I have been reading to my daughter since she was in the womb. As a result, she will sit for long periods of time (for a toddler) and flip through books on her own. She especially finds that fun now that she can name what some of the things in the pictures are. What follows is a list of eight groups of books that have fascinated her. Each group has suggestions listed, but there are of course many more in each category, so don’t stop with just the ones I have listed! It would be a shame if you didn’t discover the rest. Many of these are available at your local library (which also has a story time for your infant, toddler, and older kids).
Eight Groups of Books for Infants and Toddlers
- Sandra Boynton
Moo, Baa, La La La
The Going to Bed Book
Sandra Boynton has been a favorite of ours since I was a kid. Her illustrations are great, but kids also love the rhythm of her stories when they are read out loud. Her Facebook page also has wonderful artwork and fun reminders about things like “National Chocolate Day”. Definitely a “lift your spirits” page to visit. Stay tuned for a future post about how to draw Boynton.
- Richard Scarry
The Rooster Struts
Busy, Busy Town
The Busy World of Richard Scarry
The illustrations in these books are fabulous, and kids love them! Definitely classics.
- Eric Carle
From Head to Toe
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Eric Carle’s books became more popular with my daughter after she was able to name a few body parts and a few animals. I suspect they will still be a hit as she learns colors and numbers.
- Usborne – That’s Not My… series by Fiona Watt
That’s not my puppy
That’s not my dragon
That’s not my polar bear
That’s not my monster
Kids love these because they are touchy-feely books, which is great for the smallest of kids, but as they get older, help them find the little white mouse who appears on every page. These were likely available first in Spanish, which is why every word in the titles is not capitalized (great for multi-lingual households, or encouraging multiple languages in your children!). If you need an Usborne distributor to get these from, try Kenzie Kempfert.
- Small board books that work in little hands
Peter Rabbit and his friends
Open the barn door (Christopher Santoro)
We even have one that came as the prize in a fast food kids meal. The story isn’t as important in these so much as that the child can hold the book in their little hands. These were the first books my daughter liked to turn pages in.
- Books without words (or with few words)
Good Dog, Carl (Alexandra Day)
Good Night, Gorilla (Peggy Rathmann)
Hug (Jez Alborough)
Books like these are great for kids who can’t talk yet, and still only care about the pictures in the books. While hearing words in books and listening to the stories can help kids get ready for speaking and, later on, for reading, these books are also great for parents to talk about the pictures with kids and tell the story in their own words. Sometimes kids are bored with the book by the time you get done reading the words on the page, and with the wordless books, your child can turn the page whenever he or she feels they are ready for the next.
- Sam McBratney
Guess How Much I Love You
Let’s Play In The Snow
The bunnies in these books are adorable, and kids get to see a sweet parent-child relationship. I recently learned that Sam McBratney has written many other children’s books as well but haven’t gotten a chance to check them out. He’s originally from Northern Ireland.
We were given a subscription to Hello when our daughter was born, and now they are some of her favorite “books” to look at. They have poems, hunt-and-find pictures, and songs for the parents to sing (to tunes you already know – this is easy!), along with subject matter that your child experiences every day. I continue to be amazed at how relevant these are to my daughter, and how much she loves them. P.S. Our local library also subscribes to this, and yours might, too, if you don’t want to purchase your own.