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This is a short list of the top five books that got our son excited for story time. These books he requested over and over during his second year of his life. Although we own and have read hundreds of books to him over the span of his little life, these are the ones we’d buy again if we were starting over, knowing what we know today. As you can see from this list, our toddler boy loved stories that include animals in them or are about animals. Here they are our (and his!) top five picks:
This one, and the next one on the list, came from the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. We signed up for as soon as we heard about it through our local library. The monthly books we’ve acquired from this program have been wonderful and well received. He loved Llama Llama from the first time we read it – and still likes it today at the tender age of three!
Another from the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, the illustrations in Following Papa’s Song are beautifully rendered. Depicted in an undersea world about a little whale and his papa on their yearly migration trip. Little man requested this one on a nightly basis for a long time. It’s possible he loved this one because of the word “papa” – we choose to call daddy “papa” in this home. It’s more likely the gorgeous colors and simple storyline though.
We dropped our son off with a babysitter one afternoon and came home with this book because he completely fell in love with it and wouldn’t leave it behind. The first week we had this book Little Man asked us to read it over – and over – and over. Needless to say, both his father and I could practically recite it in our sleep. This marked the the first time a book captured him so completely! We could read it five times in a row and he’s ask for it again. I thought we’d get the other ones in the series, but after a few of those it was clear this first one was the only one he cared for. The illustrations in Little Blue are charming and I’m confident this is part of the reason he loved it so completely. He enjoyed finding all the little things hidden in the pictures and ask questions about what various things or animals were. It really intrigued him. Along with those illustrations, the syncopation of the story makes for a great read. This is a book I’m sure he’ll look back on fondly as an adult.
As we began teaching Little Man about right and wrong and good behavior versus bad, this book came into our possession. It’s short and sweet about a dog named Ben who really enjoys chewing shoes up but gets in big trouble for it – and how he learns about making good decisions and the rewards for doing so. The illustrations are sweet and it’s easy to little ones to comprehend.
This book was a garage sale find. Today, it’s falling apart we’ve read it so much. It’s very short and about a little bird who wakes up terribly grumpy and all his woodland friends bother him – but that doesn’t last too long. A very sweet story that acknowledges we all get a little grumpy sometimes but we don’t need to stay there. Especially if we can get our mind off of it. This book is good for learning how to properly express feelings.
If you’re looking for books for a younger child, HERE are the books Little Man loved before the age of two. Reading to your littles is so important. If you’re looking to add some new material to you existing books, or are looking for some good engaging stories, I hope this short lists gives you a good place to start. Happy reading!