Day 24: Reading Rain

by ashleighpenrod

For obvious reasons, many us have been thinking about children this week.

Side note: If you missed President Obama’s moving, loving, funny and horribly sad remarks on Sunday evening, you can watch them in full at

In memory of the beautiful kids who are no longer with us and the beautiful future kids residing in many of my friends’ bellies, here is a list of children’s books I continue to love:

A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams
After a fire destroys their home, Rosa, her mother and her grandmother save all their coins in a jar until they can purchase a big, cozy chair together. Family love trumps all.


Imogene’s Antlers by David Small
Easy-going Imogene wakes up one morning to find she has sprouted antlers. The story is funny and sweet, and illustrates children’s abilities to persevere smilingly, even when their respective adults lose their cool.


Stone Soup by Marcia Brown
It’s an old, enduring, sneaky story about feeding a town with a soup made of stones. Once everyone adds a little “garnish”—a carrot here, a potato there—a stone soup becomes a delicious and nourishing meal. When we all work together, we all eat together.


Mousekin’s Golden House by Edna Miller
It’s not about ghosts, candy or costumes, but there is a Halloween pumpkin. A mouse finds an abandoned jack-o-lantern and makes it into a home for the winter. Whether in a squash or an apartment, home is what you make it.

Mouskin's Golden House

The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown
Who doesn’t love this book? Clement Hurd’s artwork gorgeously illustrates a story of a mother who will always be there for her bunny, even when he runs.

The Runaway Bunny

Ivy Cottage (Biscuit, Buttons & Pickles) by E.J. Taylor
Miss Biscuit, a retired nanny, moves to the countryside with Violet Pickles, an adorable anthropomorphized rag doll who is unhappy about the move. Luckily, Miss Biscuit is a brilliant seamstress and creates Ruby Buttons, a new rag doll friend for Violet. It’s a lovely story about creating your own happiness.

Ivy Cottage

I could go on forever about great children’s books. For more current stories, check out And read this great New York Times opinion article about what kids should be reading these days.