Expand your child's library with some of these great books from amazon.com and bookcloseouts.com. I've added some of the most popular books as well as links to explore further. We read to our four year old daughter every day. She loves books and we love to read to her, but after reading the same book for the 100th time, you just need a change! I say you can never have too many books. They are also the perfect gift when you don't know what else to get a child. Take a look at the books I have picked out below.
Where the Wild Things Are is one of those truly rare books that can be enjoyed equally by a child and a grown-up. If you disagree, then it's been too long since you've attended a wild rumpus. Max dons his wolf suit in pursuit of some mischief and gets sent to bed without supper. Fortuitously, a forest grows in his room, allowing his wild rampage to continue unimpaired. Sendak's color illustrations (perhaps his finest) are beautiful, and each turn of the page brings the discovery of a new wonder. The wild things--with their mismatched parts and giant eyes--manage somehow to be scary-looking without ever really being scary; at times they're downright hilarious. Sendak's defiantly run-on sentences--one of his trademarks--lend the perfect touch of stream of consciousness to the tale, which floats between the land of dreams and a child's imagination.
"I went to sleep with gum in my mouth and now there's gum in my hair and when I got out of bed this morning I tripped on the skateboard and by mistake I dropped my sweater in the sink while the water was running and I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day." So begin the trials and tribulations of the irascible Alexander, who has been earning the sympathy of readers since 1972. People of all ages have terrible, horrible days, and Alexander offers us the cranky commiseration we crave as well as a reminder that things may not be all that bad. As Alexander's day progresses, he faces a barrage of bummers worthy of a country-western song: getting smushed in the middle seat of the car, a dessertless lunch sack, a cavity at the dentist's office, stripeless sneakers, witnessing kissing on television, and being forced to sleep in railroad-train pajamas. He resolves several times to move to Australia.
Critical Issue: Addressing the Literacy Needs of Emergent and Early Readers
Of utmost importance is reading aloud to children and providing opportunities for them to discuss the stories that they hear (Burns, Griffin, & Snow, 1999). Anderson, Hiebert, Scott, and Wilkinson (1985) state, "The single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children. This is especially so during the preschool years" (p. 23). Reading aloud to children helps them develop in four areas that are important to formal reading instruction: oral language, cognitive skills, concepts of print, and phonemic awareness. Development of these skills provides a strong foundation to support literacy development during the early school years (Allington & Cunningham, 1996; Hall & Moats, 1999; Holdaway, 1979).
Children who are read to develop background knowledge about a range of topics and build a large vocabulary, which assists in later reading comprehension and development of reading strategies. They become familiar with rich language patterns and gain an understanding of what written language sounds like. Reading aloud to children helps them associate reading with pleasure and encourages them to seek out opportunities to read on their own. Children also become familiar with the reading process by watching how others read, and they develop an understanding of story structure. Repeated readings of favorite stories allow children an informal opportunity to gradually develop a more elaborate understanding of these concepts. By revisiting stories many times, children focus on unique features of a story or text and reinforce previous understandings. In addition, rereadings enable children to read emergently (Sulzby, 1985b; Sulzby, Buhle, & Kaiser, 1999). [Read more at ed.gov]
An affectionate, sometimes bashful pig named Wilbur befriends a spider named Charlotte, who lives in the rafters above his pen. A prancing, playful bloke, Wilbur is devastated when he learns of the destiny that befalls all those of porcine persuasion. Determined to save her friend, Charlotte spins a web that reads "Some Pig," convincing the farmer and surrounding community that Wilbur is no ordinary animal and should be saved. In this story of friendship, hardship, and the passing on into time, E.B. White reminds us to open our eyes to the wonder and miracle often found in the simplest of things.
"One night, after thinking it over for some time, Harold decided to go for a walk in the moonlight." So begins this gentle story that shows just how far your imagination can take you. Armed only with an oversized purple crayon, young Harold draws himself a landscape full of beauty and excitement. But this is no hare-brained, impulsive flight of fantasy. Cherubic, round-headed Harold conducts his adventure with the utmost prudence, letting his imagination run free, but keeping his wits about him all the while. He takes the necessary purple-crayon precautions: drawing landmarks to ensure he won't get lost; sketching a boat when he finds himself in deep water; and creating a purple pie picnic when he feels the first pangs of hunger.
Fifteen years and one Caldecott Medal after its publication, Chris Van Allsburg's The Polar Express is as fresh and magical as ever. And now an anniversary edition, including the hardcover book, a CD and audiotape featuring a reading by actor Liam Neeson and music by composer Michael Moss, and a special bronze ornament designed by Van Allsburg, renews the wonder and charm of this holiday classic. One Christmas Eve, a bathrobe-clad boy boards the mysterious Polar Express train on its way to the North Pole. Arriving in the mystical polar city, the boy is thunderstruck when Santa chooses him to be the recipient of the very first gift of Christmas. Shyly, the boy asks for his true heart's desire--one silver bell from the harness of Santa's reindeer. His wish is granted, and the train begins its return trip. But alas! The boy has a hole in his pocket, and the cherished sleigh bell is lost... forever?
This hilarious, oversize picture book integrates challenging math concepts and environmental concerns into a clever narrative. On New Year's Day, a family receives an anonymous package containing a penguin. The young narrator chases the bird around the house as it runs amok and knocks over lamps and furniture. His sister, Amy, finds a note, I'm number 1. Feed me when I'm hungry. Just as the message implies, there are more to come; by the end of the year, 365 in all. Penguins, penguins everywhere./Black and white and in my hair, sighs Amy. As they arrive, readers must recall the number of days in each month, by the end of February, they are calculating the number of penguins in all. Then Father decides to organize them, first into four groups of 15, later in boxes by the dozen, and, finally, into a cubic formation. By summer, the heat, noise, and smell are unbearable. On New Year's Eve, ecologist Uncle Victor arrives and the mystery is solved. The engaging story is illustrated in a flat retro design with a palette dominated by orange, blue, gray, and black and white. The comical birds watch TV, dance with their teenage sister, and eat everything in sight. The text provides endless opportunities for word problems, and units on penguins and global warming will never be the same.