It might be because I'm a teacher, it might be because my mom and dad love to read, it might be because my parents read to me as a child, but I love to read and have always been an avid reader! I love picture books, novels, magazines, blogs ... if I am able to connect to a story or if I find the content interesting, I will read it! When I was in Elementary school, I would set my alarm for 30 minutes earlier than when I had to be up, just to read. I filled my reading logs with novels that I just devoured! I have so many childhood memories of being read to, and so much nostalgia for the "classics". When our boys were growing in my belly I said time and time again that, "they cannot be spoiled with books". Children, babies, and adults cannot be spoiled by reading. Reading provokes imagination, thoughts, learning, entertainment, connection, healing, laughter, romance and so much more depending on the content. Because of my love for reading and books, our boys already have a massive library! I am always on the hunt for great literacy, something that is fun, has a sweet story line, or that is educational. After going through the boys' library, I have compiled my top 13 (can I keep it to just 13?! Read on and see!) baby picture books.
1. Love You Forever written by Robert Munsch Who doesn't love this classic? Who doesn't cry overtime they read it? Not me! This is one of my favourites from when I was a baby, and now that I have babies of my own, it's very sentimental to me. Especially, because I am a boy mom and the child in the book is a boy as well, I connect even more so. A beautiful story!
2. Anything written by Nancy Tillman - Nancy Tillman's books do to me what Love You Forever does to me. Her books are beautiful and moving and emotional! I love the rhyming and the touch of whimsy that her words and illustrations create. My favourite books by Nancy are It's Time To Sleep, My Love and On The Night You Were Born.
3. Little Blue Truck books written by Alice Schertle We own Little Blue Truck, Little Blue Truck Leads the Way, and Little Blue Truck's Christmas. I love these books because they rhyme, have lots of sound effects (vehicles and animals), and teach a great lesson to always be kind and help others in need.
4. That's Not My Bunny written by Fiona Watt (or any of the animal books in this collection) - These books are great for touch and feel! My kids are at the age now where they absolutely love to help turn the pages and feel the different textures on each page. Plus, they have bunny stuffies that are near and dear to their hearts, so they make the connection between the book and stuffy. Very sweet.
5. Anything written by Sandra Boynton - I used to think that Sandra's books were just goofy and I didn't fully appreciate them... but then we started reading them to the boys and they ARE goofy... but I LOVE them! Most of her books are also songs, so you can find the melody and sing along! They are often rhyming or contain numbers and colours for an extra learning opportunity! Some of our favourites by Sandra are: Barnyard Dance, Pajama Time, The Going to Bed Book, and Dinosaur Dance.
6. The Daddy Book and The Mommy Book written by Todd Parr - If you've read books by Todd Parr then you know just how wonderful they are in celebrating everyone, differences and all! I love the simplicity of Todd's books and the brightly coloured illustrations.
7. Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See? written by Eric Carle - We actually love most books by Eric! I remember reading his books when I was small and it brings back great childhood memories. His illustrations (artwork!!) are unforgettable, bright, and bold, and the repetition is great for kids' language and reading development!
8. Plant a Kiss written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal - I have always loved Amy's books for reading and writing strategies in Elementary school. She has a few children's and baby books too, and Plant a Kiss is so so sweet. All about patience and sharing and kindness and love. A book with simple text and illustrations that is a favourite in our household!
9. Time for Bed and Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes and Where is the Green Sheep? written by Mem Fox - Mem Fox is an absolute classic. In many of my reading and writing course in University, Mem's name came up multiple times. Her books are written with sweetness, rhyme, and repetition. They make excellent read alouds and read alongs.
10. The Crayons' Book of Colors and The Crayons' Book of Numbers written by Drew Daywalt - I am a huge fan of The Day the Crayons Quit and The Day the Crayons Came Back by Oliver Jeffers. These books are brought to you by the same publisher and are a great way to introduce colours and numbers to your baby and toddler. I love the look of the hand drawn illustrations by a child and I connect these board books to their originals. I can't wait to read the full Crayon stories to my boys when they are older!
11. The Perfect Hug written by Joanna Walsh - This is such a sweet little book about a Panda looking to find the "perfect fit" of hug for her. She goes through lots of different types of hugs until she finds one that is just right for her!
12. Peek-a-Boo Baby! Scholastic Books - Our boys love to play peek-a-boo, and this book has rhyming and real baby faces that peek-a-boo at them. The boys laugh and giggle as they turn the flap on each page. They love to reach out and touch the different baby faces!
13. Heads written by Matthew Van Fleet - I couldn't resist adding this one in, because we just got it today! Heads is interactive with touch-and-feel, sturdy pull and push tabs, rhyme, and silliness! I adore this book! It is a little on the expensive side, but we found it for cheaper at Winners, and you can always wait for a sale at Chapters or just splurge on this "luxury" book!
BONUS: Somewhere in Australia written by Marcello Pennachio - We were just gifted this book from my friend Mel in Australia. I LOVE the rhyming and repetition, and most of all the relationship of different mama animals to their babies. I had to include this book, because it is the newest to our collection and adorable! I couldn't find it anywhere except for online Scholastic Australia! I wonder if there are others for different countries?!
Do your kids or babies have any of these books in their collection? What are your kids' favourites? Any of the books above that sparked your interest that you now want to go and purchase?! Leave me a message in the comment section below! And truth be told, I have found (scored!!) most of these favourites from Winners/HomeSense ... they are always discounted, and who doesn't love to save a few extra bucks?
Books on our library wish list:
Tails and Dance written by Matthew Van Fleet (two different books)
Little You written by Richard Van Camp
Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site written by Sherrie Duskey Rinker
The Biggest Kiss written by Joanna Walsh
The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear written by Audrey Wood (my absolute favourite when I was a child! I need to get my hands on a copy!)
Thanks so much for stopping by and reading (reading is the very best, isn't it?!). I Hope you are inspired to read to your child today (and everyday) and maybe go out and get some books to read and enjoy together!
MRS. + MAMA