9 best books from your childhood

Author Eric Hill, who delighted millions of children with the yellow dog Spot (while they insisted that no, they were not sleepy), passed away this week.

At first, no one wanted to publish Hill's books - the concept of "lift the flap" illustrations was too new, and too risky. Today, of course, we see books like that all the time. As a tribute to this kind and playful man, who originally drew Spot to entertain his young son, we've compiled a list of our favorite books when we were kids, including Spot, of course.

1. Where's Spot? by Eric Hill

Spot's mom Sally looks all over the house for Spot, and finds other fun friends along the way. Cutest book ever.

2. The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein

We know Silverstein as a somewhat silly poet, but his tear-jerking story of a tree who gives up everything for his little human friend is an absolute winner every time.

3. If You Give A Mouse A Cookie, by Laura Joffe Numeroff and Felicia Bond

An adorable, ambitious mouse asks for a cookie, and then some.

4. The Magic School Bus (series), by Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen

EVERYONE watched this TV show in elementary school. Besides being funny, colorful and musical, the TV show was incredibly smart and actually taught you something. Thanks for helping us use our imaginations, Joanna and Bruce.

5. Green Eggs & Ham, by Dr. Seuss

Where even is Dr. Seuss these days? His books are classic, and this one teaches the hidden lesson of "just try it, you might like it". In today's world of contrived lessons for young'ins, the surprising subtlety of learning in Dr. Seuss' books is a hit with kids and parents alike.

6. Corduroy, by Don Freeman

A teddy bear loses a button on his overalls, and searches a deserted department store at night for a replacement. Adorable antics ensue.

7. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, by Bill Martin Jr., John Archambault and Lois Ehlert

Chicka chicka boom boom! Will there be enough room?
Teachers loved this book because kids got to shout and get some energy out of their systems. The colorful drawings, as well as alphabet learning, remain a fun read today.

8. Busy, Busy Town, by Richard Scarry

Busytown is a fun place where smart and friendly animals live (personal favorite: Lowly Worm. He drives a car shaped like an apple, get it?). These books taught kids about different jobs people have, and the function of a town.

9. The Berenstain Bears (series), by Stan and Jan Berenstain

Besides the fact that "Stan and Jan Berenstain" sounds made up, these books are the epitome of awesome. Each one dealt with a particular "kid" issue: sibling rivalry, junk food, not doing chores, etc. and solved it with humor and warmth, every time. I'm getting nostalgic just thinking about it.

Whether you're attending a kid's birthday party or stocking up your own child's bookshelf, these tomes are safe bets for any kind of kid. Happy reading!
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