12 to 24 months:
child becomes a toddler, he or she will be able to sit through a book,
IF he or she is interested in it. There are days Natalie will ask for
ten books in a row and others when she can't sit still for two pages.
Despite the antsy busyness of a toddler, try to still ready every day.
Bed time is a great time for adding reading because it usually a calmer
part of the day. I've also had success reading to Natalie while she is
in her high chair eating.
Toddlers have opinions about
the books they like and will ask to hear favorites again and again. Be
prepared to read the same book three (or ten) times in a row. Try to
bring into the home a variety of books, but respect what your toddler
likes. A perfect example: My daughter wouldn't give Where the Wild Things Are
the time of day the first couple of times I tried to read it to her,
then it became the must read bed time book for several months. Expose
your child to new books, but respect what they like, need, and want.
love gimmicky books. These include pop-ups, flaps, touch and feel,
holes and windows, and sliders. Some of these books are really more
toys, but others are still great stories. For example, The Very Hungry Caterpillar
has various sized pages and dye-cut holds that my daughter loves to
touch, but it is also a great little story teaching about days of the
week, foods, numbers, and metamorphosis! Another perfect toddler book
is Where's Spot? Natalie loves lifting the flaps and shouting "no!" when spot isn't there! Lastly, Open the Barn Door by (or a similar book) and Karen Katz's Where's Baby's Bellybutton? are other great flap book that helps teach animals and their sounds and parts of the body respectively.
often seen books based on TV or movie characters equated to trash. I
disagree. While your child shouldn't only be exposed to such books, I
see no harm in some titles that relate to shows or movies your child
enjoys. The best example of an excellent TV show themed book is The Monster at the End of This Book
starring loveable, furry old Grover. It is a funny and interactive
story that just happens to have a Muppet as the main character. We own
several other Sesame Street books that Natalie loves, and we also own three Yo Gabba Gabba books and a Ni Hao Kai-lan
book. She might like looking at and pointing to her favorite
characters, but I still am reading to her. All but two of the ten or so
character themed books that we own teach something, be it shapes, the
alphabet, seasons, animals, nursery rhymes, or going to the doctor.
When you consider getting these books, just consider: Do we already
have a lot of books like this? and Does this book do more than just
promote watching the show?
Lastly, toddlerhood is a
great time for books with labeled photographs. Toddlers are curious to
ask what things are and to point out what they know. Natalie loves
pointing to pictures of things she can say (like cup, kitty, and baby),
but also likes having me name the things she recognizes that she can't
say yet (banana, computer, phone). Reading where you are really
pointing and labeling is a fun way to teach words at this age.
2 to 3 years: