Children's Book Recommendations

Books your children will love

Is it time to freshen up your personal collection or hit up your local Chicago Public Library? The staff at Marillac St. Vincent have some great recommendations to add to your child’s book shelf.

Reading to children, beginning at infancy, can help them acquire crucial language skills and stimulate their imaginations. In celebration of World Book Day, Marillac St. Vincent staff have submitted their favorite children’s books. The list includes classics like Dr. Suess’ “Oh, the Places You’ll Go” and C.S. Lewis’ “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” to books by up-and-coming authors like Aisha Tempestt, with “Just Like Mommy” from Tempestt’s Maddy Series.

In addition to the children’s lit list below, MSV staff were asked to recommend a book that inspired them to carry out the mission of MSV or informed their work in some way. That list can be found here.

Llama Llama Red Pajama

by Anna Dewdney

Recommended by Monique Milburn, Admissions Coordinator - "This book teaches children patience, social skills, and emotional skills. I used to read it daily to students and my own child. Great book!"

Red: A Crayon's Story

by Michael Hall

Recommended by Edie Morris, Art Therapist - "Reading this book is a great way to talk about identity, acceptance of others, and learn to identify colors!"

Super Red Riding Hood

by Claudia Dávila

Recommended by Rebecca Darland, Pre-K Teacher - "A great version of Red Riding Hood that shows how brave, strong, kind, and super girls are."

Oh, The Places You'll Go

by Dr. Seuss

Recommended by Lauren Jeffries, Admissions Coordinator - "This book delivers a strong message about trying new things, keeping an open mind, and how important it is to seize new opportunities. It offers wisdom for navigating this journey called life. In the words of Dr. Seuss: 'And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)'"

The Maddy Series: Just Like Mommy

by Tempestt Aisha

Recommended by Lanise R. Washington, Doula and Parent Educator - "A great series of books for children and their parents. They are age-appropriate and fun!"

Something Beautiful

by Sharon Dennis Wyeth

Recommended by Khaila Sykes, Receptionist - "'Something Beautiful' is a reminder that beauty is truly in the eye of she who beholds it. When you know you have something beautiful-regardless of how it may be viewed from the outside-you care for it and no one can take away the happiness that loving and feeling the love of your something beautiful brings you."

Peanut Butter Rhino

by Vincent Andriani

Recommended by Sr. Kara Davis, Speech-Language Pathologist - "This book reinforces positional concepts (e.g., under, in, on top, on) and includes opportunities to answer WHERE and WHO comprehension questions related to the story. Also, the Rhino gets a sandwich stuck to his bottom and the kids think it is HILARIOUS!"

What Do You Do with a Kangaroo?

by Mercer Mayer

Recommended by Thom Bowers, Volunteer Coordinator - "This book is fun and surprisingly thoughtful. It has a silly premise that ultimately shows a child how they can assert themselves and find power in their circumstances, with a happy ending. The artwork is great, it's humorous, colorful, and just plain fun!"

Brown Girl Dreaming

by Jacqueline Woodson

Recommended by Holly Yacoumakis, Digital Literacy Coordinator - "Brown Girl Dreaming is an autobiography written in the form of a book-length poem. It's written by a black woman who grew up in South Carolina in the 1960s. It's beautiful."


by Kathryn Otoshi

Recommended by Rebecca Darland, Pre-K Teacher - "This book not only teaches children about colors, numbers, and counting, but also how you can stand up to bullies and make a difference."

Where's Spot

by Eric Hill

Recommended by Sr. Kara Davis, Speech-Language Pathologist - "Where's Spot reinforces positional concepts (e.g., in, under, behind) and WHO/WHERE comprehension questions (excellent language skills for preschool children). This book also includes paper flaps on each page for children to open and reveal WHO is hiding in various places around the house."

You Are Special

by Max Lucado

Recommended by Peter Beale-DelVecchio, CEO - "This wonderfully illustrated book tells a story that encourages children (and adults) to not let the labels people put on us stick. Rather, it reminds people that their relationship with God is most important and that God doesn't label people and that God doesn't make junk."

Miss Rumphius

by Barara Cooney

Recommended by Alicia LeBron, Executive Assistant - "This book talks about a woman who wanted to spread beauty around the world. Her contribution was planting flower seeds. When I read it, it made me ask 'What can I contribute to make the world a better, more beautiful place?'"

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

by C.S. Lewis

Recommended by Francine Soliunas, Director of Mission Integration - "Reading this novel is a wonderful way to help children and young adults appreciate the difference between good and evil, through the creation of an imaginary magical world."

Primeras First 100 Palabras Words

by Roger Priddy

Recommended by Sandra Aza, Director of Admissions & Client Services - "This is a great book for toddlers! It encourages language development and is an especially great tool for children learning Spanish."

Rosie Revere, Engineer

by Andrea Beaty

Recommended by Pam Solimine, Government Relations Manager - "A wonderful book that reinforces girls can be anything they want to be."

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