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I grew up on these books. If the only version of Pooh you know is from Disney, I beg of you to read the originals, with the original illustrations. Please. The language is fantastic, and will quite possibly add phrases to your family’s lexicon. The illustrations are just right, without the cutesiness of the Disney version. The books of poetry are also good, but the original two books of stories ought to be part of any child’s storybank, and any adults who missed out the first time still have the chance to catch up. Then, play a game of Poohsticks.

Author: A.A. Milne

Illustrator: E.H. Shepard

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House in the NightTitle: The House in the Night

Illustrator: Beth Krommes

Author: Susan Marie Swanson

Caldecott 2009

What a beautiful book.  Somewhat like Goodnight Moon in its repetition, but simpler and with more focus on the joy of home and hearth (and less existential).  The illustrations balance simplicity of style with complexity of content – a great book for seeking and finding with a small child.  The choice of black and white with hints of yellow makes it stand out from other goodnight books, as well.  The scratchboard illustrations are almost woodcut-like in appearance, but with more delicate detail than you might expect.  This could easily become a child’s favorite bedtime book – luckily for the adults involved.

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