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.
Some 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.
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.
Chad 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.
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.
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. Sarah Springer
Hard 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. : )
Dr. 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, Communications Coordinator
The 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!
Jennifer Neff, Front Office Associate, Pleasant Hills
The Giving Tree, Shel Silverstein.
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.
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, Billing Specialist
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
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.
Dr. 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!
Danielle Anthony, PA
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. My daughter and I love reading this fun alphabet rhyming story and looking at the colorful illustrations.
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!
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!
Dr. Todd Wolynn
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
Dr. 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.