10 Best Children's Books of all Time | Books on our Shelves

 A couple of weeks ago I was looking through out books shelves as I had run out of room . . . yet again . . . to add new books. I have had to move books around from room to room in our house to make room for newer books as my kids grow. As my children grow, their tastes in books evolve and I need to freshen up the books shelves.

My youngest daughter needed to make room in her bedroom for some new books that she is reading. She is reading long chapter books now and asked me if I could move all the "baby" books out of her bedroom. (secretly, I almost cried at this, I was so sad)

I lovingly went through all her shelves and removed all the books that I had read to her, to her older sister and even to her older bother  . . . for some many nights, for so many years. I can not part with these books and have moved them to the basement in a box, safely stored away for another time they will be shared. Because believe me, I will be reading these very same books to my grandbabies some day.

Here are some of my favorite books that I am saving for later. I would suggest investing in the hardback versions of these, because you’ll read them again and again  . . . and again. Obviously this is a biased list and I really could go on and on because I had a huge box to pack up. But here are some of our favorite favorites.

10 Best Children's Books of all Time | Books on our Shelves

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown: When my son was born, this is one of the books I received from a dear friend who told me her son loved it when he was small. It quickly because a favorite and stayed that way for at least a decade in my home. It was so well loved, that I actually had to purchase another books to save the first one from disappearing completely. I now have both stored away. Goodnight Moon is one of the most beloved bedtime stories of all time. This classic bedtime story walks your child through a young child’s bedtime ritual, as he says good night to everything around.  I had this book memorized and I actually could probably still recite it if pressed. Best if read in a hushed voice! This is one story that will soon become a family favorite.

10 Best Children's Books of all Time | Books on our Shelves

Guess How Much I Love You: This book was likely my favorite to read to my kids. I bought it and I adored reading it to my babies. They loved hearing it and still to this day will ask me how much I love them.  Little Nutbrown Hare wants his daddy, Big Nutbrown Hare, to know just how much he really loves him. So he keeps coming up with more and more reasons to love his father and they try to outdo each other. It is a fun read and something that will always bring smiles straight to your hearts.

10 Best Children's Books of all Time | Books on our Shelves

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom: This charming and delightful book is still a favorite and I moved it from my youngest daughter's room o my oldest daughter's room, by request to not store it away. An alphabet story that is funny and with a bit of a twist that will keep you all giggling. It is so great, we are still reading it, 12 years later.

10 Best Children's Books of all Time | Books on our Shelves

We’re Going On a Bear Hunt Written by Michael and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury:  A father and his four children set out on a fine day to go on a bear hunt through the grass, through a stream, and into the wild. As they reach the end of the hunt, they come upon a bear who chases them all the way home. Was the bear real or did they pretend it into existence? This story is always super fun to read and your kids will ask you to read it again as soon as you turn the last page. Mine always did.

10 Best Children's Books of all Time | Books on our Shelves

The Napping House By Audrey Wood and Don Wood : Everyone in the house is napping. Everyone, that is, except one little flea who decides to cause all sorts of chaos.  Fun and  silly,  there is no way this won't become a family favorite to share over and over. . 

10 Best Children's Books of all Time | Books on our Shelves

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle This whimsical story with Carle’s iconic collage illustrations of the hungry caterpillar and the beautiful butterfly is all about teaching the days of the week and counting.  The book unfolds the life of a caterpillar from the moment it is in an egg to the transformation it makes into a beautiful butterfly.

10 Best Children's Books of all Time | Books on our Shelves

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein: A touching story of a young boy and his favorite tree. Over the years, the tree gives the boy what he wants–and as the boy gets older, he wants more and more from the tree, until the tree has nothing left to give. Well, almost nothing. This book is all about love, real love.

10 Best Children's Books of all Time | Books on our Shelves

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak: In this classic story, Max dons his wolf suit to make mischief–and ends up being sent to bed without supper. While stuck in his room, he sets out on an imaginative journey to the land of the Wild Things, where they make him King. He rules over the Wild Rumpus, but then returns home to his very own room, where his dinner is waiting for him–and it’s still warm. This was a favorite of my son.

10 Best Children's Books of all Time | Books on our Shelves

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs Judy and Ron Barrett: Here is another favorite of my son. My girls didn't enjoy it as much until a movie was made based on this book. Hilarity rules, as this mighty storm with orange juice rain, hamburger hail and mashed potato snow makes life messy. Just watch out for the giant falling pancakes. 

10 Best Children's Books of all Time | Books on our Shelves

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! Mo Willems:  This book is hilarious! It must e read really loud and with great character! When the bus driver has to leave the bus for a few minutes, he cautions those who are left behind not to let the pigeon drive the bus. The Pigeon will stop at nothing to get his chance to drive the bus. Great lesson here!

10 Best Children's Books of all Time | Books on our Shelves

BONUS: Blueberries for Sal Robert McCloskey: A highlight of any summer in the midwest is picking blueberries.  When little Sal and her mother go out to pick blueberries to can for winter, they run into a little problem. Sal loves picking the berries, but she loves eating them even more. Sal gets a bit lost and follows the wrong momma. It is always fun to find out what happens to Sal. .

