I find that reading a familiar book when we're traveling or staying in an unfamiliar place really helps the kids settle down at bedtime, or when they're just tired out from too much airport-time and too many connecting flights.
These are some of the books thjat always come along on our trips and make great read-alouds at bedtime, or at airports.
Green Eggs and Ham, The Cat in the Hat, by Dr. Seuss
My 8-year old son still absolutely loves these books, and is very much into Dr. Seuss' brand of humor. My 4-year old daughter loves them too, and I love reading these books because the rhymes are so great: they really flow.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum
Another one of my son's all-time favorite books. My husband and I have read him the entire book many times, even when he was quite young and wasn't the least bit interested in any other chapter books. My daughter prefers the movie, but that's partly because she is still quite convinced that books should have pictures on every single page...
Stomp dinosaur stomp!, by Margaret Mayo and Alex Ayliffe
Dinosaurs and rhymes: two of my kids' favorite things and thus a big hit in our house.
What do you do with a tail like this?, by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page
This is one of my daughter's favorites. She loves all the animal parts displayed on each page (noses, eyes, feet...) and then you have to guess how an animal uses that particular part of their body (an eagle spots prey with his eyes, an elephant showers with his nose, and so on). Non-fiction fun!
The Cow Who Clucked, by Denise Fleming
The kids really enjoy this story about the cow who loses her "moo" and tries to find it. The illustrations are beautiful and very detailed: there are lots of little things to find each time you read it!
Mooncake, by Frank Asch
I love this story and so do the kids. It's a simple but quite ingenious story about a bear who wants to get a taste of the moon. Beautifully written and illustrated.
Raindrop Plop!, by Wendy Cheyette Lewison
This book includes counting (up to 10 and then backwards from 10), gorgeous illustrations and rhymes (can you tell my kids love rhymes?).
These books have been on heavy rotation at my house, and I think some of them will probably make it into the travel-library.
- Farmer brown shears his sheep, by Teri Sloat - Another great rhyming story with very funny illustrations of the sheep who don't want to lose their wool (even after they've been sheared).
- Blue Sea, by Robert Kalan - A very simple story, with very few words, and still very captivating.
- Katie loves the kittens, by John Himmelman - My daughter loves animals of all kinds (not sure how long we'll be able to hold off on her wish to get a real dog...), and this story about a dog and three kittens entertains her endlessly.
- Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll - We've watched Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland movie quite a few times at our house lately, and I'm hoping to introduce the book behind the movie to my kids this summer.