Hello Friends, and welcome to this year’s Week of Wishlists. Every day I will be sharing suggestions for books that I think you might find worthy of gifting to your children, godchildren, grandchildren, or any of God’s little ones.
Last year it was a delight to greet the festive season by sharing many of my very favorite books for families, in the hope that it might help anyone looking to give a truly enriching gift to nourish minds and souls. The books I shared then are timeless, and I still heartily recommend them as the basis of any children’s library. This year I will be simply extending those suggestions by adding a title or two to each category, and I encourage you to revisit the original posts to find the books dearest to my heart.
As a reader is always expanding, I feel compelled to add those books that have captured my own family’s imagination this year, and we’ll begin with treasuries.
The original list includes nine different collections, each containing a magical array of stories or poems. Treasuries are such fun for families to read aloud, as you can sit down to one tale and end up reading five more. There is generally something to please everyone, and a good collection will appeal to a range of ages. Independent readers can dawdle and daydream their way through a feast of words, while lap-sitters will be begging for just one more story. Treasuries are worthwhile investments, and make beautiful gifts.
I confess to having a sentimental attachment to this year’s selections, as I remember checking them out from the library on the last day before it closed when our state locked down. I had checked them out many times before, and knew that if we were going to be home for an undetermined length of time during an uncertain situation, we would want these. They were as dear as ever, and we read them often during those weeks at home.
What could stir and soothe an anxious heart better than poetry? It gives voice to the brilliant range of emotions that one can sense, and reminds the reader’s heart of the value and meaning of every little thing in this toilsome life. So I suggest to you these two lovely editions compiled by Caroline Kennedy: A Family of Poems and Poems to Learn by Heart.
Both books offer a selection of poems classic and new, organized by theme and carefully balanced for children of all ages. Some are silly and some are serious, but every one is appropriate for engaging a youngster’s heart and mind. You will find the usual favorites mixed with newer and lesser-known pieces that deserve to be read alongside the classics, and richly-colored illustrations throughout.
Poetry flows quite naturally in the wonder of a child’s mind, as she seeks to understand and embrace the world around and inside her. I have found that my own children enjoy memorizing their favorites, and seem to like the way it helps them put words to what they are just beginning to explore for themselves. Both of these volumes have many possibilities for memorization, and for reading aloud together. I hope they find a place in your hearts and homes.
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