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30 Picture Books in 30 Days – for 5 to 8 year olds

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Picture Books for Kids

There are days when I feel that one of our kiddos is getting the proverbial short end of the stick. While our older kids had more of my time and energy, the youngest – well, there are occasions that it just seems that he gets the leftovers.

And then I start beating myself up that I am not doing enough for him.

BUT, there are also times that I am a wee bit justified in these feelings. Reading pictures books with him is one of those areas. There are so many amazing books that we have in our home and while some of the copies are ragged and worn from being read over and over with our oldest, Kaleb hasn’t had that same reading time.

Don’t get me wrong – we read a lot as a family, but many of those books are not targeted specifically to his age range. While he enjoys the other read aloud, there really is something special about flipping through a picture book, talking about the pictures and the story, and enjoying that time together as well.

“In your eagerness over discovering children’s literature, you need to be careful not to push your children into books beyond their years. It could mean missing those books tailored for their present age.”

– Gladys Hunt

In an effort to be more intentional in this one specific area, I set the goal to read 30 books in 30 days with Kaleb. There are more than thirty books in the stack, but at least one book a day is that I picked out for him, and then he chooses another book from our shelves. The hope was also that we would re-read many of the books that he was exposed to during the month.

(and 30 isn’t a difficult number to reach, is it?)

After only two days, he was climbing into bed with me in the morning carrying books and reminding me that we needed to have our reading time, and we’ve been snuggling up to read a few books together. It has been such a fun and wonderful time as we talk about books that I loved when I was little and also re-read other fun books, giggle at silly things, and just enjoy the time together.

Choosing the Books

There were several books that came immediately to mind – ones that our older kids loved and also a few that I enjoyed as a child. When my brain started fizzling out on book ideas, I pulled off the book Honey for a Child’s Heart by Gladys Hunt where there is a great chapter on favorite picture books (if you need a jump start on ideas, there are tons of good ones here).

Other places to get book ideas:

  • Look around at your local library – it was fun going through the shelves and finding some old favorites of mine.
  • Check out the book lists from Five in a Row and other homeschool companies. See what books they are recommending to read.
  • Look up some of the Usborne books online – some of our more recent favorites have come from the beautiful picture books they offer (and many of their books are also available via Amazon too).
  • Ask friends – many of mine have a great library at home as well and they lent me some of their favorites.

We pulled books from our shelves, baskets, visited the library and finally borrowed a few from friends. Our book pile quickly grew!

What’s in Our 30 Book Stack

30 Books in 30 Days-1

Over the next few weeks you may see me post pictures on Instagram and Facebook on the books that we’re reading, but here’s a look at the ones that I specifically have piled up for us to read together. There are a few more that I want to read, but either can’t find our copy or haven’t had the chance to borrow the book from a friend – so we’re filling in with another book.

  1. Angus and the Ducks by Marjorie Flack
  2. Train to Somewhere by Eve Bunting
  3. The Rag Coat by Lauren Mills
  4. Katy and the Big Snow by Virginia Lee Burton
  5. Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin
  6. Peter and the Wolf by Janet Schulman (with orchestra cd)
  7. Mrs. Peachtree’s Bicycle by Erica Silverman
  8. Henry the Explorer by Mark Faylor
  9. The Bee Tree by Patricia Polacco
  10. Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton
  11. The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear and Jan Brett
  12. Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney
  13. Make Way for Ducklings by Roberts McCloskey
  14. The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton
  15. The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
  16. Katy No-Pocket by Emmy Payne
  17. The Big Green Pocketbook by Candice Ransom
  18. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
  19. Sheila Rae, the Brave by Kevin Henkes
  20. Maybelle the Cable Car by Virginia Lee Burton
  21. Stellaluna by Janell Cannon
  22. One Morning in Maine by Robert McCloskey
  23. The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle
  24. The Story About Ping by Marjorie Flack
  25. Pirate Boy by Eve Bunting
  26. If You Give a Moose a Muffin by Laura J. Numeroff
  27. The Poky Little Puppy by Janette Lowrey

Keep in mind this is hardly an exhaustive list of great picture books. There are so many more and after the thirty days is over, we’ll be back at our library pulling more books off the shelf!

“Once you begin enjoying good children’s literature, you will find yourself in a  treasure house of reading.”

My one goal is to make special time for books, especially ones that my younger one will enjoy. This isn’t a checklist to complete (although I do love a good checklist!) – it’s just time spent cuddling, reading, and rediscovering some fun books – and introducing them to a boy who may not have read them with us before. And when the thirty days is done? Well, hopefully this will be just the tip of the iceberg in our picture book reading adventures!

What one picture book do YOU remember reading when you were a child?

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  1. Sounds like a great goal! Now that we are done with school I am falling off of the reading aloud bandwagon. I need to get back on :-)

    • Kaleb is loving it already – such a simple thing and it really takes a short amount of time, but the results have been wonderful. :)

  2. I’ve been feeling the same way about my reading time with my youngest. I also have compiled a list of picture books to read with him, in addition to others that he or I will choose later. He’s so patient to listen to me read the chapter books to my older girls – but he needs me to read books just for him, too!

  3. I love your list, and totally identify with your feelings. We have a HUGE age span in our home….the oldest is a senior in college, two are in high school, and the youngest is just finishing kindergarten! The poor “baby” spends the vast majority of her time happily plodding along on the (endless) endeavors of her much older brothers. Books is where we claim our time together. When we share a book together it ALWAYS comes back ten fold….she is bound to bring up something she has learned in a future conversation. I just love that!

    We are going to use Five In A Row next year for first grade, and I notice many of the titles on your list happen to be FIAR books. I loved Mrs. Hunt’s quote, and totally agree! I chose FIAR for us so we would not let the precious “young” books slip by us during this often too-hurried season of life.

    Enjoy your reading! What a wonderful summer goal!!!

    • One of my friends was recently talking about a book she was reading with her two youngest (a FIAR book) – and while out flower shopping, her son wanted to pick up lupines because they had been reading about them in their book. :)

  4. Jenn Ott says

    What a great idea! We realized that we had fallen behind reading picture books to our youngest (although he does dit through the longer chapter books we read) when he didn’t get a family joke stemming from “PJ Funny Bunny”.

  5. Aubrey Moore Stalcup says

    This was EXACTLY one of the thoughts I came away from the HEAV Convention with. I need to be more intentional about the one on one time I spend with each of my kids. What a great way to start! Thank you for sharing your awesome list! It’ll be perfect for my 6-year-old. Now to put a list together for my 10-year-old!

  6. My youngest is almost 11 and he still loves it when I read him picture books. he comes into my room with a stack every few days :)

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