I decided to start looking into some home schooling resources since I might start some real activities with First Son in the fall (his pre-K year).
Honey for a Child's Heart by Gladys Hunt
This is the book that started it all. I found a bunch of others on the same shelf at the library and was quickly surrounded by books of lists of books. This one doesn't show any research, unlike The Read-Aloud Handbook, but advocates the same actions (reading aloud to kids and as a family). It was primarily focused on the imaginative and spiritual growth of children in the family that reads together. It's Christian, so there is a whole chapter about reading the Bible as a family and isn't afraid to reference religion in every day life in other chapters as well. The book lists were excellent. I loved how many of them were out of print, for the most part. I know it'll help us find tremendous books we would have missed otherwise, but it is hard to get a hold of them if we decide we want to buy them. Luckily, there are tons of options for buying out of print books online. (I was surprised to find a handful that weren't even offered by anyone on Amazon.) I added a ton to our wish lists (which you can find if you know us off-line by searching on Amazon) and will be winnowing through them to either increase the priority (if we want to own them someday) or taking them off. I'm making a note to myself (here!) to check the book out again when I have kids in the 9-12 age bracket. (I love the library!)
How to Get Your Child to Love Reading for Ravenous and Reluctant Readers Alike by Esme Raji Codell
This book is huge! So I haven't read the whole thing, but I would love to have this on my bookshelf. Unlike the one above, this one has quick and easy lists for just about anything you can imagine and I think it would be a valuable resource for the home-schooling family (along with the quality public library we have). It also has loads of activities. (The back cover says "hundreds".)
Books Children Love: A Guide to the Best Children's Literature by Elizabeth Wilson
I liked this book's description of each of the books listed, something lacking in the two above. It's also nice, sometimes, to have a solid list of books reinforcing the Christian world view, as all of these books do. It seems most useful for older children (most of the books listed are for those already in school) so I didn't pull too many to add to our list right now. I've decided it's a good one to reference again later when the kids are older. I think I like the topic-based lists in Esme Codell's book above better.
The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease
If you ever questioned the value of reading aloud, this book will change your mind. You'll also find extensive book lists, which I think included descriptions of each of the books. I can't do a real comparison because I read this so long ago. I intend to buy it eventually to have on hand as a reference, but keep thinking there will be a new edition pretty soon so keep delaying.
Any other recommendations for lists of books for kids?