Storytelling is an art and books are the doorway that lead to a world of endless possibilities, delightful fantasies and arm us with voice and vocabulary. The unraveling of a tale is like discovering a new life. As Stephen King once said, “Books are a uniquely portable magic” and kids love magic. Needless to say, I love reading. I am a strong advocate of inculcating the reading habit in kids as early as possible. So I am really excited to share my top five best books for toddlers.
Now toddlers are feisty little beings with a mind of their own and generally lack the ability to sit still. They have the attention span of a goldfish and I find that storytelling is a great way to keep them engaged. I would recommend reading aloud to your toddler and infusing maximum drama and fuss in the book reading session. Toddlers really appreciate that kind of thing. After all they are master performing artists with a knack for histrionics. However some toddlers might take a little time to warm up to reading as an activity but it is effort well spent in early toddler years.
Goodreads is an excellent source for looking up some of these book titles especially for referencing book reviews. So without further ado here is a list of my top five best books for toddlers.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
There is a reason why this book by Eric Carle is a modern classic. First, it is supported by great illustrations in a board book format. Second, it is a tale of transformation of a caterpillar to a butterfly which resonates very well with kids. Third, Eric remarkably introduces numbers, days of a week and fruits in this tale of hunger and transformation. Clearly it is not just the caterpillar that is hungry but so are we all who cannot get enough of this great simple story. An absolute must read for your two-three year old !
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
This bed time story is a classic and is wonderfully illustrated by Clement Hurd. Margaret Wise Brown cleverly uses rhyming to describe the bedtime ritual of a bunny who says good night to “all things” in a room including the room itself. And kids love it. At first, you will wonder what is special about this book but soon you and your toddler will be under its spell and before you know it your three year old would have memorized this mesmerizing story and will be putting you to sleep with it ! This children’s classic is addictive. I would also recommend reading the next tale in the series, My World which as the title reads is a companion to Goodnight Moon.
Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr / Eric Carle
A sequel to Brown Bear, Brown Bear, this tale of a baby bear searching for his mother instantly appeals to toddlers on account of the fascinating animals that the baby bear encounters in his journey. Many of the animals will be unfamiliar to toddlers such as a prairie dog or a mule deer and this sparks curiosity to learn more about them. The illustrations by Eric Carle are top notch. The meter of the tale with the repetitive nature of the questions makes it an interesting story to read out aloud.
The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
Naughty little Peter Rabbit is upto no good. He ventures into the farmer’s garden despite his mother asking him not to go there. He goes on to feast on the farmer’s carrots in the garden. Now, mischievous little Peter Rabbit and his brand of naughtiness immediately resonates with children. To top it all the book describes a chase between the farmer and Peter which adds to the excitement of the story. The tale also lays down the ramifications of disobeying your mother with little Peter going to bed without any supper. On the other hand, his three sisters, Flopsy, Mopsy and Cotton-Tail who have been good and obedient are rewarded with blueberries. Go get your copy and enjoy this classic with your little one.
Sesame Street Books – Bubbles, Bubbles / Nighty Night and More
Sesame Beginnings board book series are a fantastic compilation of books for toddlers. Told through the perspective of fascinating animal characters such as Big Bird, Elmo, Zoe and Cookie to name a few, these books are educational, entertaining and easy to read. Some of my personal favorites are the bath time classic, Bubbles, Bubbles and the night time read, Nighty Night. Introduce your toddler to these lovable characters and be rest assured they will learn and grasp and be wanting to know more about Elmo and friends!