You know how it goes. Your kids find a book they are crazy about and you read it over and over and over and over, every day for a week or more. All three of my kids have gone through “favorite book” phases and some are more enjoyable for me than others. (Thomas the Train? No, thank you.)

I love books and I love reading out loud to my kids. All three of them genuinely enjoy being read to, and I’ll do anything I can to encourage their interest in books—even if that means reading the same book again and again. And while we parents might groan, our kids actually benefit from the repetition and the familiarity helps them retain new words in their vocabulary. They also know what to expect, and “hearing the words of a familiar book helps your child settle in and relax, and it makes a great cue for sleep.” (And parents everywhere say, “Amen!” right?)

We have many children’s picture books in our family library, but here are my top ten favorites that I enjoy reading over and over to my kids. (Editor’s note: This post includes Amazon Affiliate Links.)

1. “Adèle & Simon” by Barbara McClintock
This beautifully illustrated picture book is about a brother and sister in Paris. Simon is always losing something (much to his big sister’s chagrin) so there is an object to look for on every page. I’m a bit of a Francophile at heart, so I love the Parisian feel of the book and the landmarks in the illustrations. “Adèle & Simon in America” and “Lost and Found: Adèle & Simon in China” are just as wonderful and have the same running theme of Simon losing something on every page.

2. “The Bear Snores On” by Karma Wilson
The rhythm and rhyming in this story is just fabulous. My kids enjoy chiming in and “reading” with me because they know the story so well. And there are more books in the series! “Bear Stays Up for Christmas” would make a great Christmas gift.

3. “The Little House” by Virginia Lee Burton
A sweet little pink house is the star of this book. I love reading the part where she is found and rescued by descendants of her original family. We are big fans of Virginia Lee Burton and it was hard to choose a favorite. “Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel” and “Katy and the Big Snow” are right up there with “The Little House”. 

4. “The Mitten” by Jan Brett
No family library would be complete without at least one Jan Brett masterpiece. She is such a gifted illustrator. When I read her books to my kids, I always find some new detail in the pictures that I haven’t noticed before. “The Mitten” is a classic story about a little boy that accidentally drops one of his mittens in the snow. “The Hat” is a similar story with a little girl, and “The Umbrella” gives the story a Costa Rican twist. 

5. “The Seven Silly Eaters” by Mary Ann Hoberman
Some friends gave me this when I was expecting my first child. It has been a family favorite ever since! It’s written in rhyming verse and is so fun to read out loud. My kids are pretty picky eaters, so I definitely sympathize with Mrs. Peters and her Silly Eaters in the story. 

6. “Now One Foot, Now the Other” by Tomie dePaola
Tomie dePaola is a powerhouse like Jan Brett. He has written and illustrated dozens of charming children’s books. “Now One Foot, Now the Other” is a touching story about a little boy and his grandfather. My kids love Tomie dePaola’s Mother Goose collection, and he also has a “Book of Bible Stories”

7. “Building Our House” by Jonathan Bean
If you have truck-crazy kids like I do, any book with a backhoe and dump truck is a crowd-pleaser! This book is based on the author’s family, and it is so well done. I love reading this to my kids and seeing the house slowly being built and becoming a home. (I’m always so relieved for the mom in the story to finally move out of the camper into a real house again!)

8. “Blueberries for Sal” by Robert McCloskey
I don’t know what I like better—Robert McCloskey’s line drawings or his subtle humor. My youngest loves the little bear in this story, and repeating “kuplink, kuplank, kuplunk!” We also love “Make Way for Ducklings” and “Lentil”.

9. “The Circus Ship” by Chris Van Dusen
My middle child is crazy about this book. He even requested a Circus Ship theme for his birthday party last month! This is another wonderful rhyming book that is an absolute joy to read aloud. The colors are bright and exciting, and my kids love finding the hidden animals in the story. “If I Built a House” and “If I Built a Car” are favorites, too.

10. “Ox-Cart Man” by Donald Hall
I find this book so soothing. I think it’s the combination of the primitive Americana illustrations and the simplicity of the story. The book follows a family in 19th-century America, growing and making goods to sell at the market. Other favorites illustrated by Barbara Cooney include “Miss Rumphius” and “Emily”.

11. “The Snowy Day” by Ezra Jack Keats
I can’t help sharing one more of our favorite authors! “Snowy Day” is a classic and perfect for the winter season. It’s a short but wonderful story, and I love the texture of Ezra Jack Keats’ illustrations. We love the other books in this series, like “Peter’s Chair” and “Whistle for Willie”. And, because it’s the Christmas season, definitely look for a copy of “Little Drummer Boy”. It’s beautiful and perfect for reading to little ones this Christmas. (P.S. Amazon Video has an animated version of “The Snowy Day” that is really cute and perfect for younger kids.)

I really could go on and on about my favorite books, and if we ever meet in person,  I probably will. Reading has always been a big part of my life and it’s such a joy to share a love of reading with my kids. Let me know what your family favorites are—we always enjoy finding new books to add to our shelves! 


I love books and I love reading out loud to my kids. All three of them genuinely enjoy being read to, and I'll do anything I can to encourage their interest in books—even if that means reading the same book again and again 

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Rachel Gnagy

Rachel Gnagy is a wife, mother, photographer, coffee lover, and book nerd. She and her husband, Samuel, have four precious children, two boys and two girls. Rachel is a work-from-home-mom, running a small photography and graphic design business. She has been writing for Her View From Home since 2012 and loves the opportunity to communicate with other women.

