We don’t need studies to tell us that reading to children is a great thing to do, but of course they exist. It has been proven time and time again that reading from infancy promotes brain development. Children love to be read to and it provides a special time for them to bond with their parents. Books encourage imaginative thinking, increase vocabulary, and when started early can help build that life long love of reading that we hope our children will have. My mother has said that she has never seen so many kids books before (when she’s at my house) and although that could be secret code to hint that I need to clean up, I am going to take it as a compliment. We have tons of books and trust me, the stage of reading to your children as they crawl into your lap ends faster than I ever thought possible. Enjoy the moments and read all the books you can.
Here are our favorite board books that we read over and over again:
1.) We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury
All time favorite! We used to sing this when I was a child in my elementary school music class (shout out to Mrs. Parr) so my love for this book goes way back. My girls love it now, just as I did then. It’s always fun to read (or sing) and we like to speculate what the bear was up to at the end.
“We’re going on a bear hunt. We’re going to catch a big one. What a beautiful day! We’re not scared. Oh-oh! A river! A deep, cold river. We can’t go over it. We can’t go under it. Oh, no! We’ve got to go through it!”
2.) The Lady with the Alligator Purse by Mary Ann Hoberman and Nadine Bernard Westcott
This is likely the most worn children’s book in my house. My girls love it. We have been reading this gem for almost 11 years. Kids love the sing-song nature of the story and really have a lot of fun with it. It’s total nonsense and total fun.
“He drank up all the water, He ate up all the soap, He tried to eat the bathtub, But it wouldn’t go down his throat.”
3. Pierre a cautionary tale IN FIVE CHAPTERS AND A PROLOGUE by Maurice Sendak
If you don’t know Pierre, you should really get to know him! This may be more of my personal favorite than my children’s, although they really like it too. You can’t read this without disguising your voice for Pierre – it’s a must. The story reminds of us why we should care…because if we don’t we may get eaten by a lion. It sounds crazy, and I guess it is, but it’s a nice addition to our collection and every time I read it the girls can’t stop laughing.
“You are acting like a clown. I don’t care! And we have to go to town. I don’t care! Don’t you want to come, my dear? I don’t care! Would you rather stay right here? I don’t care!”
4. I Love You More Than Rainbows by Susan E. Crites, Illustrated by Mark & Rosemary Jarman
This one has also been around our house for a really long time. It’s a sweet, rhyming reminder for your children of how much you love them; more than ice cream, more than summer, more than anything.
“So many things are nice and things are fun to do, But none of them compare to the love I have for you.”
5. Nerdy Babies Space by Emmy Kastner
This is an awesome book to begin teaching kids about outer space and the amazing universe we live in at an early age. The pictures and text are really cute but simple enough to be age appropriate.
“Why are we floating? There’s no gravity here! Gravity keeps everything on the ground back on Earth. There’s no sound in space. It’s so quiet.”
6. It’s Time for School, Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt, Illustrated by Cyd Moore
If you are looking at the cover and aren’t familiar with these books, Stinky Face is not the name of the dog. It’s an endearing nickname the mom has for her child and it’s just a cute book about a child who has a big, vivid imagination and a mom who loves him and plays along.
“It’s almost time for school, Stinky Face,” said mama as she packed my lunch. But I had a question. Mama, what if the school bus was already stuffed with too many kids and the second I stepped inside, all the tires popped flat?”
7. Goodnight, Starry Night by Julie Appel and Amy Guglielmo
From Vincent van Gogh to Henri Rousseau to Diego Rivera, this little book includes six famous paintings with information about each artist at the end. A small “peek-a-boo” on the pages introduces a bit of each painting before you see the full work.
“Heavens shining like a pearl…peek-a-boo-moon!…Goodnight lion. Goodnight girl.” Henri Rousseau The Sleeping Gypsy 1897
8. Wherever You Go by Pat Zietlow Miller, Illustrated by Eliza Wheeler
I think I enjoy this book so much because it reminds me of how difficult, even frightening, it can be to leave and travel to new places but how important it is to have adventures that shape our lives. I hope my children’s lives will be filled with them. The book reminds us at the end that you can always go back home.
“When it’s time for a journey, to learn and to grow, roads guide your footsteps wherever you go. Roads give you chances to seek and explore. Want an adventure? Just open your door.”
9. Peppa Pig Night Creatures
Because almost everyone loves Peppa and this book is so much fun, it has found its way to this recommended list. My daughter loves this tiny flashlight. Flaps lift to reveal night creatures and kids can shine the light on them as they are discovered.Just remember to keep the flashlight stored in the book so you don’t lose it!
“These night creatures may be able to stay awake all night,” says Grandpa Pig, “but you two certainly can’t!”
10. Quack! Moo! Oink! Let’s Listen on the Farm!
Let’s be honest, as parents one reason we hate battery powered things is because they die and need replacing frequently and books are no exception! I’m recommending this one because my daughter enjoys pressing the buttons to hear the sounds as most kids would, the sounds are loud (just the right volume level), and we have never had to replace the batteries.
“Ducks’ feathers trap air to help them float in water. Ducks’ feet are webbed, to help them paddle in the pond.”
Some of these may become your family’s favorite choices, but no matter what books you find, we wish you happy reading!