Our Favorite Children’s Books

In honor of Read Across America Week, and because we love books and reading and encouraging our patients and families to do the same, we made a “Kids Plus Reading List” of some of our all-time favorite children’s books.

RAAmericaSome of us chose one, and some of us, because we had so many to choose from, couldn’t help listing a few more. It’s a pretty cool collection of some pretty amazing books, with intended readers from babies to teens and everywhere in between. They’re also perfect for adults who, like so many of us, are still kids at heart. We love all these titles, and we think you will too…

Dr. Albert Wolf

My three favorites as a kid were The Monster at the End of This Book (classic “Sesame Street”), Green Eggs and Ham (Dr. Seuss, obviously), and Penny the Medicine Maker, the Story of Penicillin. Yes, I know: what kind of weird kid has that as a favorite book? But for some reason, I loved it long before I thought I wanted to be a doctor. I can still remember the feel of the cover in my hands, even the wrinkles on the pages from reading it so often. That book is one of my strongest childhood memories.

Alyssa Papa, PA

LoveYouForeverLove You Forever by Robert Munsch.

Ellen Rubin, Lactation Consultant, Breastfeeding Center of Pittsburgh

I loved interactive reading with my children and the beautiful illustrations in We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen. I’m also fond of the nursing panda bear in Busy Pandas. And about a million more.

Dr. Amy Maddalena

Though it’s almost impossible to choose, my favorite as a child was a little-known book called Thy Friend, Obadiah by Brinton Turkle. It’s about a Quaker boy who, much to his chagrin, gets befriended by a sea gull and learns a bit about helping others. The illustrations are lovely. I still read my well-worn original copy to my kids.

61+3z1o4oULChad Hermann, Communications Director

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White. A beautiful story told in simple, beautiful prose. It’s been a favorite all my life, but my most vivid memory of it is reading to my boys and trying — and spectacularly failing — to get through Charlotte’s death without crying.

Amy Obusek, Office Manager, Pleasant Hills

The Clifford books! Hence my love for dogs. : )

Travis Lewis, PA

My favorite book to read to the kids would be The Monster at the End of This Book. Cael laughs as each turn of the page gives Grover an anxiety attack. I loved, and still love, The Night Before Christmas by Clement Moore. Growing up, my Grandma Lewis had a pop-up book version with an audio cassette. I can still remember sitting at the kitchen table, listening to the tape, and manipulating all the pictures.

Dr. Sarah Springer

littlehouseontheprairieHard to pick just one, indeed. I’ll go with the whole series of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books. They have some very dated language and views of Native Americans, but are otherwise really great stories about frontier life. (The datedness offers great opportunities to talk about how people view each other, and how we can learn to accept differences). They’ve been favorites in my family for three generations now; my Grandparents read them to my Dad & his siblings, Dad read them to my sisters & me, and I read them to my kids. My Grandmother once wrote to Laura Ingalls Wilder and received a hand-written letter in return. That’s now a cherished possession of my cousin Laura, who was named for… you guessed it!

Carrie Murphy, Director of Operations

I’m going to have to go with the Little House on the Prairie book series. My second grade teacher used to read them to us, and I just loved them. To this day, I still stop and watch the television show anytime I see it on TV.

Karen Gedman, Billing Specialist

The Rainbow Fish, by Marcus Pfister. It’s a great book about sharing and friendship. : )

ALEXANDER_TERRIBLE_HORRIBLEDr. Alicia Hartung

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst and Love You Forever by Robert Munsch are old favorites. My new favorite, based on my girls’ age, is Wonder by R.J. Palacio.

Michelle Brace, CCQC/Vaccine Manager

The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams.

Destiny Patterson, Credentialing/Administrative Specialist

I loved The Very Hungry Caterpillar and The Rainbow Fish and anything Dr. Seuss when I was little! I also liked to read my mother’s large collection of Nancy Drews, and I had almost every single Baby-Sitters Club book. As a young teen, a favorite was The Lovely Bones.

AJ Madar, Social Media/Special Projects Coordinator

LlamaLlamaThe Llama Llama books by Anna Dewdney. That little llama is so darned cute, and the series showcases him in situations kids can relate to (morning and bedtime routines, shopping with mom, etc.) Plus the books are written in simple rhymes — great for pre-readers to “read along” with. (So hard to pick just one!)

Nancy Wolfe, Financial Coordinator

Love You Forever by Robert Munsch.

Joyce Winkler, Director of Clinical Services

I Love You the Purplest by Barbara M. Joosse. I read it to my two boys every night. The book helps siblings understand how a mom can love them both equally, but in different ways. It does a beautiful job of a mom defining red-color similes for one son and blue-color similes for the other, that combine for the “Purplest” color of all for both boys!   

Lauren Lehman, CPNP

My favorite books growing up were definitely the Harry Potter series. There was something special about the whimsical idea of escaping into a world filled with magic and creativity. Reading the series was always an escape for me, and I could envision myself in another world for a time.

GivingTreeJennifer Pacella, Clinical Care Coordinator

The Giving Tree, Shel Silverstein.

Jennifer Neff, Front Office Associate, Pleasant Hills

The Giving Tree, Shel Silverstein.

Miriam Speney, Front Office Associate, Pleasant Hills

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. I can’t remember much of it now, but I would always get it from the library as a child. I also loved the Berenstain Bears and The Baby-Sitters Club books. They made me want to have my own babysitter club when I grew up (even though I never did)!

Jill Wilson, Lactation Consultant, Breastfeeding Center of Pittsburgh

My favorite for little ones is Everywhere Babies by Susan Myers. I read it to my daughter at least 10 times a day!  I love that it shows mommas breastfeeding and illustrates that families come in all shapes and sizes. When I was a teenager, I loved any book written by Scott O’Dell. Many of his books are about young women who overcome some type of challenge. My favorite was Streams to the River, River to the Sea — a fictional account of the Lewis & Clark Expedition told from Sacagawea’s point of view.

