Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Baby/toddler book reviews: My Top Ten Favorites (so far)

I love books. Growing up, we went to the library every two weeks and brought a milk crate to fill up. I loved to read! I hope to instill a love of reading in our children, too. And already have accumulated quite a collection for Judah. In fact, it's probably a borderline hoard of books. I suppose if you're going to have an addiction/hoarding problem, children's books are lower on the scale than cats or dirty plastic bottles. ;)

One thing I've noticed about reading to Judah is, if you don't like the book, too, then don't read it! I've gotten a few books through gifts or thrift store shopping that after reading through a few times realized it's either extremely obnoxious or just plain weird. However, there are quite a few books I probably love to read more often than Judah can tolerate me reading it!

Here's a list of my top ten baby/toddler finds, in no particular order:

1. I Love You Through and Through by Bernadette Rossetti-Shustak and Caroline Jayne Church
I read this to a little boy I nannied a few years back and just think it's the sweetest book that you can get animated about, and start to identify different parts of the body like hair, eyes, nose, etc. and different emotions. Very cute illustrations, too!

2. The Belly Button Book by Sandra Boynton
Ok, who can read a book about hippos having great pride in their belly buttons without giggling a little? Such a cute and fun read that will probably get your little one giggling, too!
Every one of this author's books are extremely fun and interactive. And the rhyming also helps develop baby's speech skills!

3. Over in the Meadow by Michael Evans
Does anyone remember this song? It helps teach counting and fun to sing! Brings back memories for me :)

4. Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy E. Shaw and Margot Apple
I love how simple this is, and the illustrations are wonderful. A bit of a tongue-twister, at times, which makes it all the more fun ;)

5. Baby Baluga by Raffi
Anyone who remembers Raffi from back in the day (or a certain Full House episode) will remember this song, which they turned into a book. I love singing this to him while he looks at the pictures of whales and other arctic creatures. I think it could become educational as you learn more about Baluga whales and the environment they live in.

6. Are You My Mother? by PD Eastman
One of my all-time favorite books!

7. Turtles Take Their Time by Margaret Wang
I picked this one up in a Target dollar bin, but it's so cute-- teaches about being patient and enjoying things instead of rushing through them.

8. Fred and Ted Like to Fly by Peter (PD) Eastman
Alright, got to incorporate the planes for Daddy, here. Plus, I loved Fred and Ted growing up! All the Fred and Ted books are great for teaching opposites, colors, etc. And all the author's other books are easy-reads with loveable characters and cute illustrations.

9. A Father's Song by Janet Lawler and Lucy Corvino
I got this one for Jonathan to read to Judah and it's such a sweet example of the love between a father and his son. :)

10. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff and Felicia Bond
My all-time favorite book as a kid. This one brings back sweet memories of my mother reading it to us, and even incorporating baking cookies! Can't go wrong with that! I recommend the "Mouse Cookies and More" Treasury Book that has about 4 of the stories (Pig a Pancake, Moose a Muffin, etc) and recipes/crafts/songs to go with each one.

And some of my other favorite authors (I decided that there's too many individual books to list, so I'll let you choose ;)

Richard Scarry

(My 3-year-old niece loooooves Busytown right now, and I do too!) Such adorable characters and very educational and fun!

Dr. Seuss
It's Dr. Seuss! Need I say more?

Shel Silverstein
Ok, so some of his poems/books are not extremely young-child-friendly and a bit weird/hippy-ish, but I love how his poems flow and are fun to read. Judah sits for quite a long time when I read them.