Moochie Kalala: A New Chicago-Based WTTW Show #‎MoochieKalala‬

Moochie Kalala: A New Chicago-Based WTTW Show

Moochie Kalala: A New Chicago-Based WTTW Show #‎MoochieKalala‬

This past Sunday, the first episode of the new, Chicago kids' TV series, Moochie Kalala Detectives Club, started. Moochie Kalala inspires Chicagoland kids to discover science. Starring Tim Kazurinsky as the fun grandpa telling his grandchildren, Evelyn Alumbreros and Gregory Vasquez, amazing stories that lead them a search in Chicago's museums. 

Moochie Kalala: A New Chicago-Based WTTW Show #‎MoochieKalala‬

Each episode inspires Chicagoland children to discover science, and features a Chicago museum and its scientist! The first episode showed the grandchildren visiting the Adler Planetarium to learn what scientists know about the planet Mars. The Moochie Kalala detectives give the viewers a taste of what locals get to see all year long--our great city of Chicago. During each episoide they visit an area classroom to perform a basic science experiment related to that week's episode and museum visit.

Moochie Kalala: A New Chicago-Based WTTW Show #‎MoochieKalala‬

The remaining five episodes visit the Museum of Science and Industry to learn about tornadoes; the Lincoln Park Zoo to learn about big primates; the Field Museum  to see Sue, the T. Rex; the Robie House to discover Chicago's great architecture and the last episode will be at the Shedd Aquarium to learn about the beautiful beluga whales.

Moochie Kalala: A New Chicago-Based WTTW Show #‎MoochieKalala‬

This Sunday during Episode #2: The Grabinators vs. the Hoagies of Skunksville, featuring the Museum of Science and Industry Did you know that tornadoes are made from grabinators & hoagies? Either did the grandchildren, Kyle and Mandy, until Grandpa told his story. To check the facts, the detectives head to Museum of Science & Industry and meet with physicist Olivia Castellini.

Awesome Experiment #1 - Make a Tornado!!

Materials:

  • Two 2-Liter clear plastic bottles (they should be empty bottles!)
  • Duct tape
  • 1 washer Water
  • Food coloring(any color)

Instructions for Experiment:

1. Fill one of the bottles two-thirds full with water.

2. Add food coloring to the water.

3. Take the metal washer and place it on top of the bottle opening.

4. Take the second bottle and place it upside down on top of the first one

5. Match the openings perfectly and tape with duct tape (tape tightly so no water leaks out).

6. Turn the bottles upside down so that the bottle with water is on top. Swirl thebottle in a circular counter-clockwise motion.

7. What shape does the water takeas it moves from the upper bottle to the lower one?

8. Now, change it up! Tip bottles slightly. Move faster or slower

What happens to the tornado? Does the Tornado get wider or narrower?

TV Air Times

Episode Names and Broadcast Dates

  • Episode 1 – Featuring the Adler Planetarium, “Space Dragon of Oceanic Mars”; launches 11 a.m., Sunday, Jan. 18
  • Episode 2 – Featuring Museum of Science and Industry, “The Grabinators & Hoagies of Skunksville”; launches 11 a.m., Sunday, Jan. 25
  • Episode 3 – Featuring Lincoln Park Zoo, “We’re All Good at Something”; launches 11 a.m., Sunday, Feb. 1
  • Episode 4 – Featuring The Field Museum, “Cave Girl & The T-Rex”; launches 11 a.m., Sunday, Feb. 8
  • Episode 5 – Featuring Frank Lloyd Wright Trust, “Magic Blocks of Creation”; launches 11 a.m., Sunday, Feb. 15
  • Episode 6 – Featuring Shedd Aquarium, “A Whale of a Tale”; launches 11 a.m., Sunday, Feb. 22

Moochie Kalala Detectives Club airs on WTTW Kids, Channel 11 in Chicago on Sundays at 11am, and on Saturdays at 7am. The shows are also available on Comcast VOD and will run March-June 2015 on WTTW Kids

Jotham's Journey: A Storybook for Advent

Jotham's Journey: A Storybook for Advent

Jotham's Journey: A Sotrybook for Advent

In this widely popular, exciting story for the advent season, readers follow ten-year-old Jotham across Israel as he searches for his family. Though he faces thieves, robbers, and kidnappers, Jotham also encounters the wise men, shepherds, and innkeepers until at last he finds his way to the Savior born in Bethlehem.

We finished this wonderful book on Christmas Eve, right before we went to the midnight service at our church. There is something so satisfying about sitting together in our family room, with Advent candles burning and the children spellbound, listening to every word of Jotham's story. The children are captivated and want to know what happens each night.

The story follows Jotham's journey to find his family after he gets angry at his father and runs away. He has many exciting adventures and our children want to read the next day's section. Jotham ultimately ends up in Bethlehem and his life intersects the lives of Mary, Joseph, and the newborn Christ child in a lovely way that brings home Christ's divinity as well as the humanity of his infancy.

As a homeschooling mother, I really appreciate the way Jotham's Journey makes biblical times come alive. Even though there are very few illustrations in the book, the text provides many details about daily life that raised good questions from our children, showing their engagement with the story and their desire to understand the setting.

Jotham's Journey IS a Christian story that tries to bring to life the true meaning of Christmas - the birth of the Savior. This is the first time we have read this book and I know it won't be the last during Advent. We loved this book!  Reading Jotham's Journey together has been a simple and completely rewarding way to draw our family together.