Each Peach Pear Plum board book (Viking Kestrel Picture Books): I spy for the little guys (and gals). I (Brynn, age 17 months) really enjoy searching through these detailed pictures for not only the main images (“I spy Tom Thumb”), but other things like rabbits, birds, and tea kettles (!). Yes, I now know what a tea kettle is!
Baby’s Got the Blues: I (Brynn, 17 months) LOVE this book right now! Mama sings it in a bluesy way (Dada tries his very best to sound like he’s singing), and I sway as we read it together. I demand this book by saying, “Baby!” and if the book isn’t within easy reach, we have to go get it immediately. Great for little ones who love music, but parents have to be willing to get in the spirit, too! Illustrations are bright and expressive, while text is amusing.
Got to Dance: Same kind of book as the above. If parents will sing it jazzy, with some cymbal sounds (“chh, chh. chh, chh.”) and some finger snapping, then little ones will really enjoy it. Illustrations are fresh, but not quite as sharp as Baby’s Got the Blues.
Mary Engelbreit’s Mother Goose: One Hundred Best-Loved Verses: I (Brynn, 17 months) am in love with all things nursery rhyme. Reading experts know that hearing rhyme helps kids become aware of phonemes, the building blocks of language, which helps with future reading success. But that’s not why I love nursery rhymes. They just sound cool! Mama sings most of them (Dada really does try), and I’ll sign or say “more!” over and over again if I want to hear the same rhyme. My brother did the exact same thing when he was my age. These illustrations are much better than the original Mother Goose that my mom grew up with, too.
A Perfectly Messed-Up Story: This book is one that I (Luke, age 4) really like, and it’s for two of my friends who enjoy interactive, funny stories. Peanut butter, jelly, orange juice?! What else could possibly be dropped onto poor Little Louie’s story? Despite his story seeming like a complete debacle, in the end, everything is just fine, just the way I like it.
Mo’s Mustache: It’s tough to explain why I (Luke, 4) enjoy this book so much, but I read it religiously for two months straight this fall. Is it the hilarious, spare illustrations? Is it the melodramatic exclamations of the monsters (“Murf!” “Huzzah!”)? Is it the 1970’s reference at the end of the book that always makes my mom laugh but I just don’t quite understand (I like to hear her laugh, so it’s ok if I don’t get it)? Whatever the reason, preschoolers will enjoy it.
Mr. Tweed’s Good Deeds: I spy for preschoolers. I (Luke, 4) read the story once with Mama, but the real appeal of this book is the elaborate search and finds. The illustrations are vibrant and well done, and the hidden objects are actually quite challenging to find. I still have trouble finding all of the socks…
Chalk: A wordless picture book that is absolutely top-notch. Stunningly realistic drawings tell the story of three friends who happen upon a bag of magic chalk on a rainy day. What they draw ends up coming to life, and one creation almost spells disaster. I’m giving this book to a preschool friend who loves dinosaurs.
Thank You, Octopus: Quintessential preschooler humor: slightly gross, but oh so funny. Octopus is putting his buddy to bed, but every time he tells his buddy something nice he’s going to do for him, Octopus switches the meaning and it ends of being not so nice.
Octopus: Let me give you a bath, Buddy.
Buddy: Thank you, Octopus!
Octopus: In EGG SALAD!
Buddy: Gross! No thank you, Octopus!
Very clever plays on words that kept me rolling night after night. My parents and I even started our own “thank you, no thank you” routine.
The Munschworks Grand Treasury: This past Fall has been “The Fall of the Robert Munsch Books.” My parents and I (Luke, 4) have read just about every story Munsch has written. They are generally clever stories that just beg to be read aloud and embellished with inflection and sound effects. The stories are longer than typical picture books, and the characters are smart and funny with a modern kid humor, so they are a lot like me. I love these stories!
I Really Like Slop! (An Elephant and Piggie Book): I’m (Luke, 4) giving three of the Elephant and Piggie books to my cousin who is just starting to read independently. The text in these books is always simple, the illustrations are always expressive, and the stories are always hilarious, for preschoolers and parents alike.
I Can Read With My Eyes Shut! (Beginner Books): I’m (Luke, 4) also giving this classic Seuss book to my beginning-reader cousin. I loved this book when I was starting to read, and I still return to it every now and again just because it’s so much fun. And with simple sight word text, it really is a book that beginning readers will be able to feel good about reading by themselves.
–Luke (age 4) and Brynn (age 17 months), blog co-authors
Clicking on a book will take you to Amazon.com, and if you decide to buy the book, a portion of your purchase comes back to me. I, in turn, will use the profits to purchase books for our local library or for a children’s literacy project.