I grew up surrounded by books. It was not unusual for me to receive several books for Christmas and to spend the rest of the day curled somewhere, reading. So it should really be no surprise that I ended up falling hard for books and majoring in English in college.
Reading is magical to me, and I want my children to feel the same way. To that end, we have a good number of books, but still not as many as I’d like! Here are some of our favorites:
Books for Babies:
We received our first Indestructibles books when I was expecting Nathan. They are like regular paper books, but do not rip, are safe to chew on, washable, and are composed of beautiful pictures (no words). We love all touch and feel books, but particularly Usborn’s “That’s Not My…” books. These are some of the earliest books my kids have really engaged with and kept their interest.
Karen Katz’s lift-the-flap books are hands-down my favorite in this category. They have nice, big flaps that can be glued back on if they fall off due to use or overzealous pulling. We also really like Little People lift-the-flaps, but the flaps don’t old up quite as well.
Colton is nuts for all things vehicle, so we have tons of books about trains, cars, machines, and anything else you can think of. Our favorite among them is probably, “Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site.” The words are lyrical, rhyming, and soothing, and the illustrations are beautiful and full of construction equipment. “Little Blue Truck” is similar, and also covers animal noises, while “Tractors” and “My First 100 Machines” are mostly pictures, so they can be enjoyed independently.
Our lift-the-flap Bible still gets a lot of traction with Colton. He likes that he can read through the whole thing with us, he knows a lot of the stories, and flaps are always fun! I was surprised by how much he enjoys the 5-Minute Devotions; they are short stories with a prayer and a few questions for your child. We sometimes read one a night or we sit and read half of the book! The baby bible is also great; short stories with instructions for fun motions to keep your toddler engaged, and a short prayer. I used this for “Bible Time” with Colton when he was a new two-year old and it was perfect for us. The “Alice in Bibleland” books I think are out of print, but you can still find them via ebay and Amazon. There are tons, and the rhyming words really do keep kids engaged; my favorite part is the airmail bird who says in every book, “reading is the magic key to take you where you want to be.”
Colton also loves animals. We check out lots of books about various animals from the library, but these are three we own that are perennial favorites. “Animal Encyclopedia” was a gift from my brother a few years ago. I really enjoy having a reference book to read more about certain animals or look up the answer to a question like, “how many eyes does an octopus have?” (two). We do consult Google a ton, but I want my kids to learn that answers can be found in books, not just on the internet.
These are books that were around when I was a kid, or earlier. Not pictured are “Pat the Bunny” (our copy is torn to shreds and missing a few pages), and “Tootle,” which is a train book that annoys me, but C loves (no idea where it is, and I don’t mind!). We love all Bernstein Bear books, but these are C’s particular favorites.
Current, Semi-Random Favorites:
Cat in the Hat currently reigns supreme in our house because “The Cat is funny and I am funny, Mommy.” Colton is also all about butterflies these days, so “My, Oh My, A Butterfly” is a double win. The rhyming nature of the Cat in the Hat’s “about” books holds my boy’s interest and we’ve both learned something new from them!
Books I’d Like to Own:
The Polar Express, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, Blueberries for Sal, Jamberry, Pride and Prejudice Counting Primer, The Very Busy Spider, and any Bernstein Bears books. I’d also like to start reading more chapter books with Colton, but I need to look more into which book would be a good place to start.