Our favourite children’s books plus the nursery bookcase

Bookcase in the nursery

One of the earliest things Matt and I did when we found out we were having a baby was buy our favourite children’s books. We each enjoy reading and we love the large book collection we have, so we want the same for our child.

Our two favourite children's books

For Matt, his book was A Woggle of Witches. He didn’t have this book growing up, but he checked it out of the library nearly every week. For him, he’s all about the pictures in this book, and he couldn’t really remember the story–or even the title until his Mom helped him.

A Woggle of Witches

The witches are afraid of the trick or treaters, even the cute little ghost dog.

For me, my book was an old anthology of Little Golden Book stories. I remember being read so many stories in this book. By far, my favourite is Jill’s Jack, the story of a young girl and her extremely friendly boxer puppy (it could easily be titled Julia and Bax IMO).

Children's story Jill's Jack

Children's story Jill's Jack

This particular anthology was published in 1951, so I was not optimistic that we’d be able to find a copy. But Matt found one on eBay and bought it for me for my birthday.

Beyond our two favourites, we’ve been gifted a lot of beautiful books, and we’ve built a great library for Ellie.

To hold the library I found an Ikea Hemnes bookcase on Kijiji for half what we would have paid new. Since the old backing was falling apart, I bought a piece of beadboard and installed that instead, and then I painted everything a nice clean white.

The bookcase fits perfectly in the corner beside the window and actually helps to balance our crazy off-centre window. Children’s books are not very thick, so we have plenty of space to tuck in some toys, mementos and extra storage. Plus I like that the bookcase will grow with Ellie as her library expands.

Turquoise gender neutral nursery

Ellie is now at the stage that she’s enjoying stories, and I’m loving working our way through her collection with a few books everyday.

Do you have a favourite book that you read your children (or perhaps was read to you)? I’d love to get more recommendations. How do you store children’s books at your house?

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17 thoughts on “Our favourite children’s books plus the nursery bookcase

  1. I can’t remember that far back I’m afraid but the Mudlets love the Julia Donaldson books and in particular: The Gruffalo, Room on the Broom and Tiddler.

    If you can get it over there, another favourite was ‘Six Dinner Sid’ about a very greedy cat, and ‘Melroses’ smile’ which is a heart warming book guaranteed to bring a smile to your face. Another favourite set for my girls are the ‘Hairy McClary from Donaldsons Dairy’ books and let’s not forget the ‘Old Bear’ books …….. oh and ‘Winnie the Witch’ …… well you did ask!

    My girls love their books and the ones listed above will NEVER be rehomed. As for storage – on book shelves for the most part but I very often will come across one under a pillow, no doubt read, under a duvet, by the light of a torch 😀

  2. For the older baby age, mine love the Babybug magazine, always available at library book sales around here. They are really cute, and even the four year old is still in to them.

  3. The only books I remember are Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman and anything by Richard Scarry. I bought The Biggest Word Book Ever for my grandson and it was almost as tall as he was at 21 months!

  4. The Elephant and Piggie books by Mo Willems are favourites among the JK/Sk kids (and Piper still loves them at almost 9 years old!). Mo Willems also writes other books (like Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs) – which we love, but the Elephant and Piggie ones are the favourite. Shel Silverstein was a favourite of mine growing up, as were the Jillian Jiggs books, and Amelia Bedelia. We have all of them. Growing up, I would get “Garbage Delight” by Dennis Lee out of the library every week. I bought a copy of the original version at a library sale long before I had kids, as well as the updated version they republished about 10 years ago. My favourite poem was Suzy Grew a Moustache – a really terrible poem that probably should never have been published…..lol.

  5. This is a topic that’s near and dear to my heart. My favorite children’s book author is Shirley Hughes; her books are just wonderful. Check out one called Dogger and I think you will be sold on her. Dogger is great starting at around age 3 or 4 but she has lots of wonderful stories. My sister lived in England for 20 years where she was a children’s book critic, so she sent boxes of books for me every year when I was little (she is way older than me), then she continued the tradition for my children. There’s a set of little white books by John Burningham called the Little Book series, and they are extremely accessible for very young children and babies. Ours were read to tatters. There’s one called The Blanket that I overheard my daughter “reading” when she was only one year old. She turned each page and said “banket” with varying emotions (worry when the character first was looking for it, then sad when it was clearly lost, joy when it was found, etc), and had clearly fully grasped the deep meaning of the story. My sister later wrote the story of one-year-old Claire reading that book into one of her own publications. Those books are also lovely and short, great for if you don’t have a ton of time or want a quick attention-changer. Two books by authors Janet and Allan Ahlberg are also wonderful for early access. One is called Peepo (that’s the British version, and I do believe there’s an American version called Peek-a-Boo), and the other is called The Baby’s Almanac. Both are picture-rich, with tons of tiny every-day details in the illustrations that are endlessly fascinating for little ones. With more than one child I have found myself reading Almanac each and every day (and it’s not short, if you do the pictures justice!)
    I could go on and on! But those three authors in and of themselves could make the backbone of a fabulous baby’s library, even without all your beautiful books you already have. I love how Matt took A Woggle of Witches out of the library almost every week. He must have loved it so! The picture above is lovely – moody and evocative. And your Jill and Jack story is fab. I love the hearts going out in every direction. Too funny! Does your Little Golden Book anthology have A Day on the Farm? That’s currently one of my grandson’s favorites. I just looked it up; there are quite a few farm stories in the Golden series. I have quite a few Goldens. (I still have a large children’s book collection. I am that grandma that reads on every visit, and we go to the library after every swimming lesson.)
    Okay, must get back to studying… This was an absolute tailor-made distraction for me, but I have a biology exam tonight… X(
    Enjoy the heck out of these days, Julia. They are so precious, even if the moments can be difficult at times.

  6. My favorite gift to give at baby showers is a few of my favorite books!

    I agree with the above Golden Book series and Richard Scarry suggestions. My all-time favorite books are The Boxcar Children series by Gertrude Chandler Warner.

    But when I think back to other books that have remained in my memory they include:

    The Monster At The End Of This Book by Jon Stone
    Socks For Supper by Jack Kent
    Stone Soup by Marcia Brown

    And of course ANYTHING by Dr. Seuss!!

  7. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. I loved reading this book to my kids. And anything by Sandra Boynton. The Very Hungry Caterpiller. (My brother took that out of the library every week. The librarians knew this so they would check it in and put it on the shelf for him to find as he ” looked” for a new book.

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