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Children's MUST HAVES

Can anyone add to a list I've started of children's must haves? I have a new nephew and my best friend just had a baby and I would LOVE to support their future reading habits Wink I don't want to list all the books I'm thinkin of (it would take too much space!) but I would love to hear your additions!! Please help!
In no particular order (neither preference nor age):

  • Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (There are days I think this should be required reading for all adults, as well)
  • The Phantom Tollbooth
  • By A. A. Milne:
    • When We Were Very Young
    • Now We Are Six
    • Winnie the Pooh (the REAL one, not Disney!)
    • The House on Pooh Corner
  • The Mercer Meyer "Little Critter" books
  • The fairy tales of George MacDonald
  • The Chronicles of Narnia
  • The historical-fiction novels of G. A. Henty
  • The Hobbit
  • Anne of Green Gables (and the rest of the series)

That should help get the list started.
Yep, Narnia is what I was going to suggest. Magician's Nephew and on. They'll be glad they read them when they get older.
I don't see your list, so it is hard to add to it (without duplicating your effort).

Since you are talking NEW kids, I'll start with books for YOUNGer kids, and I'll start with:

Harold and the Purple Crayon.

I'll add more later - I've got a meeting to go to!
A lot of Roald Dahl is a must, The Little Prince (Saint-Exupéry), fairy tales by Oscar Wilde.
Got to agree with all of the above.

For younger children however I would also suggest 'Guess Who Loves You', 'The Jolly Postman' and 'The Gruffalo'.

All good books for little ones, although the Jolly Postman is for slightly older ones.

Don't forget the oldies such as Enid Blyton. Her books cover a huge range of ages and make good reading.

(Hear the nostalgia there lol)
The book "The Tomten" by Astrid Lindgren is just too cute. It's about a friendly gnome that takes care of farmyard animals.

My great grandmother used to read this to me in Danish (It comes from Danish/Swedish mythology). And I just loved it.

A must have for any animal loving kid.

The author also wrote Pippi Longstocking.
There's always Harry Potter too Wink

Anyways, a couple of my earliest childhood favorite book that I can think off the top of my head is Where the Wild Things Are and If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.
i'm not trying to be ironic... but if new kids have less than a year, they can't read and whatever you read to them they won't understand.. or at least they won't remember it.
The cat in the hat and other Dr Seuss books
i liked the beirnstein bears.

also if you got a girl kid on your hands, this was my FAVORITE book of all time, i'd get it read to me at least 4 times a week before bed! :

it's out of print but you can get it used. the artwork is sooo pretty for anyone who loves dragons and unicorns, it's not cartoony at all like you'd imagine. very detailed. here's a tiny pic of the cover, all i could find.
got to agree with the usual suspects

lord of the rings
harry potter

do like cat in the hat stuff too
I've recently read The Little Prince -and I loved the story as an adult, so yes, that's a must have.

I'm surprised no one's mentioned these:

-Where The Wild Things Are

-Polar Express

(and just because I find this amusing: "Why Mommy is a Democrat").

-They sell large story books like "The Book of Virtues" and such which usually have some good stories and little poems.

-The Brothers Grimm works. Never too old for a fairy tale.
Narnia would be good once they get to maybe second or third grade, HP, 4-5, and LOTR, that depends. For instance, I still can't seem to read those books, evne though I know they're very good, yet I have no problem with Tolstoy and Dickens.

DO NOT under any circumstances reccomed gossip girl or clique novels if you plan them developing a functional brain. Wink

The Secret Garden, most definately. Still read it occasionally.

Peter Rabbit

Pippi Longstocking <3 those

The boxcar kids. Cool
These are more for when the child gets a little older, but are great to add to a children's library at any time. #1: The Giving Tree--A beautiful story with a beautiful message. I remember reading this book over and over when I was younger. #2: Shel Silverstein books of poems--These poems are so much fun, with cute illustrations to go with them. #3: Anything by Roald Dahl--my favorites are George's Marvelous Medicine, The Witches, and of course Charlie & The Chocolate Factory/Charlie & The Great Glass Elevator.
If we're talking little kids, I would go for Robert Munch - his books are terrific. Great pictures, relevant story-lines, full of imagination...

-The Paper Bag Princess
-Love You Forever
-Purple Green and Yellow
Are some of the really good ones..

Here's a link to his official website:

And the book list:
for a 5-8 year old, I'd highly recommend "The Mouse And The Motorcycle" as well as "Runaway Ralph", by Beverly Cleary.. very similar to Stuart Little (which should also be on your list)

there's also a series of books by John Fitzgerald starting with "The Great Brain" about a really smart kid who solves mysteries

another personal favorite for about a 10 year old is "The Mad Scientists' Club" by Bertrand R. Brinley

and for the over-10 boy, I liked "Black and Blue Magic" by Zilpha Keatley Snyder.. a story about a boy who is given a magic ointment that allows him to temporarily grow angel-like wings when it's applied.. unfortunately the ointment doesn't include instructions as to how to operate them
For below tens i definately recommend Anne Fine, her books are awesome, and can be read over and over again without getting bored Very Happy
I think most kids can identify with Holes and I also think kids should read The Chronicles of Narnia, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Number the Stars. They're all quite children-oriented, although the last couple may be for more mature, or older children (teens).
i read whatever my girlfriend buys for our daughter. >_>

but what i would like to suggest for your friends who just had a baby:


this is incredibly important. i can not tell you how many times being able to communicate with my daughter through sign language has saved me from giving up and handing her to my girlfriend, who is incredibly patient. Sad

they must start young, showing their baby how to communicate "hungry" and "all done" and "more" and "thirsty." i'm not sure what the book we used was, because we threw it away some time ago when she started talking, but it wasn't a kids book, and i imagine a childrens sign language book would be a better idea.
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