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What's Your Favorite Children's Book?

Members of Congress share the stories they love.

ALABAMA

If You Give… Series by Laura Joffe Numeroff
“The Congressman, his wife Caroline and their children Mary Elliot and Robert Hayes have enjoyed reading these books together as a family and as both children learned to read on their own.”
—Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.)

ALASKA

Mama, Do You Love Me? by Barbara Joosse
“I have always adored the short story by Barbara Joosse, Mama, Do You Love Me?. As a mother of two boys, this story has always held a place in my heart not only for the lessons it teaches us about children and their parents but for its beautiful artwork and magnificent illustrations of my home state Alaska and its first people.”
—Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska)

ARKANSAS

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
“When I’m asked to read to a class this is always my favorite selection because it reminds me of when I read it to my daughters when they were young. I have a five-month-old granddaughter and I’m already starting this tradition with her.”
—Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.)

CALIFORNIA

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
“Each of the sisters struggled with their place in time, their expectations and how they could go beyond it.”
—Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-Calif.)

The Giving Tree by Shell Silverstein
—Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.)

Zen Shorts by Jon Muth
“One of my favorite Children’s books is Zen Shorts by Jon Muth. I love this book because the artwork is captivating and the Panda offers wisdom to the young characters about emotional control.”
—Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.)

The Seven Silly Eaters by Mary Ann Hoberman
—Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.)

Love You Forever by Robert Munsch
“My favorite book to read to my children, when they were younger, is called Love You Forever. It's a beautiful little story about a mother taking care of her child, who grows old and then the child must take care of her.  It's a poignant story with beautiful illustrations, and I recommend it to any parent.”
—Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.)

Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
“I like to read Green Eggs and Ham, I like to read it Sam-I-Am.”
—Rep. Sam Farr (D-Calif.)

Oh, the Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss
“I love Dr. Seuss’ ‘Oh, the Places You’ll Go!’ because it’s a fun, inspiring book with a great message: No matter what challenges life throws at us, with a positive attitude we can accomplish anything. Dr. Seuss’ books, through imagination and an incredible sense of whimsy, teach children great lessons while inspiring a sense of fun in reading, ultimately encouraging them to be life learners.”
—Rep. Julia Brownley (D-Calif.)

Frankie & the Phoenix by Marc Goldyne
Frankie & the Phoenix tells the heroic tale of how the fireboat Phoenix saved the San Francisco Marina following the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989. Its one of my favorite stories to read to students so that they can learn about important events in San Franciscos history.
—Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)

The Hardy Boys Series by Franklin W. Dixon
“I always enjoyed how mysteries pull the reader in and invite them to solve the puzzle ahead of the writer.”
—Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.)

The Ox-Bow Incident by Walter Van Tilburg Clark
—Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.)

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
“My favorite childhood book is Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White because it taught me what it means to be a good friend.”
—Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.)

FLORIDA

A Day With Wilbur Robinson by William Joyce
“Joyce taps the imagination of children everywhere through a friendly search for…of all things…his grandfather’s teeth. The author’s illustrations are fun and captivating for kids and adults.”
—Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Fla.)

The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
“My favorite children’s book is The Lorax by Dr. Seuss because I believe it is important to teach children at a young age the importance of protecting the environment for future generations.”
—Rep. Patrick E. Murphy (D- Fla.)

Pinkalicious by Victoria and Elizabeth Kann
“This was my youngest daughter, Shelby’s, favorite book. I love it because it teaches children about decision making in a fun way that holds their attention.”
—Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.)

ILLINOIS

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
“Where the Wild Things Are is a great tale to share with children of all ages; the book encourages creativity, thoughtfulness and mystical storytelling. The main character, Max, demonstrates the power of imagination, turning a seemingly unpleasant experience into a vehicle of growth.”
—Rep. Robert Dold, Jr. (R-Ill.)

