Thursday, February 18, 2010

Must Have Classics

Last night was the parent information night for the Prep classes at our son's school.
I have been to many, many of these before.  But last night I got to sit in the chair and just watch and listen which was soooo much easier than being the one standing out the front.  I loved it!

On the way out we collected a handout about developing literacy and on the back was a list of 20 'Must-have classics' for Australian children aged from birth to four, for suggested reading at home.  I'm embarrassed to say we have not one in our house.  But many of them are ones I loved reading to my classes when I was teaching.  So now it is my goal to starting buying up these classics until we have the whole list, well, most, OK, some.

Here are the books...

Do you have any of these?


  1. I have most of them. Some on this list would not make it to my top 20 must have children's book though. I really do not understand the Spot book thing I must say, I hate reading them... they are so, well, boring!
    Having said that I LOVE Where the Wild Things Are, and The Very Hungry Caterpillar & I went walking.
    Have fun buying the ones you love!

  2. We have 5 of those. What I did notice though is that for the ones I don't have, I do have other stories by the same authors for quite a few of them!
    My top 20 would be quite different and would include Where is the Green Sheep, something by Sandra Boynton and Oliver Jeffers!

  3. My house is exploding with books but I only have 6 on the list. That P.D. Eastman is next on my wishlist. I read the 3 year old "Go Dog Go" last night and he adored it. I just know that one is going on high rotation straight away.
    I think the biggest favourite in my house is "The Berenstain Bears" book with about 6 stories in it. It is nearly worn out. I love it too because I remember them from when I was little.
    I can't wait until they get into Enid Blyton. I'm so looking forward to rereading The Famous Five and the Bobbsey Twins. They'll probably be able to read by then but I'm going to read them anyway :) #booknerd

  4. Great post Thea! We have 8 on the list! Our family is very big on books and reading time. For as long as I can remember we have always read to the boys at night, just before lights out. My big boy in grade 2, in now reading chapter books, it is fantastic to see him get to this stage! Zac Power is number one on his list at the moment.

  5. We have 7. You have inspired me, off to blog about our favourite childrens books. Well, I will sometime.

  6. We had most of those books over the years, I must say Dear Zoo was a favourite, it was probably one of the first books each of my children could "read" by themselves.

  7. I only own 4 of them! One being spot which is oh so boring. And my Green eggs has pages falling out. Are you my mother - oh wow has that been a favourite since J was crawling! (well almost since then)
    Paul Jennings? I actually don't like the caterpillar book.
    Who made this list? Where is Mem Fox - my kids have all loved her books.
    There are so many classic picture books available - it's a preference thing - not really a must have thing.

  8. My youngest genetic slave is 15, so if any of these are still around the house, they're tattered dust piles.

    That said, we had at least half of them, and voraciously devoured them. ad bloody nauseum.

  9. FroggyPrinceMom from TwitterFebruary 18, 2010 at 1:29 PM

    Jamie has and (still) loves "Each Peach Pear Plum" -- It was bought for him specifically for his...2nd or 3rd birthday, I husband had remembered having and loving the book as a little one.

    "Brown Bear" is a recent favorite of Jamie...actually, there are at least 4 books in the series, all of which we currently have out from the library (again), and will be renewing (again) until we have no choice but to return them.

    "Green Eggs & Ham" both my husband and I knew as's not among the Dr.Seuss books Jamie knows yet, but that's fairly accidental...he tends to adopt a new Dr.Seuss book every few months, either through the library or my finding a copy to add more permanently to our collection.

    "Are You My Mother" is another one we got from the library for Jamie, he loved it and did really well with it, and we ended up getting him his own copy. It was one of a few Eastmans that I wasn't sure if I remembered from childhood or teaching for some reason...I just knew as soon as I saw it on the shelf it was a good idea. Turns out I was right!

    I grew up with "Where The Wild Things Are", as did my husband -- unfortunately, neither of us still have our old copies. We haven't sought it out for Jamie yet, but it's something we'll introduce him to eventually.

    Both of us grew up with the "Spot" books too, though I couldn't have told you which ones were around when we were kids and which have come out since then. Jamie doesn't have any, but he's gotten them -- including the one on the list -- from the library. It's kind of impressive how much abuse those flaps will actually take.

    "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" is another one we both grew up with, and made sure we had at home for Jamie. It has been a favorite for years, and has a fair number of therapy/learning applications, really.

    "Madeline" (well actually, several books in the series) was something I grew up with. I had copies because my elder sister had copies, because my mother was French, and she just couldn't resist. I liked them well enough as a child, though it's not something that stayed strongly with me. Our library has a copy and I've seen it a few times while scanning the shelves for Jamie, but I think it's still beyond him, so I haven't brought it home yet.

