As I mentioned in my last post, we’ve been participating in a little library challenge over here that involves reading 1,000 (different) books to Raven before kindergarten. (And, thanks to Steph who gave me the great idea to open up a separate Goodreads account to track all of them!)
Although 1,000 books can seem daunting at first, if you read one new book to your child every day, you will easily hit it well before your intended date of your child’s entrance to kindergarten.
Although we often read throughout the day to Raven, it really helps that we have a few set times where she knows we’ll read together. We read a few books with her immediately upon waking up, at least two books before putting her down for a nap, and then another two books right before bed. Because she loves to read, she doesn’t protest being put down to sleep at all–in fact, I think she rather looks forward to it a lot of the time because she knows that we get to read together first!
I hope to discover a whole lot more books in our quest to 1,000, but I did want to share some of our favorite board book titles (since we’re sloooowly starting to transition to just regular picture books over here now that she is overall much gentler with our books).
Here’s a few we love:
Title: Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type
Author: Doreen Cronin
This award winner about the farm cows who get a hold of a typewriter and go on strike is HILARIOUS. Not only does it have lots of pictures of animals that will grab your toddler’s attention, but it also has a clever story line, a good dash of silliness, and some really fun plays on words that you’ll enjoy noticing as you read through it.
Title: We’re Going on a Bear Hunt
Author: Michael Rosen
Although this is considered a classic children’s book by many, I actually wasn’t super familiar with it before we had Raven. The story follows a family on one beautiful day as they go out looking for a bear. On the way, they have to overcome many obstacles, each complete with its own fun sound effect. Every time we got to the climax of this book, Raven would squeal and cover her eyes, and then turn back to that page again and again. The repetition in this is so fun (almost like a song), and it’s the kind of book that’s really easy to add your own actions and special effects to.
Title: Let’s Dance, Little Pookie
Author: Sandra Boynton
Boynton has written a TON of awesome board books (including The Belly Button Book and But Not the Hippopotamus, which were two more of our favorites), but one of the little side series she’s done is this Pookie series. There are several books in the Pookie series, but of all the ones we’ve read so far (which is most of them), this is the one that’s stuck with us the longest because you’ll still catch me singing the rhymes from it as Raven and I dance around our living room.
Title: Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
Author: Bill Martin Jr.
This is another classic book that I wasn’t all that familiar with, but I particularly LOVE this edition of it, which has a “slide and find” flap on almost every page. This is one of the first books we were given as a gift, and it’s definitely one of the most well loved, both thanks to the beautiful illustrations/fun story and the fact that Raven was able to really interact with it from a very young age. If you’ve got some money to splurge a bit on a beautiful board book, this is SO worth your money!
Title: That’s Not My Puppy…
Author: Fiona Watt
I’ve been pretty impressed with a lot of the books I’ve gotten from Usborne, but this series probably takes the cake. The company has a TON of these touchy-feely books out now, and this is one of the go-to books we take to church with us to keep Raven entertained and relatively quiet during our 3-hour block of church meetings. Each page features a new texture that your child can feel, and from the love ours has gotten, the books are pretty darn durable, too (including the different texture swatches).
Author: Taro Gomi
This one is a very recent find, but I thought the idea for it was so clever (and Raven thought it was hilarious). On each page, there’s a hole for you to put your finger through to represent something different (like a cat’s tail or a bird’s wing or a snake’s rattle) and wiggle around. Definitely a fun one to check out.
Title: Dino Bites!
Author: Algy Craig Hall
This one is Raven’s current favorite, hands down. In fact, she loved it so much that we had to order it for her for Christmas because we knew she’d miss it once we returned it to the library. This is a silly book where dinosaurs eat other dinosaurs and then burp them all up, but once your toddler gets to the stage where burping and other bodily functions are funny, he/she will just devour this one.
Title: Fox in Socks
Author: Dr. Seuss
This is a lesser-known Seuss book, but it’s perfect for babies or toddlers because they love repeated sounds and rhymes and tongue twisters. Also, a fun bonus game: see which parent can read through the tongue twisters faster than the other. (I totally won, btw!)
Title: The Napping House
Author: Audrey Wood
Another recent find, this book is a “cumulative tale” where with each page, a new element is added and all the previous elements are repeated. This one’s a little longer (so it would be better for a toddler rather than a baby), but the illustrations really add a lot to the story, and repetition is always a win for small children. I really liked reading this one right before we put Raven down for the night (even though, by the end, nobody in the napping house is sleeping!).
Title: Where is Baby’s Belly Button?
Author: Karen Katz
This was one of Raven’s Christmas books from last year, and she is still as fascinated by it as ever. Each of the pages features a flap you can lift to show a different body part that’s hiding under/behind something else (like eyes under a hat or feet behind a cat), so it’s great starting right around the one-year mark when a lot of kids start being able to identify different body parts.
We love a lot of others too, but hopefully this gives you some titles you maybe haven’t heard of!
*Note: I have included a few Amazon affiliate links to some of the better-priced books on there, but the books are fabulous no matter where you get them from! Also note that some of the affiliate links will take you to the general page for the book—if you want an actual board book, you sometimes have to click over to that option!
What are your favorite board books for a baby/toddler?