March 2 Is Read Across America Day!

Today is the National Endowment for the Arts’ (NEA) Read Across America Day, coinciding with Dr. Seuss’ birthday (he would have been 108 years old today!).

On March 2, the NEA leads this reading motivation and awareness program that calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading.

Celebrate Reading!

In cities and towns across America, teachers, librarians, parents, and children are taking part in reading activities; governors and mayors are recognizing the role reading plays in their communities with proclamations; athletes and actors are issuing reading challenges to young readers.

Why is reading important?

Here’s my teacher’s perspective:

* develops the mind
* is fundamental to functioning in today’s society
* is a building block for all learning
* brings us new discoveries
* creates a strong self-image
* develops imagination and creativity
* is FUN!

To celebrate March 2, Time Out Kids, partnering with the New York Public Library, has come up with its list of the Top 50 Children’s Books of All Time.

Here are the Top 5 from their list – see what you think!

Top Five Children’s Books

(Adapted from Top 50 Children’s Books of all Time)

1. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
. Hard to disagree with this choice. The illustrations are awesome and lead kids to explore their wild side before returning home to a dinner of hot soup. That said, my then-4-year-old son was terrified at first reading of this book.

2. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White. 
“Where’s Papa going with that axe?” What a great first line! What follows is an animal tale, told with a child’s wit and wisdom, that kids remember and love long after they’ve put it down.

3. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Clement Hurd. I love this book, as did my son; I think we read it every night for a year, and he never tired of it. This is pure magic 
 Amazingly, the quintessential bedtime story wasn’t a hit in its day (1947), but the sheer levels of comfort it offers have made it a go-to book for generations of families.

4. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
. Here’s another novel that can be read over and over without losing its magic. Rowling is an awesome storyteller, and ten years ago she inspired a whole new generation of young readers.

5. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
. First published in 1969, this book has now sold over 12 million copies, so Carle must be doing something right. All the more reason to admire what might well be the world’s most perfect picture book. As Carle himself once said of his work, it’s a book of hope for any child who feels small and helpless and wonders if they’ll ever grow up.

What do you think of these five? What are your favorite children’s books?

And now I think I’ll head over to the library and pick up a good book. Let the reading begin!

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Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson3 years ago

:) I just read my son's favorite book to him. We love books in THIS house!

John Mansky
John Mansky3 years ago

Thank you for the article...

Keevin Shultz
Keevin Shultz3 years ago

I'm going to wait for the movie.

Carole Cherne
Carole Cherne3 years ago

Love you, Dr Seuss!

jayasri amma
jayasri amma3 years ago

Thanks. Think I might read today. Maybe

Eco M I A MoonWalk Again

Thank you for sharing.

paula eaton
paula eaton3 years ago

Read what you can before the GOP starts book burning and censorship.

Jack Taylor
Jack Taylor3 years ago

Thanks. Think I might read today. Maybe.

Tim Cheung
Tim C.3 years ago


Barbara DeFratis
Barbara DeFratis3 years ago

Basically, I think so. I have to admit to hearing of 'Where The Wild Things Are', but I do not remember reading it or reading it to either of my sons. 'Charlot's Web', I definately remember, since that and the 'Velvettene Bunny' were two of my childhood favorites that I just had to read to my sons. I have to admit I remember the "Harry Potter' Series through the movies and my older son reading the books, but at the time I was working too many hours to have the luxury of the time to do that much reading. After all, without their Dad alive any more, someone's number 1 job had to be--to pay the bills, since I was the only adult in the room--it became mine. 'The Happy Caterpiller' is another one, sounds good, but do not remember at all.