Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Books All Young Children Should Own

I'll give some recommendations for specific titles, but these are all types of books for which many titles would work. You can "kill two birds with one stone" so to speak with many of titles.  Also, most popular authors like Lucy Cousins, Rosemary Wells, or Sandra Boynton have an alphabet and counting book, even if they aren't listed here. 

  • Cloth or vinyl book - You can't get these at most libraries, which is probably a good thing.  Books like these are meant for chewing.  They provide a very early reading experience without you worrying about the book being destroyed or your little one getting hunks of cardboard in his mouth. 
    • Recommendations: Sesame Street makes several titles that are vinyl which I purchased at the dollar store; Let's Play Elmo Says which includes an Elmo puppet; Tiger Tales makes several cloth books including Jumping Jungle and Busy Bugs; Maisy's Snuggle Book by Lucy Cousins; Baby's Day by Karen Katz; Busy Bee and Squishy Turtle both by Roger Priddy

  • Body parts - Learning the names of our body parts is basic and important content.  Once your child knows his parts, a huge leap in communication can happen.  You can now direct his body.  He can also tell you what hurts. 
    • Recommendations: Here Are My Hands by Bill Martin Jr; Where is Baby's Belly Button? by Karen Katz (also a lift the flap book); Toes, Ears, & Nose! by Marion Dane Baure (also a lift the flap book); From Head to Toe by Eric Carle

  • Bed time - Bed time is a wonderful time to fit reading into your day.  A quiet book about going to bed, complete with mushy I-love-yous, hugs, and kisses, is a  great way to get your child to slow down and snuggle into bed.  Bed time reading is a great way to make reading pleasurable and bed time calming. 
    • Recommendations: Goodnight Moon by Margret Wise Brown; Maisy Goes to Bed by Lucy Cousins; Goodnight Spot by Eric Hill; Pajama Time by Sandra Boynton; Dinosaur Vs Bedtime by Bob Shea; Tuck Me In by Dean Hacohen (also a lift the flap book);

  • Animals - Most kids' books focus on farm animals, but it doesn't have to be.  Learning about animals is a great venue for animal noises, colors, textures, habitats, and sizes. 
    • Recommendations: Big Red Barn by Margret Wise Brown; Open the Barn Door (also a lift the flap book) by Chris Santoro; First 100 Animals by Roger Priddy; Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr; Barnyard Dance by Sandra Boynton

  • Vehicles - Machines are just interesting and cool, so a book of the many types of vehicles that populate our world can spark interest in how machines work as well as the professions for which they are used. 
    • Recommendations: books by Byron Barton like Trucks; Planes; Boats; First 100 Trucks by Roger Priddy; Vroom Vroom Maisy by Lucy Cousins; Go, Maisy, Go! by Lucy Cousins (also a lift the flap book); Fisher Price Little People Cars, Trucks, Planes, and Trains (also a lift the flap book)

  • Touch and feel - A touch and feel book provides awesome opportunists to label textures and discuss items that have those textures. These are pretty easy to find at stores like Walmart and Kmart.  Look for variety in the textures.  A book which repeats the same texture over and over is not as much fun and doesn't provide as much to learn. 
    • Recommendations: Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt; Have You Ever Tickled a Tiger? by Betsy E Snyder; Goodnight Max by Rosemary Wells: DK publishers makes many different touch and feel titles featuring different animals

  • Lift the flap - What wonderful books these are.  There is fine motor control.  There is the fun of peekaboo.  Lots of these books are question and answer. Many of these books fit into the other categories listed here. 
    • Recommendations: Where's Spot? by Eric Hill; Where's Baby's ... series by Karen Katz; Open the Barn Door by Chris Santoro; Go, Maisy, Go! by Lucy Cousins; Tuck Me In by Dean Hacohen; Fisher Price Little People lift the flap books such as Let's Go to the Farm; Peek-a-Moo by Marie Torres Cimarusti; Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell; also common for popular TV shows to have lift the flap books

  • Alphabet - The benefits of this one are pretty obvious.  The key here is to fine a good alphabet book.  The best ones stand alone as an interesting book with the alphabet as secondary.  You can find alphabet books on almost any subject.  
    • Recommendations: Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert; ABC's of Cookies by PJ Shaw (Sesame Street book); Gone Wild by David McLimans; Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr; Max's ABC's by Rosemary Wells;  A to Z by Sandra Boynton

  • Numbers - Just as the alphabet is the foundation of learning to read, numbers are the building blocks to math. 
    • Recommendations: Ten, Nine, Eight by Molly Bang; Duck & Goose 1,2, 3 by Tad Hills; Ten in Bed by David Ellwand; 10 Rubber Ducks by Eric Carle; Maisy Counts by Lucy Cousins; Hippos Go Berserk and One, Two, Three! by Sandra Boynton

  • First words - This type of book is great for early language acquisition.  Lots of fun for your child to point and you to label, and then when she is a little older, for you to ask questions and your child to answer, either pointing or talking.  
    • Recommendations: Roger Priddy has many different first words books.  We like First 100 Words the best.  There are many other choices out there by different authors including on by DK publishers and Little Einstiens.

  • Emotions - Books are a great way for children to start to develop empathy by understanding the emotions shown in the pictures.  These types of stories also help children understand their own emotions and then communicate them. 
    • Recommendations: Duck & Goose: How Are You Feeling? by Tad Hills; Baby Happy, Baby Sad by Leslie Patricelli;  

  • Food - Reading about food is just fun, but it also opens up discussion of taste, colors, shapes, and sizes. 
    • Recommendations: The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle; Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert; Grandpa and Me by Karen Katz (also a lift the flap book); Spot Bakes a Cake by Eric Hill (also a lift the flap book); Today is Monday by Eric Carle; I Like Vegetables by Lorena Siminovich (also touch and feel); Pete's a Pizza by William Steig

  • Nursery Rhymes - These are the little rhymes everyone knows.  Children love to sing and repeat them.  Many have motions or dances to help get kids active.  From birth, children like the sound of nursery rhymes.  They are a fabulous way to share language with your child. 
    • Recommendations: My Very First Mother Goose by Rosemary Wells; single rhyme board books by Annie Kubler such as Row, Row, Row Your Boat; Itsy Bitsy Spider; and I'm a Little Tea Pot

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