Did you know that through an organization called The Ferst Foundation children in the state of Georgia receive free books every month? The Ferst Foundation (the link for the actual site is not working today, but this link will take you to a brochure for the program) followed in the footsteps of the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, which was started by its namesake in her home county and has spread to many other communities. Through these programs children can receive one age-appropriate book a month from birth to age 5. The first book is always The Little Engine That Could and the last book is usually Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come. If your community does not offer a program similar to these, check out the link for the Imagination Library for details on how to get one started where you live.
My kids have been receiving these books for years, and since my little ones are like many in their love of reading the same books over and over, the new books are a welcome addition to our library! Our favorite so far is the one pictured above: The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson, pictures by Axel Scheffler. It has rhyme and repetition. It has suspense and humor. It has a cute little mouse and a great big silly monster. What more could you ask for from a picture book? This is one my husband and I don't really mind reading once a week. (We still don't want to read it once a day, mind you, but once a week is alright.) If you're not on a free-book-a-month program, The Gruffalo is definitely worth buying!