Organizing Children’s Books & 10 Important Reads for Kids

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Oh hey, oh heyyy. 

My monthly post is up over on MPMK. We’re talking Organizing Children’s Books so get your buns over there. 

As an addendum, I interviewed my dad, a brilliant family and children’s psychologist, on what he considers to be some of the most important reads for kids. Here’s what the man had to say:

1. My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett 

“A great first chapter book. A story of bravery and adventure-it introduces mystery and wonder.”

2. A Lion to Guard Us by Clyde Robert Bulla 

“Evokes safety in the midst of danger, and helps to show children that all can be well with the world.”

3. The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks

“A great frolic, filled with mystery and adventure. An early exposure to the discovery of bravery and courage.”

4. Grimm’s Fairy Tales by Jacob Grimm & Wilhelm Grimm

“Find a good, un-distilled version. Fairy tales protect children’s capacity for imagination, give them imagery of good versus evil, and convey messages of resilience and hope.

5. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle by Betty MacDonald

“If you can find it, this series is riotous and hysterical, but is also a cautionary tale for children regarding self-control and behavior that’s not acceptable. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle was the pre-cursor to child psychologists.”

6. The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown

“For children as young as 2; speaks loudly and clearly to the nurturing presence of mother, even as a child begins to take baby steps away from her. It provides complete reassurance.”

7. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

“It is utter comfort as a child is going to sleep, that all is well with the world. It invites the shift from awake consciousness to sleep consciousness in a safe, gentle way.”

8. Poems of Shel Silverstein (Where the Sidewalk Ends, The Giving Tree, etc.)

“Wonderful for slightly older children. The Giving Tree shows imagery of selflessness and love. There’s just a reverence for life in his writing.” 

9. Frances books by Russel Hoban (Bread and Jam for FrancesA Birthday for Frances, Bedtime for FrancesBest Friends for Frances, etc.)

“It doesn’t matter that Frances is a badger. Her yearnings, defiance, hurts and wants are just as real as any girls. I have A Bargain for Frances in my office. Children often struggle with feeling bullied by other kids, and the book speaks to that. It displays cleverness and openness of heart in the face of a kind of cruelty and insensitivity.”

10. Elsa Beskow books (Peter in Blueberry Land, Ollie’s Ski TripWoody, Hazel, and Little Pip, etc.)

“The drawings are stunning, and for little ones they offer the delight of living through imaginary characters. The delight of living.”

p.s. If you live in Michigan and are looking for an incredible therapist, feel free to shoot me an email ( and I’ll be happy to share his contact info. 

Do tell: what titles make your most important reads list?


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