  10. "Dr. Seuss's ABC" is one of Jamie's favorites, and has been for years. The "Dr.Suess Beginner Book Video" of this title, as well "Mr.Brown Can Moo -- Can You?" and "I Can Read With My Eyes Shut" was something we'd found at the library when he was, oh, maybe two -- and managed to copy. He had them memorized in no time care of the video (which follows the text exactly, and does extremely minimal animation of the book's real illustrations), and they were great for speech therapy. Then when he was three we got the three corresponding books from the library, and I swear, we must've had them out for most of a year, maxing out renewals on one of our cards and then taking it out again on the other card as soon as it was re-shelved. It was terrible of us, but Jamie wanted to read them every day, and the books combined with the video was setting the stage for him learning to read, and we kept thinking we'd find copies at the bookstore... Finally we managed to get them for him in time for Christmas, and as soon as he saw the first corner through the wrapping paper he just tore things free (the only gift he wasn't tentative about unwrapping) and RAN across the room with the three books to read them on the spot. Was perfectly happy to ignore everything else at the time.

    "Dear Zoo"...I think I remember the book from my own childhood. I haven't run into it during Jamie's life yet, though. Too bad, I have the feeling he'd like it. Might have to search it out, now that I've been reminded...

    Hubby says "We're Going On A Bear Hunt" seems familiar to him, but that's all he came up with.

    "Alexander......" is another one I remember from growing up. Jamie hasn't seen it yet, and I don't think he's quiiiiiiite ready for it, but it's definitely something I'd expect to pull off the shelf for him eventually.

    The others aren't familiar to me.

  11. Oh I remember lots of these! From memory Wombat Stew was definitely a favourite. I'll have to check with my mum to see where they have all ended up!

  12. Keep an eye out for the sales during the year, especially in Target and Kmart during the toy sales on the kids books. I have two sets of DrSuess box sets through snapping them up in the sales. The Post office sometimes has some of these classics in its book packs also :) . I don't have all of those, some I haven't even read, and I've taught that year level for years! eek.

  13. I LOVE kids' books but we only have 3 of these.

    Can't believe there aren't any Mem Fox books on the list - we have most of those!

  14. Yay i have 10 of those books you have listed!
    im quite surprised!
    Where the Wild Things are is my favourite by far.
    Good luck collecting them all, you will probably find most in bookclub.

  15. i have most of these books. if i dont have them its usually because i had access to them easily..

    this was my list {i wrote it a while ago}:

    and then these posts with the label books:

    i am a huge fan of books for children - and i think some of them have activities to go with them xx

  16. My son taught himself to read using the Dr Suess books. We had a complete set and he had a good half dozen of the stories memorised before. That's a great list and a good resource for parents.

  17. i had many of these as a child, some i don't recognise, they must be newer... but i was such a bookworm.

    i am re-reading "a tree grows in brooklyn" and marvelling that i read it when i was only 11. what a book!

  18. We have 9 of them and have read another 4 so I guess that's pretty good :) Of course in amongst the squillions of books in this house we don't read them all that often... Oh well, they'll be still useable when my kids have kids :)

  19. We have 8 of them. We have many, many books in our house. Our boys love reading. The 7yr old is in to Zac Power and the Captain Underpants series, as well as Deltora Quest, Harry Potter, Roald Dahl. 6yr old has the Zac Power Test Drive series, which is great for the new readers. He also likes Roald Dahl. And the 3yo will let you read anything!

    LOVE books myself. Just wish I had more time to read them! x

  20. I have 10 of them- we have so many books in our house it's impossible to find time to read them all. We have started in the last few months reading chapter books and just finished 'Ramona & her Mother' by Beverly Clearly.

    Loved it as a kid and love it even more now- thankfully the girls agreed.

  21. I have loads of these from when I was little! I must say that "Dear Zoo" is a personal favorite of mine as well as "Are you my mother?"

  22. We have 12 of these on our shelf at the moment, a few of the others I would buy but haven't yet as Immy is too young. I am not a huge fan of Spot either but toddlers love them so I can understand why they are on the list. Sad to see there are not more Pamela Allen titles or any Alison Lester titles on the list - we love Mr McGee and the Blackberry Jam and Rosie Sips Spiders. And we are having lots of lighthearted fun with Charlie and Lola books (Immy has never seen the show) and Olivia (the pig).

  23. I have one of these books ... The Very Hungry Caterpillar ... but I have 3 months before my first little 'un is born, so I've plenty of time to stock up on some of these! I remember reading a good few of these when I was a kid.


Just one little comment will make my day.