Monday, February 29, 2016

12 Children's Books that every child should read:

Most parents read to their kids. Whether you're an avid reader or not, it's a habit that many want to cultivate in their children. As someone who often gets completely caught up in a work of fiction,I've tried hard to get my son to read and started this little bonding exercise when he was only a couple weeks old.

At that age, all it is, is a way to spend time with your child, and really, they are enjoying listening to the voices they fell in love with while in mom's belly. Over time, you may find yourself reciting the stories by heart, or just describing what your baby can see on the page (it's not really necessary to read the text when it comes to baby books, though it is often easier to do just that).

Now, two years down the line, my son can tell me some stories, and I have a self-diagnosed baby book addiction (fueled by my shopping habit). Here are the books that make the best reads, and are the most enjoyable for our little ones.

11 Best Children's Books (authors/ categories): 

1. Boyton Books:
Sandra Boyton deserves more than just one title listed, as most of her books are thoroughly enjoyable and can now be recited by my two year old. However, the most noteworthy of them are:
- Tickle Time
- Snuggle Puppy
- Pajama Time
- Hippos go Beserk!!

2. Books based on songs:

These are great to sing to your little ones, and show them the pictures along side. (The videos are also on Youtube, but I prefer to do things the old fashioned way -- sometimes!)
The most addictive in this category:
- Baby Beluga
- 5 Little Monkeys
- Wheels on the Bus

3. Nancy Tillman:

I was writing an email to my son recently (yes he's only two, but I will give him the password to his email address that is inundated with pictures and memories,  when he is being a difficult teenager), and found myself quoting Nancy Tillman. Because really, there's no better way to make your child feel special then to make sure they are familiar with the words of these books.
Definitely my favorites:
- Crown on your head
- Wherever you are, my love with find you
- On the night you were born

4. Jellycat Books:

There are a ton of touch and feel books out in stores, but the cutest by far are the jellycat book series. Apart from the fact that it teaches your little one about textures and animals, it's just so damn cute!
Any of the:
"If I were a...." (cat/ fox/unicorn/penguin/cow/lion....)

5. Eric Carle Books:

There's a library that can be built from this author alone, but some of his books have a way of making it into a child's heart and mind, and staying there..
- Baby Bear Baby Bear, what do you see? (Eric Carle with Bill Martin Jr.) Similarly, Brown Bear Brown Bear/ Polar Bear Polar Bear are just as addictive.
- The Hungry Caterpillar
- The Very Busy Spider

6. Peekaboo Books:

Sesame street has a fabulous number of peekaboo books, all of which are great once your child is old enough to remember the characters. However, the book I remember the most from my childhood (and that works for all ages) is "Where's spot?"
Be prepared to stick/ paste/ tape/ glue the flaps back repeatedly though.

7. Sesame Street:

Deserves a mention all on it's own. Not because of the TV shows (which my son has still never watched), but because of the magnitude of books and the fact that there are books on just about everything. Once your child is familiar with the characters, these books can really be used to teach them a whole lot, and to help you with the basics like: potty training, sippy cup training, moving them to a big kid bed and tons more!
Spot also has a series of books, as does Curious George, Thomas the tank that little boys will enjoy.

8. Guess how much I love You:

"Sooooo high..." While we all tell our kids how much we adore them on repeat, and with kisses, this is a great way to let them absorb the concept just a little more, while also picking up a few more adorable tricks and concepts along the way.

9. Scanimation books by Rufus Butler Seder:

These not-so-little board books can effectively keep your tot, or tiny occupied while you use the bathroom or stick your other books back together! Adorable and so fascinating:
- Waddle waddle
- Kick!

10. Dr. Seuss:

While toddlers may be too young for green eggs and ham (I still prefer to stick to board books so that I don't have to keep taping the books back together), there are some great Dr. Seuss books for toddlers that may seem silly to you, Mom, but actually will teach your child a whole bunch of words that they will eventually use to read the book back to you. Some of the Dr. Seuss books for toddlers are:
- Hop on Pop
- All Aboard the Circus McGurkus
- Horton hears a who! Can you?

11. 10 little Fingers and 10 little toes:
This one deserves a mention all by itself, not just for how cute it is but also for how children of all ages enjoy the catchy words and the priceless message at the end.

12. (Update) Julia Donaldson's series :
This classic wasn't in my original list on intention because I wouldn't start off bhilding a library with her books in it; however, once your child has a longer attention span, and doesn't need board books (though some of her classics are available in board book form too), her catchy books are a must have for every library! 
With titles like Squash and a Squeeze, Room on the Broom, The Smartest Giant in town and the almost  classic Gruffalo - there are topics to enthrall every little child and keep their imaginations active, their vocabulary expanding  and your mouth's full with their rhyming words! 

More to come!
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