spaces to explore hard topics. This story of Mister Rodriguez, who is only visible to children and sickly animals, is a surrealistic story that leaves things open ended for kids to interpret what happens after life.

Here We Are by Oliver Jeffers

T and I discovered the charming work of Irish writer and illustrator Oliver Jeffers through one of my dearest friends, who gifts T a new Jeffers book on every birthday.

Gifted to T for his 6th birthday, this story is narrated by a dad to his newborn about what they need to know about life.

As a parent, it made me realize just how much info there is to unpack for a little child. For T, he loved the quirky illustrations and the fun facts about space, deep ocean animals, and different cultures.

Happy Birthday, Big Bad Wolf by Frank Asch

Reading inspirations come from all places. This little book came with a McDonald’s Happy Meal, so it’s literally a tiny sized book.

It tells the story of the Little Pig who wants to throw a surprise party for the Big Bad Wolf, despite his parents’ hesitation. It provides a lesson about giving people a fair chance to prove themselves to others.

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt

The best children’s books are the ones that can be enjoyed by both kids and adults.

This wonderfully-illustrated book is about a boy named Duncan who receives letters from the crayons in his crayon box, either lavishing appreciation or complaints about his use of them. Duncan’s response is truly inspired.

Nibi’s Water Song by Sunshine Tenasco

The newest addition to T’s collection was gifted to him by his recently-departed CYW.

Books are great tools to educate kids about important social issues in relatable and non preachy ways. This story highlights the plight of Indigenous communities in Canada that do not have access to clean drinking water.

T loves to play at the sink – at home and school – for prolonged times, because he enjoys the sensory input of water. I try to balance indulging his play while guiding him to not be wasteful.

17 thoughts on “Bedtime Stories We Loved: Volume 3

  1. T is blessed to have the world of books opened to him at such a young age! Bedtime stories seem like such a great bonding experience, best way to unwind from the day, not to mention the literacy benefits. Even better when you select books which have worthy content. Like you said, the best children’s books offer something for us adults as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Lizi. Reading has been a wonderful bonding experience for sure, as you noted. 😊 We’re lucky to be surrounded by book lovers in our lives too.

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  2. Love the “ It’s Okay to be different” by Todd Parr. Thank you for sharing it. I think more than ever, we need more books, social medial, stories, posts and movies that celebrate the beauty and blessings of being different. We need to value and appreciate every person for who they are, their uniqueness, both their strengths and weakness. I think many of us have experience being seen and treated differently and it’s an on going disease in our society and communities. More than ever, acceptance and kindness in diversity and differences should be a priority. People need to move forward and have open, giving and understanding mind and hearts. It’s the only way to have a better, peaceful world for ourselves and our children. Thanks Ab. Very relatable post with so much heart and kindness. 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. 😊 I think Todd Parr is from your part of the world (in SF)! We have a few of his other books. Such wonderful works for inclusion and beauty.

      More than ever, as the world shifts out from the pandemic (hopefully) and looking into the prospect of a long war with Russia, we need to continue to practice kindness and restraint more than ever.

      Hope you have a nice a weekend! 🙏

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love parents who read bedtime stories to their kids. It’s something I can’t relate to because my parents never did that (I think culturally that is not something many Indonesian parents do). However, I’m forever grateful that my father introduced me to books since I was little. They helped me develop my curiosity and imagination. I’m glad T is enjoying this daily ritual as much as you enjoy reading those stories to him. I believe it does have a positive impact to the child.

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    1. Thank you, Bama! That’s great to hear that your father introduced you to books. They open up the world to young kids as you said and now you’re helping open up the world to others through your travel adventures and blog! 😊

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    1. Thanks Diane. That was when T was still 2! I keep debating changing that photo to a more recent one for these booklists but I love it too much. 😊

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  4. I don’t know all of these books, but they seem like a great selection! This reminded me of the cool storybook trails that we came across; one was in Sudbury and the other in Sarnia. You basically walk along and there are plaques along the way with a page from a story. A great way to connect two wonderful activities. This is the one from Sudbury: https://backroadsandotherstories.com/2020/11/26/lake-laurentian-conservation-area/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing your post about the storybook trails – what a great way to make nature hikes fun for young children. And it also brought back great memories of our few days in Sudbury back in summer 2020 and nearby Killarney! 💕🙏

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  5. What a great practice and wonderful list. I can’t wait to read some of the books on it to my kids.

    And I love your last sentence, “T loves to play at the sink – at home and school – for prolonged times, because he enjoys the sensory input of water. I try to balance indulging his play while guiding him to not be wasteful.”

    My son loves the water right now too and I’m trying to strike that same balance so I’m encouraged to know other parents are doing the same! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Wynne. It’s great we’re surrounded by so many wonderful options for our young readers.

      And yes, kids love their water play. I try not to overthink it or feel overly guilty as I know it’s part of our growing up and exploring the world around them. But yes, balance is key! 😊🙏

      Liked by 1 person

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