According to a new study, the hallowed practice of bedtime reading is falling by the wayside — and that some quarter of a million children in the UK do not own a single book. This is a terrible shame, as regular bedtime stories have been shown to increase children’s performance in school, and are also awesome and can help create strong lifetime bonds, both with literature and with parents. So, from the peanut gallery of those who loved being read to (and still wouldn’t say no to a bedtime story): 50 books that every parent should read to their child. For the purposes of this list, we’re only considering books aimed primarily at children under 10 (according to the School Library Journal), which means you won’t find outstanding children’s chapter books like The Hobbit, A Wrinkle in Time, Patricia C. Wrede’s Enchanted Forest Chronicles, or C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia here, nor will you find mention of your favorite bespectacled wizard — the idea being that these are books kids are more likely to read for themselves, without your pesky interference. Of course, many parents will want to read these aloud as well, but with any luck, your kids will be sneaking the book open and reading ahead long after you’ve gone to bed. We’ve also limited ourselves, for sanity’s sake, to one book per author. And finally, though these are, in Flavorwire’s estimation, 50 books every parent should read to their child, they are not the only 50 — so add any personal favorites in the comments!
Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak
Where the Wild Things Are is Sendak’s most famous — and also was most recently read aloud to this writer by a college professor, who held it up as a classic example of a quest narrative — so it will stand for all of his wonderful works. Outside Over There and In the Night Kitchen are also not to be missed.