“Book! Book! Book!” is something we have been hearing around our house a lot lately. Tommy LOVES books, and lately he’s been standing up his crib every night shouting and pointing at his bookshelf because he would much rather be reading books than sleeping.
We read mostly board books because the little rascal is still too tempted to shred or crumple paper. I have had to repair dozens of torn lift-the-flaps and have attempted to reconstruct a few pop-up books. The other day I witnessed him kiss a pop-up shark on the lips and then proceed to rip its head off.
We stick to short stories with fun illustrations, since he doesn’t have the patience to sit through longer picture books with lots of words. We read together every day, and he is even starting to memorize and recite the words to a few of his favorite stories. Rhyming books and songs are great for memorization.
So, in honor of World Book Day today, here’s a round up of 20 of Tommy’s favorite board books! He’s currently 20 months old, but any of these books would be a great pick for any child from birth to age 3.
1. Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt: This classic book (originally published in 1940), asks the reader to pat the bunny, smell the flowers, look in the mirror, and lift a tiny blanket to play peek-a-boo, among other things. It is so fun an interactive, and he can’t get enough of it!
2. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown & Clement Hurd: This is another classic (first published in 1947). The sweet, simple story is so calming and perfect for reading at bedtime. He loves to point at the pictures and show me where the different things are, such as the light, red balloon, and cow jumping over the moon. There is also a great version of this story that is a counting book called Goodnight Moon 1 2 3.
3. My World by Margaret Wise Brown & Clement Hurd: This was written as a companion book to Goodnight Moon. We like to read this one first to see what the bunny does during the day, and then follow with Goodnight Moon to see how bunny gets ready for bed.
4. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle: This book teaches about days of the week, food, and the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly. Eric Carle’s colorful artwork is captivating, and Tommy always cheers when we get to the last page and he sees the big double-page spread illustration of the butterfly.
5. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Eric Carle: Another awesome book by Eric Carle. This one teaches colors and animals. There are two more fun books in this series: Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? and Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See?.
6. Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? by Dr. Seuss: This book was one of my favorites when I was a kid. It teaches all sorts of silly noises like the sounds of thunder and lightning, horse feet, and rain. It’s great for kids who are learning to talk.
7. Go, Dog. Go! by P.D. Eastman: Another favorite from when I was a kid. This one teaches about different types of transportation, and T loves shouting GO! at the dogs.
8. Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle (Author) & Jill McElmurry (Illustrator): This story is adorable and the illustrations are great. It teaches a lot of different animal sounds and tells a sweet story about friendship and helping other people.
9. The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton: This is such a unique bedtime story about animals living on a boat who are getting ready for bed. Tommy is obsessed!
10. Look Who’s Talking! On the Farm by Danny Tepper (Author) & Valeria Petrone (Illustrator): This book is hilarious! There are holes cut into the pages where you can put your mouth when you make the animal sounds. Tommy laughs his head off and I get a kick out of seeing him put his little mouth in the hole and “Wee! Wee! Wee!” like a piggy.
11. Jungle Boogie by Sally Crabtree (Author), Roberta Mathieson (Author), & Patti Jennings (Illustrator): This is a cute rhyming book that has little tabs you can pull to make the animals dance. Adorable!
12. Shake a Leg! (Sesame Street) by Constance Allen (Author) & Maggie Swanson (Illustrator): This book really helped T learn his body parts. It’s like Simon Says- telling the reader to shake a leg, rub your tummy, wiggle your fingers, and so on. Super fun!
13. Moo, Baa, La La La! by Sandra Boynton: A very entertaining animal sounds book in Sandra Boynton’s fun, original style.
14. Kisses for Mommy! by Emily Sollinger (Author) & Elizabeth Hathon (Photographer): This book has always been one of T’s favorites. He recites it along with me now. And I love that he gives me lots of kisses every time we read it!
15. 1,2,3 Count with Me (Sesame Street) by Naomi Kleinberg (Author) & Christopher Moroney (Illustrator): This is his very favorite counting book. Yes, he is obsessed with Sesame Street, but he also loves the fun animals in this book that counts up to ten.
16. Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert: This is an alphabet book with lovely illustrations of fruits and vegetable from around the world.
17. How Big is a Pig? by Clare Beaton: This book teaches opposites and the impressive illustrations were made with hand-stitched fabric. T likes to find the pig hiding on every page.
18. Clap Your Hands! (Sesame Street) by Joe Ewers (Illustrator): Another Sesame Street book for my Elmo fanatic. This book has a puppet in the middle that you can make act out a version of the song “If You’re Happy and You Know It.” Tommy likes it best when I sing it in an obnoxiously high-pitched Elmo voice. The illustrations on the interior pages are really fun, too, and feature the other Sesame Street characters acting out the motions to the song.
19. You Are My Sunshine by Jimmie Davis (Author) & Caroline Jayne Church (Illustrator): Another great sing-a-long book for a classic song. The artwork is darling and Tommy loves to sing along to this one. Perfect for bedtime.
20. Baby Beluga by Raffi (Author) & Ashley Wolff (Illustrator): This was my very favorite song as a kid, and Tommy and I are both in love with Ashley Wolff’s beautiful illustrations in this book. Another great one for bedtime.
What are some of your favorite books for babies and toddlers? Leave a comment below and let us know what books would be on your list!