5 Toddler Books We Love
Ever since June could sit and play independently, she's loved books. I'll spare you the actual number of board books we have in our home (let's just say...I could have a board book only garage sale some day...). It's the one thing I can't get enough of and I don't mind 'spoiling' her with, because I know it's so good for her brain! I have always tried to keep things pretty "low-tech", so books became one of the ways we've passed our time since the very beginning. Research supports my anecdotal observations: June is undoubtedly connecting the dots and learning from what she sees in books. Sharing in her joy and excitement when she learns something new is one of the best feelings so far in motherhood. Below are five of our family's favorites.
Everywhere Babies | Susan Meyers
Quite possibly one of my all-time-favorite children's books. This is a heartwarming story about how babies are loved & nurtured in all kinds of ways, all while developing at their own pace. Without calling attention to it, Everywhere Babies features babies from all different ethnicities and types of families - there are same-sex couples, old + young couples, single moms and single dads subtly featured throughout. The overall feeling is one of acceptance for every kind of baby from every kind of family and I freaking love it.
ABC Love | Christine Engel
A unique ABC book that is based around relationships and love, featuring imagery and ideas that are unlike what you usually find in books about the alphabet. ABC Love skips over teaching the ABC's with animals and objects and uses concepts that help deepen a kiddo's social emotional vocabulary. It's larger than your average board book, so June looks extra cute carrying it over to me and we love looking at the pictures. We love this book for the illustrations but also for the diversity it offers - again, kids of all different backgrounds standing in a line holding hands. What's not to love?
LMNO Peas - Keith Baker
Spoiler alert: If I'm invited to your baby shower, there's a good chance you're going to get this book. I am a sucker for little intricate details, so beyond the effortlessly entertaining prose LMNO Peas offers, the illustrations are sooo FUN. Each little green pea has a personality and look of it's own. What's more, there is a little tiny ladybug (like, the size of a half of grain of rice) hidden on each page which June has now memorized where it is and pridefully points it out before allowing me to move onto the next page. We have the whole series of 'peas' books and I highly recommend all three of them!
The 'I Love You' Book - Todd Parr
I read a lot of Todd Parr books to little kiddos when I worked in Early Childhood Mental Health. His books have almost a Microsoft Paint-y vibe to the illustrations, featuring bold lines, stick figures, basic shapes and primary colors - but his messaging is heartwarming and uplifting. The main message is essentially, "It's okay to be exactly who you are and I will love you no matter what." The 'I Love You' Book is a regular read during our bedtime routine, full of sweet little reminders to end the day.
Mike's Pick: Because I'm Your Dad | Ahmet Zappa
This book was my Father's Day gift to Mike while I was pregnant. Pregnancy hormones of course made me cry while I read it the first time, and even now, Mike will admit that, depending on the day, he feels emotional while reading it to June. 'Because I'm Your Dad' is a cute story about the love a Daddy monster has for his little girl. They play the drums together, listen to loud rock music, and build a special bond. Mike says he loves this book because of how it wraps up, highlighting his good fortune in growing up with a Dad who did all of the same things with him.
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