Arwen Elys Dayton | The Children’s Book Review | January 22, 2016
Written by Cynthia Rylant
I read every book in this series to all three of my kids, and then as they got older, they read them out loud to me and to each other. My youngest child’s name is Imogen, and her older sister, at age five, pointed out that “Imogen has ‘Mudge’ in her name,” and from then on Mudge has been one of Imogen’s nicknames. Cynthia Rylant writes simply, elegantly and emotionally. I still get a little teared up thinking about certain books in this series like “The Wild Wind” and “The Happy Cat.”
Ages 5-8 | Publisher: Simon Spotlight | 1996
Harry Potter (all of them!)
Written by J.K. Rowling
I started reading the Harry Potter series to my kids when they were, I think, six and seven years old. We read every book out loud as a family and sometimes, when my husband was away on business, he would call in to listen to us reading so he wouldn’t be left out. How do you thank an author for creating something so special that it became part of the very fabric of your family?
Ages 10 and up | Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Written and Illustrated by Kevin Henkes
Owen has a blanket called Fuzzy that goes everywhere he goes and is his dearest companion. My youngest had a blanket called Pink, that was just as vital and also as disgusting as Fuzzy. All of us in the Dayton family loved reading Owen, which made us cackle with laugher at its accuracy. And when it came time—finally—to cut Pink up into little pieces and dispose of them one by one, it was good to know that this path had been pioneered by Owen.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Greenwillow Books | 1993 | ISBN-13: 978-0688114497
Written and Illustrated by Arnold Lobel
I grew up reading the Frog and Toad books, and it was such a joy to read them with my own kids. Arnold Lobel, in his direct and moving way, breathes so much life into his characters. We laughed with (and sometimes at) Toad, and commiserated with Frog, but mostly we admired their endless friendship.
Ages 5-8 | Publisher: Scholastic
Written by Else Holmelund Minarik
If you don’t fall in love with this book on first reading, then I’m not sure we can be friends. In addition to wonderful illustrations by Maurice Sendak, this book gives us antsy siblings, a very funny story within the story about alligators (such a good opportunity to break out your character voices when reading aloud), and lots of sweet love between family members.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: HarperCollins | 1978 | ISBN-13: 978-0064440158
About Arwen Elys Dayton
Arwen Elys Dayton spends months doing research for her stories. Her explorations have taken her around the world to places like the Great Pyramid at Giza, Hong Kong and its many islands, and lots of ruined castles in Scotland.
Arwen lives with her husband and their three children on the West Coast of the United States.
Written by Arwen Elys Dayton
Publisher’s Synopsis: For readers of Game of Thrones and Marie Lu: Traveler, the sequel to Seeker.
Quin Kincaid is a Seeker. Her legacy is an honor, an ancient role passed down for generations. But what she learned on her Oath night changed her world forever. Quin pledged her life to deception. Her legacy as a Seeker is not noble but savage. Her father, a killer. Her uncle, a liar. Her mother, a casualty. And the boy she once loved is out for vengeance, with her family in his sights. Yet Quin is not alone. Shinobu, her oldest companion, might now be the only person she can trust. The only one who wants answers as desperately as she does. But the deeper they dig into the past, the darker things become. There are long-vanished Seeker families, shadowy alliances, and something else: a sinister plan begun generations ago, with the power to destroy them all.
The past is close. And it will destroy them all.
Ages 14+ | Publisher: Delacorte Press | 2016 | 978-0385744126