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Books to Read to Your Children

Reading with your child inspires imagination, sparks creativity, and cultivates engaging conversations. Take a look at some of the books our education experts read to their children each night before bed.

Article by Anne Wicks and Eva Chiang, Ph.D. May 29, 2019 //   3 minute read
Photo by Robyn Budlender on Unsplash

Reading with your child inspires imagination, sparks creativity, and cultivates engaging conversations. More than anything, it provides a strong foundation for increasing vocabulary, developing literacy skills, and making personal connections to a text.

From the magical realm of Hogwarts to the dusty wagons on the Oregon Trail, reading takes you and your child on an adventure to worlds beyond compare. Carve out 10 to 15 minutes of your busy schedule to spend time engaged in a book with your child – you both won’t regret it!

Here are our book recommendations from two former teachers and George W. Bush Institute education experts, Anne Wicks, Director of Education Reform and Eva Chiang, Director of Research and Evaluation

The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak – This book delights kids by “forcing” the adult reader to say all the silly words written on the pages.

Pete the Cat and the Cool Cat Boogie by James and Kimberly Dean – In this book, Pete learns to just keep dancing even when others say he does it wrong. Kids love to root for Pete!

Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss – A well-known and loved classic for a reason, this book helps preschoolers develop early literacy skills with rhymes and repetition.

Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein: This book invites fun and interactive reading aloud as Papa Chicken and his daughter try to read bedtime stories together.

The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by  Jon Scieszka: In this story, readers get to hear an old tale told from the perspective of the “bad guy”—the wolf.  It provides a great chance to talk about empathy, hearing others out, and being open minded.

Knuffle Bunny by  Mo Willems:  A child loses his beloved Knuffle Bunny, only to be reunited later. Young readers are reminded of the importance of caring for your things, while parents are reminded just how short childhood is.

Curious about reading scores in your city? Find out more by visiting State of Our Cities and compare education data on 114 cities across the United States.