51aFaoFfiVL._SY433_BO1,204,203,200_Diana Schwab, Developmental Consultant

Amos and Boris by William Steig — a lovely story of friendship that speaks to issues about differences among people, remembering people (it’s a lovely present for a goodbye or lengthy separation), and finding friendships in the most unlikely places. It can lead to myriad conversations about remembering friends, solving problems, despair, and hope.

Brandy Hall, Front Office Lead, Pleasant Hills

Corduroy by Don Freeman.

Jessica Kalcevic, Medical Assistant, Cranberry/Seven Fields

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Eric Carle & Bill Martin Jr.

Rachel McCarrison, PNP

51pny-HGhnL._SY486_BO1,204,203,200_On the Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman. Definitely my favorite book of all time. It’s such a beautiful piece about the amazing individuality of every child, and how life is never the same when you meet your child for the first time.

Rachael Rothbauer, Billing Specialist

The Precious Moments books.

Jennifer Diserio, CRNP

The Nancy Drew series and, of course, Charlotte’s Web.

Tara Heglund, Lactation Consultant, Breastfeeding Center of Pittsburgh

Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae.

11127Dr. Ditte Karlovits

The Chronicles of Narnia. Loved it so much I wrote a sequel to the last book and won the book-writing contest for 7th grade! I have such fond memories of this imaginary world and all the action and suspense!

Paris Ciccone, Medical Assistant, Cranberry/Seven Fields

Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss.

Alyssa Collins, CMA

I always enjoyed the Curious George books, because my favorite animal has always been a monkey. I loved reading about all the trouble George would get into, and I used to wish for a real monkey as a child!

Brianna Rothbauer, PA-C

I still love the Harry Potter books — grew up with them and still read them! I also love to read On the Night You Were Born to my son!

Kristen Ricketts, Lead Billing Specialist

The Midnight Club and The Starlight Crystal by Christopher Pike, The Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell, and The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling.

Tiffany Holsen, Medical Assistant, Pleasant Hills

I had a lot of favorite books as a child. I really loved the Little Critter series by Mercer Mayer, and I also liked the Serendipity book series by Stephen Cosgrove.

Christie Manspeaker, Billing Specialist

All the Berenstain Bears books, and Superfudge by July Blume.

Margi Aumiller-Sekely, Clinical Lead, Cranberry/Seven Fields

My sisters and I always loved The Boxcar Children Series by Gertrude Chandler Warner. Instead of playing house, we would pretend we were the children in the series. We had fun trying to figure out how we too would manage to live in an abandoned boxcar!

51HsU2QLyHL._SX378_BO1,204,203,200_Lynn Brown, Front Office Associate, Sq. Hill/Greenfield

Love You Forever by Robert Munsch, because of the sweet relationship between a mother and son.  The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn, because when my son started school the book gave him the idea of how to feel like he was close to me all the time, so he would have me kiss the palm of his hand, and he would kiss mine before he would get on the bus. And Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault, because I used to make a song out of it instead of reading it, and he used to love it and laugh so hard.

Danielle Anthony, PA

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. My daughter and I love reading this fun alphabet rhyming story and looking at the colorful illustrations.

Beth Ricciuti, Lactation Consultant, Breastfeeding Center of Pittsburgh

So hard to pick just one. But my fondest memory of a book — and one I passed on to my kids — was Goodnight Moon. We read it so many times, we had the words memorized. My Mom would change the words to keep us paying attention. Instead of “Goodnight socks, goodnight clocks,” she would add, “Goodnight frog, goodnight dog.” Sounds silly now, but it always made us laugh and correct her. Fond memories!

GoodnightMoon

Dr. Todd Wolynn

Goodnight Moon. And then, when I got older, of course… The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy!

Marlo Kozar, Clinical Care Coordinator

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown.

Pam Miller, MA, Pleasant Hills

I would have to say my favorite is a book that I read to my kids is called Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney. It has a mommy and baby animals, and the mom gives the baby the reasons for her love as the theme through the book. Definitely my favorite!

Wendy Eson, Lactation Consultant & Manager, Breastfeeding Center of Pittsburgh

My favorite book as a little girl was Fourteen Bears in Summer and Winter by Evelyn Scott, with wonderful illustrations by Virginia Parsons.  The story depicts how a mother and father bear and their 12 children (11 girl bears and 1 boy bear, Theodore) live and play in summer and winter. Each bear, except little Theodore (who lives with mom and dad), has its own treehouse in the clearing of a forest. I so wanted to live in one of those houses. My other favorite, as a teenager, would be The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. Enough said.

Dr. Lucas Godinez

510ASFs+J3LDr. Seuss is a favorite author of mine, and any of his books were favorites for my children too — especially The Lorax, McEligot’s Pool, Horton Hears a Who!, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!, The Foot Book, and Green Eggs and Ham.  (Our collection is vast.) Harold and The Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson is another classic that would motivate a few drawings by the end of the next day. Of course The Giving Tree and Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein. I also enjoyed White Fang and The Call of the Wild by Jack London, as well as The Hardy Boys series as a young reader. And I will always enjoy Calvin and Hobbes.

Olivia Buterbaugh, MPA

Milk and Cookies by Frank Asch is a book I often picked up at my Grandmother’s house when I was little. It’s a simple, feel-good story that was a favorite as a child and now a favorite of my own 2-year-old’s! Another great series that I was fond of was Mercer Mayer’s Little Critter series of books. The little guy lives in “Critterville” and goes on many of life’s adventures with his friends and family… what’s not to love?!