Well, the Holiday season is rolling in, and this brings to mind the fabulous "Auld Lang Syne", which reminds us not to forget old acquaintances, and if you are me, old books either.
Here are a couple of very old goodies that if you haven't read, you really should. Wee Gillis by Munro Leaf is a gem from 1938. This story is about Wee Gillis, who can't decide which of his clans he should live with, as his mother and father come from different people. This is great for 4+, but if you can make the Scottish accents, you will fascinate your children even earlier than that. As an aside, Munro Leaf also did The Story of Ferdinand, the bull who likes flowers.
Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel, by Virginia Lee Burton is great for the younger set that are obsessed with construction sites, but for this story to really shine, 4+ makes it ring clear. Mike Mulligan and Maryann are rendered obsolete by fancier and newer models, but using heart and hard work, they show that they still have a place in the world.
The Fire Cat by Esther Averill follows the story of Pickles the Fire Cat, who goes from being a menace to kittens and cats everywhere to becoming a fire cat, and a hero. This has a great underlying message of how great things can still happen to those who have a rough start. 3+
A Fish out of Water by Helen Palmer should be billed as a child's first monster story. A boy gets a fish and is warned not to feed it too much. Naturally he does, and the fish won't stop growing. When it finally exceeds the size of a swimming pool, he has to finally admit his misdeeds to have the situation fixed. Absolutely captivating, and a great favorite of my girls from 18 months and up.
Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion is a classic that is so fun! Harry doesn't want to get a bath. He goes rogue, and gets as dirty as he can, but will his family be able to recognize him again? There is so much to look at in this book that while the plot doesn't really pull together for little kids until 2, I started my girls on this one earlier than that.