I admit it. I love books. I love researching books. I'm one of those people that gets a natural high from walking into a new book store. I love buying books, and I love book lists.
In preparing to homeschool, I am so glad that I found out about the Charlotte Mason method early on. I was immediately drawn to the idea of a literature based program, and I am so happy that I get to expose my boys to living books and the best quality literature right from the start.
A living book is written by someone who cares, someone who is passionate about the subject. It's interesting, uses vivid language, draws the reader in with their emotions and allows the text to come alive. A living book is not a textbook with boring facts, and a living book is the opposite of twaddle. Twaddle would be described as silly, trivial, and using simple language that talks down to the child.
Walking into the library, I am often bombarded with book displays full of twaddle. In order to wade through that, I like to have a list of good books in mind when I go. I have found a few good living book lists that are geared towards the Preschool and Kindergarten age group, so with a 2 and 5 year old, these lists are perfect for our needs.
Not only do I use these lists as a library checklist, but also when I'm shopping for books for gifts, or when I go to a book sale or goodwill looking for books.
Many of these lists overlap, so I know which books are considered "treasures" by others, and many of the lists contain different books by the same author, so I know I am generally safe choosing any other books by those authors.
I don't limit myself to these lists, because I would be missing out on many other great books, but they have been a wonderful starting point for me!
Ambleside Online Year 0
Below the book list you will also see a short list of Advisory Favorites, and a link to a more detailed Advisory Favorites list for more great suggestions, including books for toddlers.
Simply Charlotte Mason's Early Years Read-Alouds
This chart offers book suggestions by age group (3-5), but you can obviously choose what is appropriate for your child.
Five in a Row
This is a literature based unit study program. Although Charlotte Mason and unit studies do not work together, the book list itself is what I use.
Living Math encourages using math readers, games, manipulatives, and real life activities to teach math in conjunction with, or in place of a traditional math curriculum. While these aren't "literature" books (and some may fall under the spectrum of twaddle), they are still a great resource for those that want a non-traditional approach to math, and there are so many math titles listed that it's a great place to start.
If you know of any other living book lists, please do share with me. I am always open to new book suggestions!