Dylan was just a few days old at the time. He was so tiny and it was still weeks away from his due date. I walked into his nursery, spotted a book that was given to him as a gift, and thought it was a good moment to begin story time. I sat down on the floor with my tiny baby cradled in my arms. I remember how happy, peaceful, and in love I felt as I opened the book and began to read. The book was called Sleepy Jesus, and I read it to him as the snow fell softly outside. That was the start of a tradition that never ended.
For 11 years and 3 months I have been reading to my children.
Over those 11 years and 4 children, we attained an amazing collection of books. Some of our books are SO loved that they are held together with tape. Liam's personal collection rivals the board book section at our local library, thanks to all the hand-me-downs.
Sometimes the amount of books we own overwhelms me, but all those books are worth it. We managed to raise 4 kids who love to read. Dylan and Lexie read way above grade level and Lily and Liam prefer books to anything else. It makes me so happy when I walk into a room and find one of my kids reading.
Liam will spend hours every week looking through his books, but when it comes to sitting to listen to a book, he's like any other active toddler. I have to choose wisely to keep his attention!
Over the years, I've found that the best books for babies and toddlers are short books that are repetitive or include catchy rhymes. You know...basically those books that you could recite in your sleep! Interactive books such as touch and feel and lift the flap are great choices, too!
I definitely have a list of favorites after 11+ years of reading to my kids, and all of my favorites are Liam-approved!
Books by Sandra Boynton
These books are short and catchy! I have read Snuggle Puppy thousands of times, and the giggles at the very end are the best!
1. Barnyard Dance by Sandra Boynton
2. Snuggle Puppy by Sandra Boynton
3. The Going To Bed Book by Sandra Boynton
Books by Dr. Seuss
Also short and catchy, and they make my kids laugh. I guarantee you will memorize them in no time!
4. Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss
5. There's a Wocket in my Pocket! by Dr. Seuss
6. Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? by Dr. Seuss
These 3 books were favorites among all 4 of my children. They are very repetitive and always held their interest!
7. Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed by Eileen Christelow
8. Baby Einstein: Baby Galileo Sees the Stars by Julie Aigner-Clark
9. Ten Little Ladybugs by Melanie Gerth
We have multiple DK Touch and Feel, That's Not My ______ Usborne Touchy Feely, and How Do Dinosaurs _____ books! Liam absolutely loves touch and feel books!
10. DK Touch and Feel Bathtime
11. How Do Dinosaurs Count to Ten? by Jane Yolen & Mark Teague
12. That's Not My Dinosaur (Usborne Touchy Feely) by Fiona Watt
Books with mirrors, lift the flaps, and lights are big hits with my toddler! The Moon in my Room was Dylan's favorite when he was a toddler/preschooler!
13. Disney: It's a Small World Guess Who!
14. DK Baby Says Peekaboo!
15. Tails by Matthew Van Fleet
16. The Moon in my Room Night Light Book by Annette Norris
These are timeless books that belong in every child's book collection! Goodnight Moon is still Lily's favorite book!
17. Orange Pear Apple Bear by Emily Gravett
18. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
19. How Do I Love You? by P.K. Hallinan
20. Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman
Press Here & Mix It Up!
These two deserve their own category! They are relatively newer bestsellers. These books are so perfect for every child that I often buy them as gifts. They are also a FANTASTIC occupational therapy tool, so I always recommend them to parents who have kids with special needs. If you buy any book, make it one of these. Seriously. These books are THAT good!
21. Press Here by Herve Tullet
22. Mix It Up! by Herve Tullet
Happy reading, my friends!
Do you have any of these books in your collection? What are your favorite books for babies and young toddlers?
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