By Guest Blogger Ellen Lloyd

The falling leaves and cooler weather beckons me to sit in my favorite chair with a cup of tea and read a good book. When my children were younger, my book time included a sweet child on my lap and a stack of books that would easily take more than an hour to read, which was always fine with me! Whether you read with or without a young child, enjoy this beautiful time of year and every opportunity to get lost in a great book. This month, I’ve shared a few of my favorite titles and several new ones. Enjoy!

Preschool — The Best Mouse Cookie by Laura Numeroff, illustrated by Felicia Bond (board book)
I love this book and all other books by Laura Numeroff. I read this for the first time to my son when he was a baby and it became one of our favorites from the first reading. I love the childlike logic of “what will surely happen next” and the wonderful illustrations that bring the story to life. This classic is even more fun to read with your child while enjoying a batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies that you spent the afternoon baking with the help of little hands.

Early Elementary — The Love Monster and the Scary Something by Rachel Bright
Early fears for many children include being scared of the dark and monsters that live in the closet or under the bed. The main character of this adorable book is a monster that can’t sleep and is subsequently scared of noises he hears in the night. The story takes a light-hearted approach to addressing these fears and helps lessen the “scary” even before getting to the surprising, true source of the frightening noises. The playful illustrations help keep young children engaged and bring home the idea that things may not be as scary as they first seem.

Late Elementary to Middle School — Finding Gobi: The True Story of One Little Dog’s Big Journey by Dion Leonard
This book is the true and miraculous story of how Dion Leonard met a stray dog while competing in a 155 mile race across the Gobi Desert in China. The little dog ended up running the race with Leonard and being an example of a determined spirit and the power of friendship. “Leonard and Gobi’s story represents the power of people working together and the profound depth of feeling possible between a man and his dog.”–Publishers Weekly

High School (to adult) — The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Published more than 25 years ago, this book remains one of my all time favorites. I remember wishing I had read this book years earlier as it prompted me to think about many of life’s big questions. Coelho’s book tells the story of a young shepherd boy named Santiago and his desire to find worldly treasure. The story, full of symbolism and wisdom, takes Santiago and the reader on a journey that teaches the importance of paying attention to dreams and listening to our hearts. As much as youth can be encouraged to explore their hearts and ponder the bigger questions of life, the better they will know themselves and what they want out of life. Reading this book can be a great start to them getting there.

Moms — She Walks in Beauty: A Woman’s Journey Through Poems, selected and introduced by Caroline Kennedy
I have loved poetry since I was very young. My mother used to write fun poems and leave them under my breakfast plate or my pillow at night — a special way to start or end the day.  As I read poetry in school, I developed a true appreciation for this art form and even started writing my own. I have always been fascinated by the notion that poetry can tell a story on several levels that is oftentimes different for each reader. This collection was prompted by Caroline Kennedy’s milestone birthday, her 50th. She selected each poem as it spoke to women in varying stages of life and poignant with each milestone and passage. Many well-known poets are featured as well as some not so familiar, making the collection even richer.

Win a book of your choice from today’s blog! 
Remember to share your thoughts and comments below, and you could be selected to win a copy of one of the books, compliments of Barnes & Noble, Friendly Shopping Center, Greensboro. The staff of Triad Moms on Main will choose a random winner one week after the blog runs. (Please be sure to enter your email address when you fill out your comment so they have a way to contact you.)

Ellen Bryant Lloyd is the author of FRECKLES and FRECKLES and The Great Beach Rescue. Please visit and to learn more about Freckles. Ellen writes a blog about her perspectives on life and parenting at and tweets at @EllenBLloyd. She lives in Greensboro with her husband and two children.