Baby Bear by Kadir Nelson
“This beautifully illustrated book is a favorite of my three year-old grandkids. This simple story of a baby bear trying to find his way home is hopeful and ends with a lesson of trust that is beautifully written.”
—Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D. Ill.)

Berenstain Bears Series by Stan and Jan Berenstain
“As a child, I enjoyed the Bernstein Bears series of books because I could relate to the situations the Bear family found themselves in. From going to the dentist to making friends at school, Brother and Sister Bear went through all the same life experiences as I did, and there was always a helpful lesson to be learned from them.”
—Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.)

Clifford the Big Red Dog Series by Norman Bridwell
“My favorite book growing up was Clifford the Big Red Dog because I’ve always been a dog lover and thought Clifford was adorable.  Starting to read at an early age inspired a lifelong love of learning in me. I’ll continue to work towards increasing literacy and making sure all children have access to books growing up.”
—Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill)

Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry
“This was my favorite children’s book because I was in love with horses.”
—Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill)

Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne
“My favorite children’s book is A.A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh. I waited for the teacher to read it to us every week — it really made us use our imagination.”
—Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.)

INDIANA

Is Your Mamma A Llama? by Deborah Guarino
“It’s an excellent book that focuses on family, creativity and exploration. Kids and parents will enjoy reading it together.”
—Rep. Susan Brooks (R-Ind.)

IOWA
Oh, the Places You’ll Go!  by Dr. Seuss
“As someone who grew up in poverty, I know from first-hand experience that education can open many doors. My favorite reminds children that opportunities can be limitless.”
—Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa)

MARYLAND

Oh, The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss
“My favorite children’s book is Oh, The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss.  I like this book because it dares our children to dream, to be brave, and to be confident in their competence.  I often say that our children are the living messages that we send to a future we will never see.  This book endows our children with a sense of hope that they can accomplish anything they set their minds to, and ensures that as our future leaders they will dream of a bigger and better world for us all.”
—Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.)

The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper
“The Little Engine That Could uses a creative story to share an inspiring message of perseverance and optimism that Americans of all ages can relate to.”
—Steny Hoyer (D-Md.)

MASSACHUSETTS

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
“Children’s books that are read with parents, classmates, or independently at an early age promote creativity, imagination, and a lifelong love of learning. Goodnight Moon was always a perennial favorite for all our family.”
—Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-Mass.)

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
“I am very lucky to represent the Massachusetts 2nd Congressional District — home of the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, Massachusetts. The Eric Carle Museum is the only full-scale museum of its kind in the United States where picture-book art form around the world is celebrated as fine art. I highly recommend The Very Hungry Caterpillar —both the artwork and the story are unforgettable.”
—Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.)

Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
“Based in Boston, Make Way for Ducklings has always been a special story to me. I remember my mom regularly reading it to me, my brother and sister. I grew up visiting the Boston Swan Boats, tossing peanuts to the ducks passing by, and enjoying the beautiful Public Garden just as the Mallard family did. I know children for many generations will continue to read and learn from this book.”
—Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.)

Encyclopedia Brown Series by Donald J. Sobol and Leonard Shortall
“My twin brother and I used to read them with our mom and try and guess how he was going to solve each mystery.”
—Rep. Joseph Kennedy III (D-Mass.)

MICHIGAN

Winnie-the- Pooh by A. A. Milne
“This is my favorite children’s book because as a child I could always relate to the adventures that Christopher Robin had in the forest with Winnie and his other friends.”
—Rep. Gary C. Peters (D-Mich.)

House Mouse, Senate Mouse by Peter W. Barnes and Cheryl Shaw
“As a Member of Congress and a father of two, I know the significant difference that reading can make in a child’s life.  House Mouse, Senate Mouse gives our nation’s youngest generation of future leaders an early civics lesson that the entire family can enjoy.”
—Rep. Fred Upton (D-Mich.)

Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
“It’s my favorite because he has poems on so many different topics that anyone can relate to, and uses humor to engage children (and adults too!) and make us all laugh!”
—Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.)

MISSOURI

Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
“It is fun to experience life on the prairie and living in a log cabin through Laura’s adventures, while learning how to survive adversity with the love of family. I read this book over and over, and know you will enjoy it, too.”
—Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.)

NEVADA

Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck by Beatrix Potter
“In the first grade, I won a copy of The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck as a reward for reading the most books in my class. I have visited the home of Beatrix Potter in England and love all her characters, but Jemima Puddle-Duck will always be my favorite.”
—Rep. Dina Titus (D-Nev.)

NEW JERSEY

Curious George by Hans Augusto & Margret Rey
“Although he is mischievous, George has a good heart and the situation always ends well.”
—Rep. Leonard Lance (R-N.J.)

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
“I’ve always loved C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia. It’s a great story of adventure, forgiveness, and friendship —and it’s one that I always look forward to rereading again and again.”
—Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.)

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff
“This book, which I have read in classrooms in my district during Read Across America Week, underscores the importance of being grateful for what you have.”
—Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-N.J.)

NEW YORK

The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper
“The lesson from this book is one we all can live by:  If you work hard, persevere, and believe in yourself, you can achieve anything you set your mind to!”
—Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.)

NEW MEXICO

The Farolitos of Christmas by Rudolfo Anaya
“This is a wonderful book about culture, tradition, and family.  It recognizes the heroes in our lives and shows that often times we don’t have to look any further than our parents, grandparents, and other family members to find them.”
—Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D-N.M.)

Bless Me Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya
“Generations of students have been inspired by the story of growing up in Eastern New Mexico captured by Rudolfo Anaya in ‘Bless Me Ultima,’ which finds magic in the Pecos River bosque and Hispanic culture of Guadalupe County. Great books captivate your attention and allow you to walk in the shoes of ordinary and extraordinary people — whether it’s a thoughtful little boy in a small town or a folk healer performing spiritual rituals. I’m proud to join the National Education Association in promoting Read Across America, and encourage children to expand their minds and imaginations through reading.”
—Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.)

House Mouse, Senate Mouse by Peter W. Barnes and Cheryl Shaw Barnes
—Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.)

NEW YORK

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland; Through The Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll
“A timeless book that can hold the interest of children and adults alike. It’s as exciting to read as it is to hear.”
—Rep. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.)

OHIO

The Burgess Animal Book for Children by Thornton Burgess
“My father brought it home from the public library and I loved the book because it had wonderful stories about animals. When I finished it, my dad got the Burgess Bird Book for Children and I loved it just as much. The Animal Book was written in 1920 and the Bird Book in 1919 (the year my father was born). I don’t remember asking my dad if he read them as a child, but looking back now (my dad passed away in 1998), I’m sure he did.”
—Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio)

The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper
“This engaging, inspirational book teaches the lesson of determination and perseverance.”
—Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio)

The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss
“My favorite children’s book is a classic: The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss. The Cat in the Hat was written in the same year I was born and was one of the first books read to me. Years later, I had the privilege of sharing this book with my children. It’s a Joyce family classic.”
—Rep. David P. Joyce (R-Ohio)

OKLAHOMA

The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss
“Even before I was old enough to read, my Grandmother would read to me The Cat in the Hat.”
—Rep. Frank D. Lucas (R-Okla.)

OREGON

Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
Harold and the Purple Crayon shows what you can do if you dream. Through your imagination, you can be anybody, see anything, go anywhere—but always get back home. I loved this book as a child, and enjoyed reading it to my children. It’s a classic.”
—Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.)

PENNSYLVANIA

Hardy Boys Series by Franklin W. Dixon
“I really enjoyed the Hardy Boys books.  They were great mysteries and very believable for a young reader.”
—Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.)

