Topic | Your Must-haves

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  • dmccall3

    I have book lists from Ambleside Online, SCM, and Honey For a Child’s Heart. (I plan to follow SCM for homeschooling though.) Of course they don’t completely match up and I realize they are only guides.

    So I have two questions:

    1. What are your absolute must-haves for the 3-5 year old range?

    2. When you come to a point of decision on whether or not to buy a book, how do you distinguish twaddle from quality (assuming you’ve never heard of the book you’re considering)?



    Sonlight’s catalog for their preschool cores. We have really enjoyed them.


    1.  Must Haves:  Vos’ Story Bible, Go Dog Go!, Are You My Mother?, McCloskey (any…all), Little House series, Sleepy Bears (Mem Fox)…I could go on and on.

    Here’s a great blog for wonderful Children’s Book suggestions:  (home of Children’s Book Monday, LOVE Elise!)

    2. I usually have to have my hands on the book before I consider buying. (and I, too, use the same 3 resources for book choices/lists)!


    OK, here are our top favorite preschool books – some from SCM Lists, some from Sonlight lists, and some that we just happened upon and liked, roughly in age order (ds 2-1/2 enjoys some of the simpler ones, dd 5 has and does enjoy all of these.  We don’t own all of them, but the ones we don’t are on our gift lists because we like them well enough to add to our home library:

    Corduroy and A Pocket for Corduroy – Freeman

    If you Give a Mouse a Cookie and others – Numeroff

    the Angus books – Marjory Flack

    The Snowy Day, Peter’s Chair,Whistle for Willy – Ezra Jack Keats

    any of the Alfie books – Shirley Hughes

    Mike Mulligan and His Steam shovel and others – Burton

    Any and all by Robert McCloskey

    A New Coat for Anna

    Any by Beatrix Potter

    the Anatole series – Eve Titus

    the Frances series – Hoban

    Winnie the Pooh – Milne

    Milly Molly Mandy Storybook


    Read Aloud Rhymes for the Very Young

    Silly Sally

    Raggedy Ann and Andy

    When it comes to telling if something is twaddle, I agree you have to see it to know. I took my time recently in a bookstore and sat down with some books I was considering purchasing. I surprised myself with how few I actually considered buying because when I really looked closely and read more of the story, most of the books were pretty lame.

    So I think, in general, any of the “classics” are great to have to read over and over even though you can get them from the library. The stories are really good, the writing is really good. We also like The Gingerbread Man, Henny Penny, The Three Billy Goats Gruff, The Three Little Pigs, ect. with the illustrations by Gabaldone (sp?) in particular. My boys really liked Little Toot.  Katie and the Big Snow is pretty popular with my car/truck/construction-obsessed ds.

    I also believe that Charlotte suggested just telling your little ones simple stories – even ones you make up – over and over.


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