When I was a kid one of my favorite series of books was the Richard Hargreaves series of books called The Marvelous Mr. Men and Little Miss. Each of the books featured a main character named “Mr. ____” or “Little Miss ____” having some type of an adventure which would lead to a new understanding. Sometimes they would learn something important about themselves, sometimes they would help someone else learn something or change. Mr. Messy, one of my personal favorites, ends up getting all cleaned up and changing his name. Little Miss Sunshine helps a king of a sad kingdom become happy. Mr. Tall learns to appreciate his long legs.
One of the best things about these books for me was that on the front inside cover is a space that says “this book belongs to ____.” Being able to write my name in that book gave me a huge sense of ownership as a kid. Granted, you can buy a stamp and do that for any book, but something about it being provided by the author felt different, as if he wanted you to feel a sense of ownership for his characters.
We have a lot, though not even close to all, of the Mr. Men and Little Miss books for Rose, having received them as gifts at various showers. One of the great things about them has proven to be their size. They are little square books, about the size of a board book, but much thinner since they are paperback. Rose loves to take them off the shelf and carry them around the house. She’ll hand them to whoever is around at the moment, sit down with them and flip through the pages, and point at the characters. I thought she would love them eventually, but knowing that they are written for a little bit older kids (maybe elementary) I though it would be a while.
Instead, she loves them more than almost any of her other books.
So my suggestion is to go out and by copies of some of them for your kids. You can start out by ordering a starter set that has about 8 of the books from Amazon, or order it from your local bookstore. Happy reading!