Some of the best lessons and memories we can give our children come from the time we spend reading with them.

THE TAKE OF KALE by Lisa Borden
The original story for this book was conceived and created by my daughter, Joey, when she was 8 years old. Andy, the main character, and my youngest son, is a true character in real life and teaches our family a lot, with much enjoyment and love (mixed with some frustration!). It is my hope that children of all ages will understand and experience food in ways that are fun and relevant to their everyday lives by reading The Tale of Kale.

THE GIVING TREE by Shel Silverstein
I love Shel Silverstein, and his books should all be part of your home library, but the Giving Tree has a special place on your reading list because it is a simple story, with so much meaning, and simple illustrations to trigger your child’s imagination and strike up many conversations. Most outwardly, it highlights the wonderful lesson of generosity, love and appreciation.

THE MISSING PIECE by Shel Silverstein
Another Shel Silverstein classic where the simple black and white line art illustrations will entertain and interest all ages. This book should be bought as a hardcover and read at all ages and stages of life. The circle (main character) feels that finding its Missing Piece will make it happy. But, upon finding a “perfect” Missing Piece, the circle realizes that it can no longer enjoy many of its favourite activities. Great (and fun) way of realizes the importance of a good adventure, a strong identity and self-worth and of course, true happiness.

This book teaches young chefs to make sense of recipes and discover that food is more than just a prepackaged meal. Reading this book with your kids will inspire them to eat better, try new flavors, and understand what’s on their plate.

THE LORAX by Dr. Seuss
This book is a must-read for young eco-lovers. The Lorax speaks for the trees (and for the other whimsical creatures being threatened by mass production and consumption). The Lorax is not only an ecological warning, but also a lesson to kids, that caring for nature can make a difference!

Not one of the best-known Dr. Seuss titles, but definitely tops my long list of books to read (and gift). This colourful rhyming story is a incredible, fun read and starts kids expressing themselves, and understanding their moods, feelings and emotions too. We all have grey days, but reading this will definitely make it a yellow one!

MILO’s ADVENTURES: A STORY ABOUT LOVE by Frankie Nelson, BJ Barone, and Debbie Donsky
This book illustrates how families are different in so many ways, but the common thread we all should be focused on is that family is about love. Not only does this beautiful storybook have heart, it also serves as a useful tool to explain and open discussion about surrogacy to their children.

MY NEW BEST FRIEND by Sara Marlowe
Like all of the books on this kidlit list, My New Best Friend’s story is still relevant for adults too. We know to treat people with extra kindness and understanding, especially when they might be struggling with something, but why don’t we always do the same for ourselves? My New Best Friend suggests beautifully that children treat themselves with kindness, encouraging  self-compassion, positive self-esteem, and the understanding we need to be our own best friends, always!