Ending breastfeeding at 17 months
Right now: June

What we're reading with the boys

Our favorite children's books | RISING*SHINING

We try to keep toys simple and few at our house but I'm happy to have children's books in every room. As a result, reading is an activity option at any time of the day. We're also building a collection of children's books via Audible and we listen to stories when we're in the car with the boys.

You can purchase Audible audio books through Amazon without an Audible membership. The jack to plug in my phone to the car speakers is broken so I play the books on my Audible app and put my phone in a cup holder that folds out from the front seat console to amplify the sound - works great in our small Prius.

Books and reading and two of my favorite, favorite things and I so hope that my boys will grow up to be avid readers. So far I think we're off to a good start! If one day I look up from my own novel to see Dashiell and Cedric across the room with noses in their own books my heart will surely burst.

Although we L-O-V-E books we don't own a ton although despite my minimalist tendencies books are something I don't mind accumulating. We usually ask for books for birthdays and Christmas and now that Dashiell is truly enjoying story books, and Cedric close behind, I'll probably start buying more here and there. What I often do is browse Amazon and their recommendations and then make a long request-list for the library. 

We've been reading lots of great books lately and l'd love to share. For books that we listen to I'll also link to the audio version. I have found that Dash seems to be more into the audio versions of books he is already familiar with (this was a tip from The Mom Hour) so if I get a new audio book I'll try to also request it from the library so we can look at it.

Where the Wild Things Are (audio)

A classic! I absolutely love reading this book and every time think what a great writer Maurice Sendak is. I especially love the ending, "and it was still hot." And an aside to share: one day when Dash was super mad about something he yelled at us, "Be still!" which was adorable and kind of heartbreaking too, just to see him so mad and expressing that. But I did have to love his use of literature to articulate his feelings.

Goldilocks and the Three Bears (audio)

Dash LOVES the story of Goldilocks and sometimes I draw out the story for him on a whiteboard (despite the fact that my drawing game is zero). I have one tiny issue with this book, however, because it includes this line: "Goldilocks was one of those naughty little girls who did exactly as she pleased." I bristle because would a boy be described this way? Is this similar to a boy being described as independent whereas a girl would be described as bossy? Goldilocks does go on to break into a house so perhaps she is naughty but that line somehow felt anti-feminist to me, thoughts?

Dr. de Soto (audio)

A mouse dentist has to decide whether or not to risk having a fox as a patient. 

Owl Moon (audio)

A beautiful story and gorgeous illustrations about a little girl accompanying her dad one night to go looking for owls for the first time.

Caps for Sale (audio)

Another classic from my childhood. A peddler's caps are taken by monkeys in a tree and he has to get them back. Dash gets really into this one and loves to mimic the monkeys and stamp his foot along with the peddler.

The Gruffalo (audio)

A mouse goes walking in the deep dark woods and must be clever to outsmart all the creatures that want to eat him, including the Gruffalo!

Blueberries for Sal (audio)

Love this classic book about a little girl who goes blueberry picking with her mother.

A Chair for my Mother

A lovely book about families supporting each other and also about saving money. Does anyone else have vivid memories of the Reading Rainbow episode featuring this book?


This was a gift from my mom and I absolutely love reading this Thai lullaby and the illustrations are lovely. Several of my friends' children may be getting this for Christmas this year...Cedric loves it as well and mimics the sounds of the animals, which are especially neat because the animals don't make the typical sounds: a duck says, "ghap, ghap!" a mouse says, "jeed, jeed," etc.

Last Stop on Market Street

A boy and his grandmother take a bus ride to volunteer at a soup kitchen and the boy observes ways that different people live, like his friend having a car while he doesn't and the surroundings of the soup kitchen not being very pretty. His grandmother offers sage perspective. Won the Newberry award for children's literature. If you've come across other books like this, that talk honestly about money and people being in circumstances that are challenging, I would love to know about them.

Families, Families, Families

Animal families of every variety are shown ("some kids live with an aunt.....some have two dads....some children's parents are married...and some are not") and ends with "but if you love each other you are a family." A great conversation starter.

Good People Everywhere

This was a gift from a  sweet friend and my throat catches when I read this book, it's such a lovely reminder amidst so many horrible things happening in the world. The book shares different simple scenes of good things people are doing throughout the world: a farmer is growing food for us to eat, a girl is trying her best on a math test, a boy is helping a friend who fell down at the park, a midwife is delivering a baby (cue the tears).

Mr. Tiger Goes Wild

A tiger living in uptight animal society isn't happy. He takes action and "goes wild!"


Five toys sit on a window sill waiting for different things, a very calming read. We checked this out from the library but Dash requested it so frequently I'm thinking of buying it. 


A book without words in which each turn of the page zooms you out a little bit farther from the scene.

The Red Book

Another book without words in which a little girl finds a red book with fascinating contents.

Are You My Mother?

This book has been inspiring Dash's story-telling lately and I love the way he says, "And then this big ol' fing lift me up!"

Goodnight Moon

I read a little board book version of this to Cedric every night and he finds the mouse on every page of the room. Confession: did not know there was a mouse in every room scene despite reading this to Dash many, many times! But I kind of love that each boy interacted with the book in a different way. Cedric and I pretend to scoop out a bite of the mush and feed it to each other.


I would love to know what you are reading with your little ones lately or what books you remember loving in your childhood!


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