A reader left this comment a few weeks ago:
Your poem today brought to the front of my mind a question that had been simmering unanswered in the back of my mind for quite some time. I have always read to my children and up until last year those children have been girls. Now I have a son to read to and while many books we have would be good for any child some are simply too dolls and tea parties for a boy to enjoy. Most of the children’s books we own were mine and my sister’s as children. Others have been chosen by my daughters or given to them. Having read and loved all these girl books makes me wonder what will I read to him. Do you have any suggestions of books for little boys that should not be missed?
I am still of the opinion that girls are more likely to enjoy “boy books” than boys are to enjoy “girl-y books.” (Many would argue with me.) So your girls may have enjoyed these picture books, too, but in my opinion, no boy should miss these ten books, with a bonus in the last entry on the list:
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton. Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel, Mary Anne, promise that they can dig the cellar for the new Popperville town hall in just one day. Can they really do it?
Obadiah the Bold by Brinton Turkle. A young Quaker boy on Nantucket Island decides to become a pirate when he grows up, but he’s dissuaded after he’s forced to walk the plank (pretend) by his older siblings.
Drummer Hoff by Ed Emberly. Drummer Hoff fired it off. It’s not for the anti-gun (or cannon) crowd, but for little boys, it’s perfect.
Bored –Nothing To Do! by Peter Spier.Two boys build an airplane out of junk found around the house. Then, they have to un-build it and put everything back.
Billy and Blaze by C.W. Anderson. A boy. A horse. A contest. What else do you need to make a classic, satisfying story?
The Bicycle Man by Allen Say. Some American servicemen visit a Japanese country school, and one of the soldiers can do some pretty amazing tricks on a bicycle.
Tikki Tikki Tembo by Arlene Mosel. How would you like to be a first son and have the great long name of Tikki Tikki Tembo No Sa Rembo Chari Bari Ruchi Pip Peri Pembo? How would you like it if your great long name endangered your life?
Ira Sleeps Over by Bernard Waber. Ira is invited to his first sleep over at his friend Reggie’s house. Determined to have fun, fun, fun, and be very brave, neither boy will admit that he sleeps with a teddy bear — at first.
The Hole in the Dike by Norma Green. This book, with illustrations by Eric Carle, tells the traditional story of the little Dutch boy who held back the sea with his finger in the dike to save Holland from being flooded.
Any book by Gail Gibbons about building and running things: Trucks, Fill It Up!, Up Goes the Skyscraper, New Road!, Fire! Fire! and many other nonfiction titles about how things work.
Readers and friends, what books would you recommend to read aloud to little boys?