I'll start with our favorite collections of stories (these are books that have more than one story in them).
The 20th Century Children's Book Treasury is a great addition to any library. It has some of Cohen's favorite stories (Where the Wild Things Are, and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom). I love to give this one as a gift, because there are stories for everyone in here!
I also love to give Harper Collins Treasury of Picture Books. I don't own this one, but I would love to. We've checked out just about every book in this collection from the library.
Every child should have a collection of Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes. I have several copies of Mother Goose Books. Our favorite is the collection by Richard Scarry.
I would also suggest A Treasury of Mother Goose.
Cohen loves Fairy Tales too!! I love reading them, especially Rumpelstiltskin! We have several Fairy Tales books that were passed down from our families.
We have one called The Grosset Treasury of Nursery Tales (published in the 1970's) and we have one called 100 Classic Stories. I have also read some of the stories from The Random House Book of Fairy Tales, Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen, and A First Book of Fairy Tales. I like all of these books.
The important thing to look for in a Fairy Tales book is to make sure they have some of your favorites. I love reading Cinderella, Snow White, and Rapunzel to Cohen and then watching the movie that goes with the story. I also love reading The Emperor's New Clothes, Elves and the Shoemaker, and The Lion and the Mouse.
You also need to introduce your child to some Tall Tales. I love reading about Paul Bunyan, Davey Crockett or Johnny Appleseed. I would suggest you look into getting a copy of American Tall Tales.
I love collections by a particular author, such as Richard Scarry's Best Story Book Ever, The Berenstain Bears Show God's Love, and Make Way for McCloskey. I like books that teach a good lesson, such as The Children's Book of Virtues.
I love to read poetry to Cohen as well. He, however, does not love it. I try to save poetry for while he's eating lunch or taking a bath. That way I kind of have him trapped and he has to listen.
I love to read from A Child's Garden of Verses (we have an older copy of this book), Where the Sidewalk Ends, Poems and Prayers for the Very Young, and Don't Mess with Moses (this one was a gift from Nan and Pops and it is hilarious!).
I probably should have done this before Christmas, so that you could just buy all the kids on your list some of these great books. There's always next year. I hope that this helps you when you go to select a book from the bookstore.
What are some of your children's favorite story collections?