Mom's top 10 book list for toddlers

The Monitor asked parents to submit their favorite books to read with their toddlers in an informal Facebook survey. Our survey revealed that many of the books that parents cherish most are those that they remember reading as children. Here are the top ten recommendations of stories that are sure to hold up through endless readings – we can't make any promises about the pages of the book, though.

9. 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar' by Eric Carle

Eric Carle's "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" has become a childhood icon in its own right. The story details the life-cycle of a butterfly, starting with a tiny egg, which hatches into a very hungry caterpillar and eventually blossoms into a beautiful butterfly. The story reinforces several early childhood topics, including the days of the week, counting, and life-cycles. "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" was first published by G.P. Putnam and Sons in 1969, when the New York Times immediately declared the book one of the 10 best children's books of the year. The story has won numerous awards and spawned a variety of toys and games. 

Other titles written and illustrated by Mr. Carle include "Little Cloud," "A House for Hermit Crab," and "Papa, Will You Get the Moon For Me?"

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

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