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There are few things a parent can do that are more beneficial than reading to and with their children. Reading not only gives kids a head start for school and improves their comprehension skills, but engages their mind and stokes their imagination like no other activity.

Reading is an act of bonding that will last a lifetime — how many adults do you know that don’t remember their favorite childhood tale? Check out these seven books that are sure to inspire your little ones.

Reading With Your Children Will Not Only Help Them Learn, But Open Whole New Worlds To Their Imagination.
Reading with your children will not only help them learn, but open whole new worlds to their imagination.

There’s a Wocket in my Pocket, Dr. Seuss

Although not at famous as The Cat in the Hat or How the Grinch Stole Christmas, There’s a Wocket in My Pocket is perhaps the greatest — and certainly among the most underrated — book that Dr. Seuss ever penned.

Using his trademark rhyme and brilliant animation, Wocket urges kids to embrace their differences as it takes the reader on a wild ride with an eccentric cast of characters that live in the house of the book’s human subject.

The Digging-Est Dog, Al Perkins

There are few books ever written that highlight the virtue of persistence better than this 1967 classic by Al Perkins and illustrated by Erik Gurney.

Bring your little one along on the exploits of a lovable but mischievous dog whose penchant for digging first lands him in trouble but finally renders him a hero.

The Best Nest, P.D. Eastman

There truly is no place like home, and this P.D. Eastman classic chronicles the journey of two birds that will stop at nothing to find one of their very own. Fraught with disappointments and near disasters, this touching book extolls the virtues of being satisfied with something good, and makes clear through classic animation that if you’re always looking for more, you could wind up with nothing.

Sam and the Firefly, P.D. Eastman

This odd-couple adventure brings the bonds of friendship to light — the brilliant light of a firefly’s tail, that is — as two unlikely pals find misadventure in mischief. When pranks bring trouble, one abandons the other — only to see him come to his rescue at the end. Although it was written in 1958, the idea that true pals never part is a theme that never gets old.

I Wish That I Had Duck Feet, Theo. LeSieg

Be careful what you wish for — you just might get it. Perhaps no book ever written sums up the warning of that old adage better than this Dr. Seuss classic.

After a series of radical transformations that start out great, but soon produce unforeseen consequences, a little boy learns that sometimes it’s best to just be yourself.

Start With The Classics, And Then Discover New Books That Will Become Classics To Your Own Family.
Start with the classics, and then discover new books that will become classics to your own family.

A Fly Went By, Mike McClintock

In this charming tale by Mike McClintock and illustrated by Fritz Siebel, the domino effect of the ecosystem is brought to life. Your child will learn that everything — big and small — plays an important role and that when something happens to one of us, it can affect us all.

The Big Honey Hunt, Stan Berenstain

This 1962 instant classic is the flagship of The Berenstain Bears franchise. The first of more than 300 titles that have sold more than 260 million copies, it would be nothing short of tragic to deprive your little one of this entry into the world of perhaps the most beloved cast of characters in the history of children’s books.

Virtually all pediatricians, educators, and child-development experts agree that reading to your children on a regular basis can make all the difference in their development through childhood. Start with these classics to inspire them and then discover new favorites that become classics of your own!

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Andrew Lisa is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. He has profiled a number of business leaders, including Gary Crittenden.

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