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As parents, we want our kids to have the best life they possibly can have, and the easiest way to ensure that you are achieving this is by reading to your kids. You might be thinking that this sounds crazy, but did you know that reading to your kids can encourage their development in a myriad of ways?

Not only is reading an enjoyable activity that your kids will love- but it also is an activity that will help their vocabulary, encourage them to build problem-solving skills, enhance their imagination and encourage healthy social behaviors. With that said, the content that you read to them is just as important as the activity itself. Below, I will go over 7 books that every parent should read to their child.

1. The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein

This is a book that is beloved by many and for good reason: it is an amazing read. This book goes through the different life, love, and relationship changes that happen during our lives. Additionally, it teaches children about generosity and gratitude, which is a must.

2. Oh, The Places You’ll Go, by Dr. Suess

This book is an emotional read to be a child’s book, and it leaves you feeling a sense of hope and happiness when you finish it. The best part about this book is that it shares a very necessary message: that we are in charge of our own destinies.

3. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

Not only is this book a very interesting journey alongside a little caterpillar who grows into a beautiful butterfly, but it is also filled with beautiful art. One of the best things about this book is the message behind it, which tells us about transformation. There is a reason why everyone loves this book. It’s the perfect read for a smaller child, like a toddler or pre-k child.

4. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, by Lois Ehlert

When I saw this book at the bookstore, I knew I had to pick it up. Growing up, I loved this book. It’s a simple read, and it can be read in the form of a song. Not to mention how it easily teaches little ones how to say their ABCs.

5. The Raindrop, by Brian D. Mcclure

If you are looking for a child’s book with a deep message about how we value ourselves, this one is it. In this book, a little raindrop begins to feel worthless and meaningless. Throughout its journey, it learns about itself and finds out that it has much more value than it ever imagined.

6. Where the Sidewalk Ends, by Shel Silverstein

Shel Silverstein was not only a great writer, but also a great artist and poet. This book includes an extensive list of poetry and imagery that will be sure to empower your little one’s imagination.

7. Charlotte’s Web

While most people have seen the movie, the book is way better. In this book, a little pig named Wilbur befriends a spider named Charlotte. Charlotte creates a plan to save the piglet from the butcher and through their friendship, they find more meaning than they ever imagined.