You probably already know that toddlers love repetition. My son could listen to itsy bits spider and When Will My Life Begin (the kid is seriously obsessed with Tangled) on repeat for days. Luckily, we have a pretty good rotation of books going on AND, much to our delight, our son is already in love with reading so we have a good handful of books to rotate through instead of just one or two. It isn’t hard to see that story-time is his favorite time of day, but here are the books that make him especially excited:
1. The Baby Literature series
These books take classics like Alice in Wonderland, Romeo & Juliet, Pride and Prejudice, and more and make them into gorgeous picture books for kids with little winks and nudges to parents that love those stories. They do not try to tell the story per say but focus on a learning skill like colors, counting, or weather terms and they are just really delightful board books.
This is not one of my favorites as the book is literally different dogs and dog sounds, but my son is OBSESSED with dogs so it is a clear favorite right now. Plus, Anything by Sandra Boynton is a win for this age. I think we’ve read her entire oeuvre between the books we have and the books we’ve rented from the library. Personally, I prefer Oh My Oh My Oh Dinosaurs or the impressive vocabulary in her A to Z book but for now… Doggies it is.
3. The Very Hungry Caterpillar
This is one of the few board books not on the list which makes me nervous when little guy wants to read it on his own. This copy was actually my husband’s when he was a little boy which is why I had to keep my materialism in check when I wanted to cry last week as he tore part of the back cover, but this has actually been a fabulous book to start teaching about how to treat book gently. My son loves the colors, the fact that the story centers around food which is one of his favorite things, and the way he can feel the holes punched in the various foods. I love the reaction I get every time we turn the last page to reveal the gorgeous butterfly illustration. Definitely our favorite bedtime story right now.
4. NO, No, Yes, Yes
The title of this book is basically the only text in this book. My son probably loves it because he can help me read it since No and Yes are some of his pretty limited vocabulary and I have come to have an affection for the opportunities it gives for more imaginative storytelling. Since No and Yes are the only text, you can describe what you are saying no or yes to in different ways each times…. being theatre people, my husband and I have a TON of fun making up elaborate backstories when we have the energy or simply saying no, no, yes, yes, in a tired stupor depending on the day/time.
5. Juno’s Musical ABCs
We have many ABC books, but this is by far the favorite. Probably because my son is straight up OBSESSED with music. We have fun looking up music that pairs with some of the pages and there’s lovely rhythmic aspects of this book as well.
6. The Little Mouse, The Red, Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear
This was my sister’s FAVORITE book growing up and I think my son loves it not only because he loves strawberries and can easily recognize this favorite food but also because he likes how deep our voices get when we say “BIG HUNGRY BEAR” plus, at the end, there’s lots of tickling and snuggling during the part where (spoiler alert) they eat the strawberry up! We often have strawberries for a snack after this… so maybe that plays into the excitement over this book as well! Just wait until he’s old enough to sit through if you give a mouse a cookie!
7. Pat The Bunny
Another non-board book which is unfortunately a bit worse for the wear because it is a very favorite and he has not always been gentle with it. That aside, I’m glad it is so well loved. The favorite pages are of course patting the bunny and then the page that has you play peek-a-boo. We do have a bit of trouble with the smell the flower page because my son continually tries to eat it instead of smell it. The book now sticks together thanks to the drool… all this to say we may be buying a new Pat the Bunny soon…
8. Dear Zoo
If there’s one book that we’ve read more than any other in the past month it is Dear Zoo. My son loves the peek a boo aspects of the book and is learning how to gently pull the flaps down without tearing them apart (the fate of a few other books of this type in the past…) and this board book is surprisingly durable! Animal noises galore and going back to the dog obsession- the puppy at the end seems to provide unending delight. Naptime only happens peacefully if we allow my son to have Dear Zoo and his stuffed Mickey with him in his crib… so I’ll take it!
9. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
(And also the companion book Panda Bear, Panda Bear, what do you see?) The rhythmic sounds in this book make it a big hit as do big, brightly colored illustrations. Plus, it’s a bit larger than most of our other board books so when my son wants to read on his own (one of his new favorite playtime activities) it’s easier for him to turn the pages and babble to himself.
What are your favorite books for 12-18 mo. olds? I’m looking forward to writing a post on all the Young Adult Books I can’t wait to share with my son as he grows!!!