Organized Sports Aren’t Everything

In: Kids, Motherhood
Young girl with Alpaca, color photo

Today I watched my little girl walk an alpaca. His name is Captain. Captain is her favorite. He’s my favorite too. I met his owner on Instagram of all places. She thought I was in college; I thought she was a middle-aged woman. Turns out, she is in high school, and I am a middle-aged woman. This random meeting led to a blessing. We call it “llama lessons.” We take llama lessons every other week. It’s an hour away on the cutest hobby farm. Our “teacher” is Flora, who boards her llamas at the alpaca farm. She wants to teach...

Keep Reading

I Had to Learn to Say “I’m Sorry” to My Kids

In: Kids, Motherhood, Teen, Tween
Mom hugs tween daughter

My two oldest kiddos are at the front end of their teen years. I remember that time in my own life. I was loud, somewhat dramatic, I let my hormones control me, and I never—ever—apologized. This last part was because no one ever really taught me the value of apology or relationship repair. Now, I could do some parent blaming here but let’s be real, if you were a kid whose formative years were scattered between the late ’80s and early ’90s, did you get apologies from your parents? If so, count that blessing! Most parents were still living with...

Keep Reading

5 Things Your Child’s Kindergarten Teacher Wants You To Know

In: Kids, Motherhood
Child raising hand in kindergarten class

I am a teacher. I have committed my life to teaching children. Of course, before I began this career, I had visions of standing in front of a group of eager-eyed children and elaborating on history, science, and math lessons. I couldn’t wait to see the “lightbulb” moments when students finally understood a reading passage or wrote their first paper. And then I had my first day. Children are not cut out of a textbook (shocking, I know) but as a young 23-year-old, it knocked me right off my feet. I was thrown into the lion’s den, better known as...

Keep Reading

To the Extended Family That Shows Up: We Couldn’t Do This Without You

In: Kids, Living, Motherhood
Family visiting new baby in a hospital room

This picture—my heart all but bursts every time I see it.  It was taken five years ago on the day our daughter was born. In it, my husband is giving her her very first bath while our proud extended family looks on. It was a sweet moment on a hugely special day, but gosh–what was captured in this photo is so much more than that. This photo represents everything I could have ever hoped for my kids: That they would have an extended family who shows up in their lives and loves them so deeply.  That they would have grandparents,...

Keep Reading

You’re Almost Grown, But You’re Always Welcome Back Home

In: Kids, Motherhood
Teen in room studying with computer and smartphone

Dear child, In the days before you could walk or talk, there were times when you would wail—when my rocking and shushing and bouncing were seemingly futile—but it didn’t matter. Each day and night, multiple times, I always picked you up and welcomed you back into my arms. As a toddler and a preschooler, you had some pretty epic meltdowns. There were times when you would thrash and scream, and all I could do was stand by and wait for the storm to blow over. Eventually, you would run to me, and I would welcome you back with a warm embrace....

Keep Reading

No One Warned Me About the Last Baby

In: Baby, Kids, Motherhood
Mother holding newborn baby, black-and-white photo

No one warned me about the last baby. When I had my first, my second, and my third, those first years were blurry from sleep deprivation and chaos from juggling multiple itty-bitties. But the last baby? There’s a desperation in that newborn fog to soak it up because there won’t be another. No one warned me about the last baby. Selling the baby swing and donating old toys because we wouldn’t need them crushed me. I cried selling our double jogger and thought my heart would split in two when I dropped off newborn clothes. Throwing out pacifiers and bottles...

Keep Reading

Parents Are Terrible Salespeople for Parenting

In: Kids, Motherhood
Tired mother with coffee cup on table, child sitting next to her

As the years of fertility start to wane, many of my childless peers are confronted with the question, “Should I have kids?” With hesitation, they turn to us parents who, frankly, seem overwhelmingly unhappy. They ask sheepishly, “Is it worth it?” We lift our heads up, bedraggled, bags under our eyes, covered in boogers and sweat and spit up, we mutter, “Of course! It’s so fulfilling!” It’s like asking a hostage if they like their captor. Sure, it’s great. We love them. But our eyes are begging for liberation. Save me, please. I haven’t slept through the night in years....

Keep Reading

Soak in the Moments because Babies Don’t Keep

In: Kids, Motherhood, Tween
Roller coaster photo, color photo

I love marking the moments, the ones that count—making a note and storing them for memory. But I often miss out on them when it comes to our oldest. ⁣ ⁣The day he wanted to be baptized, I was at home with another kiddo who was sick. He called me from church excitedly, emphasizing he was ready and didn’t want to wait. I couldn’t argue with that, so I watched him go underwater through videos my husband and sweet friends in the congregation took. ⁣ ⁣On the day of his fifth-grade graduation, we found ourselves at the pediatrician’s office. Instead...

Keep Reading

Sometimes a Kid Just Needs a Sick Day

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little boy outside, color photo

My middle son stayed home from school today. He said he was sick. I’m not sure that is the truth. I was lucky enough to have a mom who was an amazing caretaker, especially when you were sick. She pulled out all the stops. A cozy clean space to be, a thermos with ice cold juice by your side, Mrs. Grass’s soup, and Days of Our Lives on the screen while she tidied up the house. It was the best feeling in the world to be home and cozy with my mom when I was sick. It felt cozy and...

Keep Reading

Sometimes We Need Someone to Just Sit With Us in Our Struggle

In: Kids, Motherhood
Sad woman sits on floor, black and white image

Early this morning, I told (yelled is more accurate) my sons to get up with the same furious ferocity I use every morning when I realize they should be ready to go, but are still unconsciously snoozing away. One son lazily said, “I’m up, Mom” (even though he was very much not up). The other son, who typically has no problems getting up, had overslept and immediately freaked out, thinking he would be late to school. He proceeded to have a mini-meltdown from the dark recesses of his bedroom. That overflowed into the hallway where I found him lying face-down,...

Keep Reading