For older children, I love, love, LOVE Edith Nesbit. I can't remember now how I discovered Five Children and It, but I loved it, and went on to read The Story of the Amulet and The Phoenix and the Carpet. Then, I found The Enchanted Castle, The Wouldbegoods, The Railway Children... all of her books are wonderful. I most recently read The House of Arden, and Abbie is reading that now. Her children's books are wonderfully imaginative, with adventure and magic awaiting the main characters, who are always children. They usually get in some kind of trouble, and have to get themselves out of it. These are the kinds of books one can get lost in, you know? I highly recommend them.
She also wrote a book about the importance of imagination called Wings and the Child or, The Building of Magic Cities. It's available for free on Kindle. Give it a read if you have a chance. Here's a quote for inspiration:
I would have every man and woman in whom the heart of childhood still lives, protest, however feebly and haltingly, yet with all the power of the heart, against machine-made education—against the instruction which crams a child with facts and starves it of dreams, which forces the free foot into heavy boots and bids it walk on narrow pavement, which crushes with heavy hand the wings of the soul, and presses the flower of imagination flat between the pages of a lexicon.For younger children, I can't think of anyone better than Beatrix Potter. Is there any child who does not love Peter Rabbit? Who wouldn't be drawn in by Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle or Jemima Puddle Duck? My personal favorite is The Tale of Benjamin Bunny. Benjamin is rather fractious and gets into all kinds of trouble, though he does assist Peter in getting back his clothes that he lost in Farmer MacGregor's garden. My 5 year old boy loves to read about the Fierce Bad Rabbit.
The language in these stories is simple, but lovely. In addition, her illustrations are beautiful. Please, please read the original writings, and avoid anything abridged or reworded. If you want a good collection, try this one.
Now, on to onomatopoeia. Isn't that a fun word? It's also fun to find it in books. A fairly recent find is Alphabeep: A Zipping, Zooming ABC by Debora Pearson. Isaac loves to read about construction vehicles, or any kind of vehicle, really. I enjoy reading this one more than some he's found. Here is a quote:
A is for Ambulance, that makes alarming sounds. Shrieking, wailing, whooshing by, it's in a rush to help someone.Another fun one is Chicky Chicky Chook Chook by Cathy Maclennan. This is another board book, and Isaac enjoyed it when he was littler. I love the sound of the thunderstorm: "Crash, bang, WALLOP!" Isn't that great?
I feel like my onomatopoeia examples aren't the best, but they're what I found when I was flipping through the picture books. I'd love to hear if you have better ones!