Great Books to Share With Your Baby and Toddler

Not enough emphasis can be placed on the importance of reading to your child and how much it enriches their imagination, vocabulary and lives in general. And the bond that you create when your little one sits on your lap while you read him his favorite story is priceless. I started to read to my son when he was in utero. I would just read a few pages of some children’s books that my mother had saved from when I was a little girl. My husband probably thought I had lost my mind, but I ahve always loved reading, so I figured why not share that with my baby-to-be.

During my pregnancy I started collecting more and more books, picture books, board books, plastic bathtub books, the works! Some of them were classics and some just really hip and cute new publications. I was so excited to be able to read to my little guy “in person” when he was born. I have to admit that I didn’t read much to him in the first few weeks after we brought him home from the hospital…I was exhausted and a bit overwhelmed by the whole “new mommy” thing. But after I got a little routine going, I would sit on the couch with a little pile of books and read to my son.

My son has always quieted down and seemed to really enjoy these moments, even as an infant. I noticed that when I would read him a new book he would often times become a little irritable, but if I read that same book for several days he would then be able to anticipate what was coming next and be able to relax and enjoy the pictures and the sound of my voice. Babies and toddlers are notorious for thriving on repetition. And now that my son is a toddler he is very vocal about having his favorite stories read ad infinitum!

All children’s books are delightful in their own ways, but I have found that some are just more enjoyable to read multiple times in a row than others. And believe me, your child will want his or her favortie story read more times that you ever thought humanly possible. So, I have to share some wonderful books that my son just loves, and that my husband and I don’t mind reading to him…over and over and over again! My aunt is a preschool teacher, and between her and myself (a complete bibliophile) my son has a pretty huge collection of books. These are by far our favorites:

Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems
the Olivia series by Ian Falconer
Big Little, Quiet Loud, and Binky by Lisa Patricelli
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
absolutely anything, especially The Hungry Little Caterpillar by Eric Carle
A,B,C, by Dr. Seuss
Kitten’s First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes
the Little Quack series by Lauren Thompson
Goodnight Gorilla by Peggy Rathman
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

You may recognize some of these from your own childhood, and some others are new but sure to become classics as well. Knuffle Bunny is by far one of our number one picks. The storyline is adorable, the illustration is ingenious and both you and your child will be able to appreciate every aspect of this book. These books are must-haves for your nursery library. They get my mommy seal of approval one hundred percent!

Happy reading!

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