Reading to your kids for at least 20 minutes a day greatly increases your children's success in school by giving them a stronger aptitude for learning. It can help with their speech development, reasoning and logical thinking, as well as their overall communication skills. The benefits are great, not to mention the valuable time it gives you with your little one.

Life is busy and it is hard to even fit in bath time. Setting aside 20 minutes seems almost impossible. However, the benefits in doing so are priceless. Even if you have to push bedtime 20 minutes later, do it. In doing so, you are giving yourself 10 precious hours a month of uninterrupted bonding time with your child. How could you ever regret that? Start a reading regime now. Here are 15 must-reads to get you started.

  1. The 100 Dresses by Eleanor Estes

  2. Guess How Much I love You by Sam McBartney illustrated by Anita Jeram

  3. Oh, the Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss

  4. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

  5. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

  6. The Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Andersen

  7. Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney

  8. Mr. Men and Little Miss Collections by Roger Hargreaves

  9. The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt

  10. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin and John Archambault

  11. The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson

  12. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

  13. We're Going On a Bear Hunt by Helen Oxenbury and Michael Rosen

  14. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown and Clemenet Hurd

  15. Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman

Just because our children can't (or maybe wont) sit on our lap anymore, doesn't mean they don't want to enjoy a book or two with you. You might not need to read to them anymore, but consider reading with your child to encourage a continued love of reading. Reverse the roles and listen to your child read to you. Here are 15 books you can enjoy with your pre-teen or teen.

  1. The Giver by Lois Lowry

  2. Holes by Louis Sachar

  3. Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis

  4. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

  5. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

  6. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

  7. Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

  8. Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli

  9. The Call of the Wild by Jack London

  10. Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings and Patricia Reilly Giff

  11. The Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera

  12. The Witches by Roald Dahl

  13. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

  14. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

  15. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt and Gregory Maguire

The benefits of reading are the same whether you are reading to your child or you are listening as they bring a book to life. Never miss an opportunity to inspire a love of reading and imagination. Spend time together and make a lasting impression on your child.

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