Reading early and often offers a ton of benefits, both for kids and for their parents. Not only does it build language skills, it also increases the ability to visualize and use imaginative thinking to foster empathy and understanding. Reading also provides a moment of quiet in which parent and child may bond without distraction. Opportunities like that often seem increasingly hard to come by, but even just one story at bedtime helps to create a habit that has lifelong benefits.
These titles are a mix of classics and newer works that I've loved reading and sharing over the years. Try to talk to your child about what you're reading, whether it’s together or solo, and see what they think of the book. Not only will this help you to find other future favorites, but it will provide insight into how they are thinking and growing in other ways as well. Parent tip: If reading is a less-desired activity, I've found that setting up a book picnic with lemonade and snacks helps to sell summertime reading. Enjoy!