30 books to read to or with your child before they grow up

Instilling a love of reading in our kids is important. You might not have all the time in the world, but 20 minutes is all it takes to make a huge impact on your child. Be a part of it. Here is list of must-reads for you and your kids.

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  • Reading to your kids for at least 20 minutes a day greatly increases your children's success in school by giving them a stronger aptitude for learning. It can help with their speech development, reasoning and logical thinking, as well as their overall communication skills. The benefits are great, not to mention the valuable time it gives you with your little one.

  • Life is busy and it is hard to even fit in bath time. Setting aside 20 minutes seems almost impossible. However, the benefits in doing so are priceless. Even if you have to push bedtime 20 minutes later, do it. In doing so, you are giving yourself 10 precious hours a month of uninterrupted bonding time with your child. How could you ever regret that? Start a reading regime now. Here are 15 must-reads to get you started.

    1. The 100 Dresses by Eleanor Estes

    2. Guess How Much I love You by Sam McBartney illustrated by Anita Jeram

    3. Oh, the Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss

    4. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

    5. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

    6. The Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Andersen

    7. Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney

    8. Mr. Men and Little Miss Collections by Roger Hargreaves

    9. The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt

    10. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin and John Archambault

    11. The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson

    12. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

    13. We're Going On a Bear Hunt by Helen Oxenbury and Michael Rosen

    14. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown and Clemenet Hurd

    15. Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman

  • Just because our children can't (or maybe wont) sit on our lap anymore, doesn't mean they don't want to enjoy a book or two with you. You might not need to read to them anymore, but consider reading with your child to encourage a continued love of reading. Reverse the roles and listen to your child read to you. Here are 15 books you can enjoy with your pre-teen or teen.

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    1. The Giver by Lois Lowry

    2. Holes by Louis Sachar

    3. Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis

    4. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

    5. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

    6. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

    7. Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

    8. Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli

    9. The Call of the Wild by Jack London

    10. Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings and Patricia Reilly Giff

    11. The Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera

    12. The Witches by Roald Dahl

    13. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

    14. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

    15. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt and Gregory Maguire

  • The benefits of reading are the same whether you are reading to your child or you are listening as they bring a book to life. Never miss an opportunity to inspire a love of reading and imagination. Spend time together and make a lasting impression on your child.

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Cristel Romero is a wife and mother to three sons. She works part-time in marketing at a home health company.

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