If any of you follow me on Instagram, I’m sure you’ve seen my posts of books I am reading or the piles of books my son has strewn around our house. Recently people have started to ask what books my son loves, how I got him to be a reader, and what books we recommend. I thought since it is a nice rainy day here in California, and perfect cuddle-up and read weather, I’d share our ultimate list of books we love.
This first set of books are the books my son gravitated toward at around 9 months old. Prior to 9 months, he wasn’t very interested in books, he just chewed their pages. The top two books, “Baby book of Colors,” and “Sesame Street – Mary Had a Little Lamb,” are OBSESSIONS of E’s. He had/has us read them on repeat for hours on end. I am not sure what it is about the books that he loves, but he can’t get enough. The funny thing is the “Baby Book of Colors” has no story. It’s a book of babies with different colors and two objects depicting the color.
The book “Cow Says Moo” was our first sounds books. After reading him this book, I soon realized he is very auditory. He loves animal sounds, machine sounds, and music. He laughs a lot when I make the sounds and the faces I make when attempting to make the sounds.
This second set of books are from the author, Sandra Boynton. My mom bought the first book “Happy Hippo, Angry Duck” at TJ Maxx when she was watching E one day.This is a great book for little ones learning how to identify emotions and feelings. It touches on the major emotions our kids struggle to identify.
Boyton’s books are all fun and have the best rhyming scheme with the silliest stories, like the “Belly Button Book.” E is a fan of belly buttons, so my best friend snagged the “Belly Button Book.” This ridiculous book is an ode to our least loved body part, belly buttons. It cracks me up how much joy my son gets from listening to this story.
If you think your little one might like these silly rhyming books, check them out from the library to see which one resonates, that’s what we did. If you are looking to buy them, TJ Maxx, Home Goods, and Marshalls have them for a great bargain.
This next set is our current favorite go-to books.E loves hearing me read tongue twisters. He laughs at me tripping over the words. The small board book of “Fox in Socks” and “The Napping House” are sure to get belly giggles.
This version of “Old MacDonald” is not the one we all know. This Old MacDonald has hen’s that leg eggs, 1-10, and counts them all over again. This is a fun little way to sing a favorite song in a new way. There is even a not-so-scary twist on the farm.
“That’s Not My Dinosaur” is new to our collection. A gift from E’s Godparents at Christmas, this is a fun touch-and-feel book full of dinosaurs.
The last set of books I am sharing are what I classify as our nap time/bedtime books. These books are normally read when we are getting ready for bed or starting to unwind. E can listen to these books all day if we didn’t restrict them to just before bed. In fact, there was a night I read “Goodnight Moon” 6 times in a row. Of course with pauses to point and identify all the objects in the room.
The “Sherlock Holmes” book is another sound book, and normally I wouldn’t recommend this for bedtime, but my husband and I make the sounds together and it is a fun family book. E is now to the point where he can imitate most of the sounds in the book if we ask.
Elmo’s “P is For Potty” is brand new, we just got it in this week. Again, this book wouldn’t normally make it to my list for bedtime, but E’s favorite is Elmo so we can’t go to bed without reading some sort of Elmo book. Because this is the newest one to our collection, it is now in the bedtime rotation.
I know this is a pretty big list, 20 books, but when I looked at our collection I knew there wasn’t a group of even 10 I could share that properly show and depict the development of E’s tastes in the last 8 months.
While these books are our favorites, I think the largest key to our successful reading has been my willingness to use voices and be silly. I have memories of my parents reading to me or telling me stories using all sorts of voices and sounds. I can remember be snuggled into bed, my mom stroking my hair and all the characters coming to life. The simplest wish I have is that E has those memories too, so I jump all-in to our reading together. I make the noises, I use my very skilled three types of voices to bring the books to life.
Lastly, I think the key to building good readers is to keep trying. If your little one doesn’t like it today, maybe tomorrow. Start with a trip to the library. Let your child look through all the books. Open them up. Let them explore for themselves and see what topics interest them. You may be surprised.
Oh, and check for toddler/infant story time! Socialization and someone else reads, its a win-win!
Happy reading, friends.