Our Favorite Friends in the Early Years

Books become friends and many of the books on this list make me smile just typing their names down. We loved them and spent many days pouring over their pages and enjoying their illustrations.

Many of you asked what we used in the early years of home education. In my last post, I talked about philosophy of education. here   But some of you wanted examples of what we chose in particular. Although each family will have different tastes, here is a list of some of my  favorite picture books and read alouds.


Charlotte Mason was very particular about the illustrations shown to children. They were to be uplifting and inspiring, not merely entertaining. These books, in our opinion, have both qualities.

Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey*
Make Way For Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
One Morning in Maine by Robert McCloskey

Winnie the Pooh series by AA Milne and Ernest H. Shepard **

 A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson Illustrations by Jessie Wilcox Smith or Tasha Tudor(if you are a New Englander.)

Prayer for a Child by Rachel Field, illustrated by Elizabeth Orton Jones

Aesop’s Fables, illustrated by Milo Winter

My First Bible in Pictures by Kenneth Taylor

Frog and Toad readers by Arnold Lobel
Little Bear readers by Else Holmelund Minarek
Frances series by Russell Hoban

Are You My Mother? by P. D. Eastman

Billy & Blaze and others by C. W. Anderson

Courage of Sarah Noble by Alice Dalgliesh

Favorite Read Alouds: 

Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling

Egermeier’s Bible Story Book by Elsie E. Egermeier

James Herriot’s Treasury for Children by James Herriot

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

Sarah Morton’s Day and others by Kate Waters

Stuart Little, Trumpet of the Swan, Charlotte’s Web by E.B.White

This is just a small list. If you’ve been to my home, you know we have quite a few books. The idea when choosing a children’s book is that it does not “talk down” to a child or merely entertain them.

What are your favorite read alouds? Who is your favorite illustrator?

*Every summer, before we would go blueberry picking, I would read Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey to my kids. Years later, they told me that they hated sitting down to read before the actual event of blueberry picking. Seems it was like some kind of torture to a kid.  :)

**Not the new cartoon series. This is the original series: Winnie-The-PoohThe House at Pooh CornerWhen We Were Very YoungNow We Are Six.

 



2 comments

  1. Cora says:

    We have a few of the same ones:

    Winnie the Pooh– all original too. I love A A Milne’s poems

    Aesop’s Fables– my Thadd still has his copy in his bedroom.

    Little Bear– my Finn loves the cartoon as well. I like to pretend that they are a family of Plain Quaker bears.

    Just So Stories– Kipling is just amazing.

    Thanks for sharing your list :)

    • SJBeals says:

      It was hard to just write down a few titles, know what I mean? So many good books, so little time! :)