We have children’s books peppered around our house. We read books daily with our children, and some by now are on the hundredth repeat. Some on the hundredth repeat are driving me crazy-a lucky few had to take a vacation to the dark recesses of my children’s closet. But there are a rare few that I don’t mind, even on constant repeat, and some that I still enjoy reading. This list is a compilation of books my daughter loves and ones that have survived multiple reads a day and have not ended up hidden away, so toddler and parent approved books.
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom: I saw this on a “favorite’s” list and purchased the book when my toddler was a baby. After it arrived, I wondered why it was so popular: there’s not much to the illustrations, the color scheme did not appeal to me, and the storyline is strange- alphabet letters climb a coconut tree (say what?). But my daughter soon fell in love with the book- her first book on constant repeat. Its rhythmic lines are appealing (to children and parents), and she quickly learned the alphabet. She loved this book so much that it was the theme of her second birthday party. My toddler has since taken a break from the book. But it’s resurfaced with the baby, who loves to dance to the sing-song lyrics. And I still don’t mind it.
The Circus Ship: I love this book. We have a paperback copy that’s kept out of reach of the children, so it has not suffered the constant repeat of some of the board books, but I enjoy pulling this one out for a read so it’s made its fair share of the rounds, and I still love it! The illustrations are gorgeous, the lyrics are rhythmic, the storyline has an important message, and there’s an awesome search and find page where the circus animals are hiding from the circus owner. I bought this book for my sister’s vintage circus shower and soon after bought my own copy. And with a price tag that’s more affordable than books that aren’t nearly as good, what’s not to love. I would fully support a revival of this lovely book.
Knuffle Bunny: This is the first book my daughter memorized and now she “reads” it to us. When my daughter was starting to talk, the book appealed to her because she could relate to the main character’s frustration at not being understood. It has unique illustrations with cartoonish characters transposed against fairly realistic New York City scenes. The storyline and words are pretty basic but it’s a popular one with the toddler-set.
My Very Own Name: This is an expensive book but it’s also a very special book. I love that my child learns not only her first but also her last name. The illustrations are colorful and it’s a sweet sentiment (the animals come together to learn your child’s name). There’s also a great bonus activity where you can go back and hunt for all the animals listed in the index. It makes a great gift.
First 100 Words: This book has proven the test of time. It’s a great picture book for babies learning new words. As a baby, my toddler loved the animal illustrations and then she loved to pick out the objects she knew. The pictures are in colored squares and my toddler had a renewed interest in the book when she was learning colors. We have the Spanish version and haven’t really used it as such but it’s another great use of the book.
Corduroy: Here’s a favorite from my childhood. A little girl falls in love with a stuffed bear despite his missing button. It’s a sweet tale about overlooking someone’s faults and the power of friendship and love. It’s also refreshing to see that the girl is not Caucasian.
Little Blue Truck: I like it, my toddler likes it, and the baby likes it-lots to love. It has singsong lyrics and animal sounds. The toddler likes to take the part of the animals and it becomes a fun interactive read with the baby trying to mimic the sounds. There’s also a message about being nice to those you encounter because you might need help from them at some point in the future.
The Story of the Little Mole Who Went in Search of Whodunit: This is NOT for everybody. It’s a whodunit book about a mole trying to find out who pooped on his head-see, not for everybody. But check it out if the story-line makes you laugh.
Ladybug Girl Series: My daughter has yet to become completely enamored with these books; they’re not on constant repeat. But I like that it has a strong female character and it often features imaginative play.