I love watching my son’s eyes as we read together. Those baby blues widen as he encounters the unexpected. They smile as he celebrates with his favorite characters. They soften as he learns how to empathize with sorrow or hardship. His favorite books make him come alive!
Charlotte Mason coined the term “living books” to describe this type of literature. A living book sucks you in. It’s that book you finish in one sitting because you just can’t put it down. The characters, the prose, the story: they’re all designed to immerse you in that world. Even non-fiction living books have the ability to bring intrigue and excitement to any subject.
In addition, living books are built on quality. They’re crafted with purpose, style, and substance. No fluff. No twaddle. Just excellent writing from passionate writers.
Guess what? Preschoolers and toddlers crave living books too! Despite what those easy reader series would have you to believe, your little one thrives on deep, complex, and thoughtful stories.
Psst.. one more thing- a book doesn’t have to be ancient to be a living book! There are plenty of modern books that fall happily into the living book category. Just get out there and discover what comes alive for your child.
If you’re hesitant about jumping in with living books and the whole storytime thing, let me help you gain confidence! I can teach you the tips and tricks I use to rock read aloud time like a pro. You’ll be sure to have your kids hooked in one week! Need a storytime boost? Enroll for free in my eCourse, 7 Days to Smarter Storytime. It’s a lot of fun, and I guarantee you’ll have your little ones hanging on your every word. Join here!
I’m always on the lookout for what could be my son’s next favorite book. To help you get started, I’ve put together a few of our favorites here at home. Or, take a peek at our top picks for bedtime books. To find your child’s next favorite book, check below for my go-to living book resources and book lists!
Our Personal Favorite Living Books for Toddlers and Preschoolers
- How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World by Marjorie Priceman
- Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy Shaw
- What do People do All Day? by Richard Scarry
- Over in the Meadow (a Counting Book) by Olive A. Wadsworth
Additional Living Books Resources
- The Living Books List from Amy Lynn Andrews
- The Book List from Sarah Mackenzie at Read Aloud Revival/Amongst Lovely Things
Already a living books aficionado? Just getting started bringing living books into your home? Share your favorites in the comments below!
These books can be found at a library at no cost. Libraries also order any books their patrons request. Good books like these make every child rich in the best way.