Ain’t Nothin’ But a Book Thang Baby. Day 26 of My Favorite Things: Books

The Mint Chip Mama's Favorite Children's Books

PJ Library (@PJLibrary Facebook) Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library (@dollyslibrary Facebook)

Today I don’t want to talk about one brand or one item, I want to talk about many. Here everyone gets a give away! One that will be special for your entire family and will come to your door every month for the next five years! With that said, I want to share with you some of my favorite kid’s books.

The Mint Chip Mama's Favorite Children's Books

Some of my favorite board books for babies

Understandably so, one of the most talked about topics when parents stand around the playground or at a birthday party is books. I am always looking for new books to read to my kids, series I have never heard of, or a friend’s favorite. Sharing my favorites with friends is a lot of fun too. So in honor of school starting – allow me to share my favorite books with you – by age group – so you can try some new books with your kiddies!

The Mint Chip Mama's Favorite Children's Books

Some of my favorite books for age 2+

Our book collection is curated from favorites of mine and my husband’s as a child. But also from articles I’ve read, suggestions from friends, PJ Library, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, gifts from family and friends and book store recommendations. Growing up I was always a voracious reader (yeah – I won Book It. Bragging rights allowed. I remember eating my sweet pizza pie of achievement!), who thought summer reading programs were the cat’s meow. You could not stop me from making dioramas for sport. I just love to read. I want to bring my love of books into my children’s lives and make them readers too.

The Mint Chip Mama's Favorite Children's Books

Some of my favorite books for age 3+

From Goodnight Moon – which we read to my daughter every night for two years at bedtime, to the “Little Miss” series we read now, books have been a huge part of my daughter’s life. In fact, we read three before bedtime (her choice) and used to read three before her nap too.

The Mint Chip Mama's Favorite Children's Books

Some of my favorite books for age 4+

PJ Library and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library are both amazing. If you don’t know about them you need to look them up now and then tell your friends. Both companies send your child a FREE book every month. The catch? They want you to read it. Sounds fair, right? PJ Library sends books with Jewish themes and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library sends secular ones.  Some of the best books we have are from these organizations and I am so grateful for them. I think the thrill I get when the envelope arrives is equal to my daughter’s.

Thank you to Johannes Gutenberg for creating the printing press and allowing the mass production of books. Books – one of my favorite things!


Everyone wins today – both PJ Library and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library send you free books every month!


PJ Library Heritage

PJ Library is a Jewish family engagement program implemented on a local level throughout North America. They mail free, high-quality Jewish children’s literature and music to families across the continent on a monthly basis.

PJ Library is a program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, made possible through partnerships with philanthropists and local Jewish organizations. Today, families in hundreds of communities across the United States and Canada are able to explore the timeless core values of Judaism through books and music.

All families raising Jewish children are welcome to sign up.

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Heritage

In 1995, Dolly Parton launched an exciting new effort, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, to benefit the children of her home county in East Tennessee, USA. Dolly’s vision was to foster a love of reading among her county’s preschool children and their families by providing them with the gift of a specially selected book each month. By mailing high quality, age-appropriate books directly to their homes, she wanted children to be excited about books and to feel the magic that books can create. Moreover, she could insure that every child would have books, regardless of their family’s income.

Dolly’s Imagination Library became so popular that in the year 2000 she announced that she would make the program available for replication to any community that was willing to partner with her to support it locally. Since the initial program launch in the United States, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has gone from just a few dozen books to over 60,000,000 books mailed to children in the United States, into Canada and across the proverbial pond into the United Kingdom! Currently over 1600 local communities provide the Imagination Library to over 750,000 children each and every month. Already statistics and independent reports have shown Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library drastically improves early childhood literacy for children enrolled in the program. Further studies have shown improved scores during early literacy testing.

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Published by Stacey Wallenstein

Stacey Gish Wallenstein created The Mint Chip Mama blog in 2013 to share her love and passion for giving children meaningful life experiences and helping moms like her navigate the challenges and benefits of raising children in the New York metropolitan area. Before becoming a full-time mom in 2010, Stacey spent the better part of the preceding decade as a high-end customer relationship management (CRM) professional for some of the most well-known brands in the hotel, luxury, fashion, and beauty industries, such as Harrah’s Entertainment, Chanel and Christian Dior, Inc. She managed customer loyalty programs for thousands of clients around the country and created social media strategies for a span of industries including healthcare services, restaurants, consumer packaged goods, specialty foods, local attractions and retail locations. After 13 wonderful years in Manhattan (the last three of which spent as a city mom), Stacey and her husband moved to Long Island in 2014, where they now reside with their three children (13, 9, and 6). There, she is a founding member of her local Parenting Center, which provides classes and coordinates events designed to educate and inform parents while fostering an environment of support and friendship within the community. Stacey is also an active PTA member ((including a former & current PTA president) as well as a Girl Scout troop leader. Her musings on motherhood, Manhattan, the suburbs, and more can be found here and on Facebook at The Mint Chip Mama. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Stacey has been active in the New York area alumni organization for nearly twenty years, serving as a board member on the school’s University of Michigan Alumni Club of New York City. She also holds a Masters in Psychology from The New School in New York City. Please check out The Mint Chip Mama in the Press: The New York Post, Psychology Today, NY Metro Parents, New York Family, Parents Magazine, Newsday, News 12, NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt: Kids, NerdWallet, Big Apple Kids Guide, and more! The Mint Chip Mama was also nominated as "The Best Blog On Long Island" for 2022 & 2023, one of the Top 20 New York Mom Blogs & Websites, and one of the Top 100 Mom Lifestyle Blogs on the web! For more updates, follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and Pinterest.

6 thoughts on “Ain’t Nothin’ But a Book Thang Baby. Day 26 of My Favorite Things: Books

  1. My kids live for their monthly PJ Library books! We used to get Imagination Library, but something happened with their list a couple of years ago and we never managed to get back on.

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