Oh, the Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss
“There’s just something wonderful about this book. Our three children loved it whenever my wife and I would read it to them.”
—Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.)

RHODE ISLAND

Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
—Rep. James  Langevin (D-R.I.)

SOUTH CAROLINA

Three Little Kittens by Eliza Lee Cabot Follen
“I remember listening to my wife’s beautiful voice, singing to my precious children—‘What! You lost your mittens.’”
—Rep. Tom Rice (R-S.C.)

SOUTH DAKOTA

Little House on the Prairie Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
“Growing up, I always enjoyed reading Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “Little House on the Prairie” series. As a family, we made several trips to the homestead in De Smet, SD, and also attended the pageants in the area. It was a great opportunity to see the stories come to life.”
—Rep. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.)

TENNESSEE

When You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff
The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
“My best memories are of reading with my three nearly-grown children when they were kids. Even adults can learn some great life lessons from these classic children’s books.”
—Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.)

TEXAS

House Mouse, Senate Mouse by Peter W. Barnes and Cheryl S. Barnes
“My Favorite books as a child were Dr. Seuss books. I also enjoy going to classrooms and reading the House Mouse, Senate Mouse book to the children because it encourages reading for fun and incorporates learning.”
—Rep. Gene Green (D-Texas)

The Nancy Drew Mystery Stories by Edward Stratemeyer
“Nancy Drew’s books have inspired critical thinking, curiosity and imagination in the generations of young people who have read them.  They are timeless and compelling.”
—Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas)

VERMONT

The Kid From Tomkinsville by John R. Tunis
“The Kid From Tomkinsville is a fictional story about a pitcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1940s. I grew up in Brooklyn and found the story of an athlete overcoming tough odds and learning to put his team before himself to be inspiring.”
—Sen. Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.)

VIRGINIA

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevens
The Hardy Boys Series by Franklin W. Dixon
Tom Swift Series by Victor Apppleton
“I have always loved to read. From Treasure Island to The Hardy Boys to Tom Swift, as a child I loved the tales of adventure from the past, present, and future.”
—Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.)

WASHINGTON

King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub by Audrey Wood
King Bidgood is one of my all-time favorite books I read to my children when they were young. Not only are the illustrations breathtaking, but the storyline teaches us that sometimes all it takes to solve a seemingly impossible predicament is the most obvious of answers.”
—Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.)

500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins by Dr. Seuss
“When I was a child, I lived across the street from the local library. I would spend a lot of time in the children’s section reading books. One favorite in particular was 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins by Dr. Seuss. Many years later I read the book to my own children.”
—Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.)

Oh, The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss
“The magic of reading is that a good book can take you anywhere, and this Dr. Seuss classic perfectly exemplifies that. Books are the gateway to the world around us and they show us that nothing is impossible — and if anyone can make you believe that, it’s Dr. Seuss.”
—Rep. Dave Reichert (R-Wash.)

Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola
“As the husband of a first generation Italian-American, Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola is of course my favorite.”
—Rep. Dennis Heck (D-Wash.)

WEST VIRGINIA

Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper
“Because he was always trying even though the competition was bigger and stronger.
—Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.)

WISCONSIN

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
“As a kid, I always loved reading The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. I was excited to read of Huck and Jim’s adventures on the river. Like Huck, I too grew up on the Mississippi and was able to identify with some of his mischief.”
—Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.)

Maximilian and Maximilian Becomes Famous by Florence Parry Heidi
“The author of Maximilian and Maximilian Becomes Famous, Florence Parry Heide, was from my hometown of Kenosha, Wisconsin. Not only did I love this book as a child, but it is the first book I ever remember receiving, and I am happy to be able to share such a wonderful story with children today.”
—Rep. Pocan (D-Wis.)

Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey
"I love to read with my kids, especially on their school breaks. Last summer, my youngest son Sam and I read the Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey. Theyre light-hearted books that teach kids about friendship and other important lessons."
—Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.)


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