Our house is a home of readers. One wall of our living room is covered nearly floor to ceiling in books. It’s a great joy to pass on a love of reading to our children. But what about the littlest ones who hardly sit long enough to flip the pages?
I’m sure you’ve had those days when you imagined quaint afternoons reading to your littles, but instead it turns into the toddler flipping through the pages faster than you can finish a sentence. We can it the ‘Flip It’ stage and each of my children have gone through it. They’re just interested in moving the pages of the book. It’s part of their sensitive period for movement. The pages just keep moving until there are no more, then the child is done. It’s fine. Frustrating at times, but where the child’s at.
It’s sweet when the young child begins to slow the turning of pages to notice the pictures and begin to point to details in the illustrations. Olivia has, for the most part, finished her flip it stage and I love how she curls up on my lap waiting for me to finish reading before turning the page.
Because I love books, I generally like to have them everywhere, even in the kids rooms. I’ve scaled back recently with books in Olivia’s room, noticing she consistently picks out the same 4 to 5 books. Occasionally, I’ll switch up a few of the books, but I’ll find her favorites back in her room a few hours later.
Her absolute favorite, the book she brings to nap and bedtime, is Eric Carle’s classic Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? It’s easy to see why it’s a favorite. Bright, simple pictures of animals. It’s a plus that our board book has a slide and find window on each page to see what the animal sees. Olivia’s sense of order is beginning to show, because she’ll now go through the book to close all the windows.
Red Wagon by Renata Liwska tells the story of a little fox with a new red wagon who wants to play, but is sent on an errand for her mother. Along the way she goes on many adventures with her little red wagon. While not able to grasp the imagination aspect of the book, Olivia loves to follow the red wagon across the pages.
Olivia Counts is an obvious choice for our own little Olivia. It’s short enough to keep her attention as we count the items on each page. We’re still in the “flip it” stage for the first Olivia book.
I Am a Bunny is a classic book with quaint illustrations mid-century Golden books are famous for. The colors and creatures on each page keep her interested and we’ve even begun to call one of the bunnies who visits our yard Nicholas Bunny. Another favorite is One Bear Lost which follows a group of bears out of hibernation losing one bear with each silly escapades until they all find each other once again.
With how often we’re reading these books, Olivia’s vocabulary is increasing (brown bear, wagon, bear, bunny) and when asked questions about the pictures she’s able to point to the answer. It’s fun to see and experience with her the joy of favorite books!
A few other notable favorites are Giggle, Giggle, Quack (Doreen Cronin), Piggies and The Napping House (Don & Audrey Wood), Moo Baa La La La (Sandra Boynton), and We’re Going on a Bear Hunt (Helen Oxenbury).
What are some of your favorite board books for toddlers?
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