Louis’ Library

One of Louis’ favorite activities is reading. He can sit through multiple books without losing interest, and often, the first thing he does when he wakes up in the morning or after a nap is yell “a boooook!” Now that our books are no longer in a pile on the floor, Louis has a whole row on the book shelf dedicated to his books…and we are already running out of room! We amassed over 70 children’s books during our 8 months in France, and along with the books that we had in storage from New York, he has a really well rounded library.

Today, I wanted to share a few of our family favorites. If you have a small child in your life, maybe this could also give you gift ideas for the holidays. I have three basic criteria when book shopping for Louis. First, and and with just a few exceptions, it has to be a story. I don’t really like the books that have just images or one or two words on each page. There is definitely an age for books like that, but Louis was quickly patient enough to sit through actual stories. The stories can be short or long, but it has to be a story. The second is illustrations. Not all of our books are Caldecott winners, but we try to find books with illustrations that we enjoy. And finally, the story has to be interesting to us as parents. When you’ve read a story several dozens of times (sometimes in the same day!), you’ve got to at least have a little interest in it yourself otherwise it can be torturous to reread. As someone who loves reading, I am delighted to be able to share this activity with my child.

Here is a list of some of the current favorites, in no particular order.

Anything by Olivier Jeffers. We discovered Oliver Jeffers quite by accident when buying books in England this summer. The illustrations are smart and whimsical and the stories simple, funny, imaginative and beautiful. We have nearly everything by him. I think the last few will be birthday and Christmas presents. I never get tired of reading Oliver Jeffers books, and Louis loves them too. These are the ones we have:

How to Catch a Star
Lost and Found
The Way Back Home
The Great Paper Caper
Up and Down
This Moose Belongs to Me

Little Blue Truck Leads the Way by Alice Schertle

A Treasury of Curious George by H.A Rey and Margaret Ray

The Magic Rabbit by Annette Cate

Thomas and Friends by Wilbert Audrey

Elmer by David McKee – we have several Elmer stories in French and Louis loves them

Corduroy by Don Freeman

The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss, of course

What is your child’s favorite book, or, what were some of your favorite childhood stories?



  1. I love hearing of people’s childhood stories! Thanks for sharing your blog. http://www.segmation.wordpress.com

  2. What a wonderful gift you’ve given your son — a passion for reading!

    Right now, my daughter loves Zen Shorts by Jon J. Muth and Bella’s Chinese New Year by Stacey Zolt Hara. I bought the books for her when we found out our family was moving to Singapore and I wanted books to give my toddler a sense of what it would be like to live in the Southeast Asian city-state. Zen Shorts — a Caldecott honor book — has Asian-inspired illustrations and wonderful messages/learning lessons, while Bella’s Chinese New Year is a book about a little American girl who lives in Singapore and learns how to celebrate one of the biggest holidays there.

    I can’t wait to check out the books you listed!


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