On Raising Voracious, Conscious Readers
I get asked for childrens’ book recommendations ALL. THE. TIME. Since Ximena was born, it seems like that is probably THE #1 parenting question I get asked. Maybe it is because I have been so vocal about my passion for children’s literature. Ximena is not yet an independent reader, but I made it my mission in life to make her a voracious one. Growing up, reading was my escape. To punish me, my mom used to literally HIDE my books from me. I loved the written word so much, that I decided to study it more formally in college.
After college, my first professional job involved managing an early literacy program through our local library. My colleagues and I went to different preschools across the Coachella Valley reading books to kids, talking to their parents about the importance of reading, and connecting with teachers on the same. #Heaven
Suffice it to say that raising readers is of the utmost importance to me. I have been taking Ximena to the library weekly since she was 10 months old, (and now Xavi, too!) and every week, we check out a new set of books. Together, we have read, and recently started listening to, thousands of books.
In college, one of my favorite professors of all time was Dr. Lopez. I took a children’s literature class with her, and there, we discussed how radical thinking starts EARLY, and is often informed by what we read to children. Thus, I have committed to not only share my love of reading with my children, but also to show them themselves in books (because diversity in children's literature matters, and #RepresentationMatters always), but also show them different worlds, too (families of all shapes, colors and flavors), and that ultimately, not ALL princesses wear pants (though they can if they so choose).
So, without further ado, a comprehensive list of my all-time favorite children’s books THUS FAR. Because though we have read thousands of books together, we have so many more to discover!
Chrysanthemum | The Book With No Pictures | I Like Myself | It Doesn’t Have to be This Way | Ada Twist, Scientist | The Life of - La Vida de Selena | Chato’s Kitchen | Elena’s Serenade | Abuelo y Los Tres Osos | Lucia the Luchadora | And Tango Makes Three | Julián is a Mermaid | Antonio’s Card | Furquan’s First Flat Top | Viva Frida | Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls | Last Stop on Market Street | Princesses Wear Pants | Islandborn | Another | Because | Farolitos for Abuelo | Say Something | Diana Dances
Tell me, what were some of your favorite books growing up? What books are your kids into? Leave your comments below, or on my instagram page!
Thanks for following along!