Knuffle Bunny Free by Mo Willems

Knuffle Bunny and us go way back — I read the first book to my son when he was just two years old. Somehow, I didn’t get around to reading Knuffle Bunny Free — the last in the trilogy (I skipped the second book because I didn’t really like the story, though I’ll probably read it to them eventually) — to him until recently, a whopping three years later. I also took the chance to introduce the first Knuffle Bunny book to my daughter, and unsurprisingly, both books were a big hit with them.

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The Empowerment Series by Stephen Krensky and Sara Gillingham

If you think about it, childhood is when we go through some of the steepest learning curves in life — what with learning to walk, talk, read… it’s a pretty daunting list, really. And sometimes, what everyone, much less kids, needs is a little affirmation — that pat on the back to tell them that they’re doing just fine, and a little nudge in the right direction to push them to achieve more.

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Shoes for Me! by Sue Fliess and Mike Laughead

While children may own dozens of pieces of clothing which they can mix and match around with such that each item gets worn at most twice a week, unless their parents are unusually indulgent, most own an average of just two to three pairs of shoes that suffice to take them through all their traipsing and adventuring for the entire year — it’s no wonder that some kids are emotionally attached to their faithful sole companions!

Consequently, getting a new pair of shoes is cause for excitement since it usually means that the child has outgrown his or her old (and well-worn) ones.

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The Growing Story by Ruth Krauss and Helen Oxenbury

One of the paradoxes of life is that when you’re a child, all you ever want is to be a grown-up; but when you become a grown-up, you moan about growing old and wonder why you were in such a hurry to leave your carefree childhood behind in the first place. But I digress.

The Growing Story is a sweet story about a little boy who worries that he’s not growing, especially when he observes the plants and animals around him growing bigger and changing rapidly throughout the changing seasons whereas he still seems to look the same.

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Little Bear’s Little Boat by Eve Bunting and Nancy Carpenter

The process of growing up not only involves changes in appearance and size, but also emotional maturity, thanks to the combination of a gradual accruement of experience and knowledge, as well as societal expectations of us to behave a certain way by a certain age. In other words, even if you tried, you can’t help but grow up eventually — although, not without experiencing some growing pains along the way, no doubt.

In Little Bear’s Little Boat, Little Bear spends idyllic days on his beloved little boat, just rowing, fishing and dreaming on Huckleberry Lake.

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