8 More Books Please!

8 More Books Please! Our Favorite Toddler Books Sure, Lila loves to read, but Lucy is becoming quite the reader. It is not uncommon for us to be making dinner in the evening and notice Lucy isn’t in the living room. We’ll find her in the play room, surrounded by a giant pile of books, quietly “reading” to herself. It is not surprising, since birth Lucy has heard us reading to Lila.

Just as Lila has her favorites, Lucy very much does too. What is interesting to us is that her books of choice are very different from what Lila liked at her age. It is fun to see what their individual taste leads them to enjoy reading and fun to celebrate their freedom to choose whatever books they want.

Just a few books Lucy would recommend you (or your favorite toddler) check out:

Ladybug Girl at the Beach – Ladybug Girl is above and beyond Lucy’s favorite book series. Ladybug Girl has a trusty sidekick, her dog Bingo, who bears a resemblance to a certain lovable beagle. Ladybug Girl’s real name is Lulu, which happens to be Lucy’s nickname at daycare. There are many books in the series, including a set of board books. Lucy’s current favorite is Ladybug Girl Says Good Night , in which Lula requests “8 more books please!” before bed. Lucy can barely make it through the line without giggling hysterically.

Curious George and the Birthday Surprise – Lucy has a thing for monkeys. I think that’s pretty common for toddlers. Her lovie is a monkey name RuRu, but she loves Curious George too. She likes to point out the Man with the Yellow Hat and read about his crazy adventures – like when he invited all the dogs into the house to eat the frosting. 8 More Books Please! Our Favorite Toddler Books

Baby Einstein Alphabooks – These books don’t have much plot. Ok, they have no plot. They are 26 books, one for each letter with 3 words and pictures for each letter. I have little patience for reading these books but A is really good about reading them to Lucy. They talk about recognizing the letter, the words, other things that start with that letter. I have no doubt that it really helps with learning to read and knowing the alphabet. (Lucy can sing her ABCs, in adorable toddler speak.) So I highly recommend these books for helping with pre-reading skills. Just be sure you have someone like A to do the alphabet training with your toddler.

Hands Are Not for Hitting (Board Book) (Best Behavior Series) – So this is a weird one but Lucy LOVES it. We bought it after Lucy was born and while going through some big sister adjustment, Lila had a hitting phase. Lucy loves it, she loves to imitate what the kids in the book are doing (waving hello, brushing their teeth, etc) and one of her favorite people’s name appears in the book which makes her very happy. There is a whole series of these books (Teeth are Not for Biting, Tails are Not for Pulling) and we’ve never read the others, but I imagine they may be just as enjoyable.

Toddler books can be exhausting, but we’ve manage to find a good number of books that we can all enjoy. Have you had good luck with toddler books? Any tales of books to avoid so you don’t pull your hair out while reading it for the seventeenth time in a row?

 

8 More Books Please! Our Favorite Toddler Books

 

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Learning to Love to Read

Learning to Love to Read: Our Favorite Children's BooksSince Lila was born, we have read to her. Every night we read to her before bed. (We randomly set the limit at 3 stories. Lila is already petitioning that this increase to 4 stories when she turns 4.) It’s been great to share some of our childhood favorites with her, as well as discover new books through her eyes. It is not so great to discover those books that make you want to poke your eyes out instead of reading it one more time but that your child inexplicably loves.

We soon discovered that we could not keep buying new books for the girls. Not only was it not financially sound, we were running out of room. I thought Lila would get a kick out of having her own library card, so last summer we became regular customers of our local library. It has been fantastic. The variety and constant stream of books coming into our home is exciting for the girls. I love that I can request books online and have them be held for me. I review the monthly newsletters from our local children’s book store and Amazon.com to find new books or authors for us to try.Learning to Love to Read: Our Favorite Children's Books

Even though we’ve probably read borrowed over 200 books, there are definitely some favorites that Lila likes to read over and over again, requesting them from the library multiple times. Since I’m always on the look out for new children’s book recommendations, I thought I’d share them here in case others are looking for ideas.

Belinda in Paris – This is one in the series of Belinda books by Amy Young. Belinda is a ballet dancer with very large feet and very large talent. A budding ballerina herself, Lila loves to read about Belinda’s adventures. Her favorite has been Belinda in Paris, perhaps for its worldly feel or just very silly story.

Madeline – In an old house in Paris. . . Lila is a bit of a Francophile, as you may be able to tell by the first two books on the list. Madeline caught her attention with its familiar rhymes and the little girl’s infectious spirit. The older books can be a little wacky – ever read Madeline and the Gypsies where she and the Ambassador’s son are kidnapped by a gypsy circus and to prevent the children from being discovered, the old gypsy lady sews them into a dead lion’s pelt? But Lila has returned to the series many times, now owning many of her favorite titles.

How Rocket Learned to Read – this book is an adorable tale of a little dog who meets a bird who teaches him to read. It is a a good “first reader” book without being an annoying “This is cat. See cat. See cat sit.” It has lots of easy words and incorporates learning to spell and recognize easy words into the plot. That and Rocket is gosh darn adorable.

The Seven Silly Eaters – We own this book, having received it when Lila was born. It is a very silly tale of a large family of picky eaters. Lila likes the rhymes, all the kids, the ever increasing number of cats in the house and now enjoys that one of the siblings is named Lucy. It is one book that I don’t mind when Lila picks it up several nights in a row.

Tallulah’s Solo – Another great series about a little girl who loves ballet. Unlike Belinda who is a “real” ballerina, Tallulah is a little girl with big ballet dreams. Her family is very Seattle hipster – Tallulah and her little brother Beckett, dad wears a beret, mom is fashionably shabby – and Tallulah always learns an important lesson. I think Tallulah’s enthusiasm and resulting adventures are great for our little ballerina, without being preachy.

These are just a few of the amazing children’s books we’ve discovered since Lila’s love of reading developed. We’re lucky that Lila loves to read and that she is free to make the choice as to what books to read. Banned Books Week celebrates all books and the freedom to read them. Did you know Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax has been banned? And Charlotte’s Web? I look forward to sharing both these books, and more, with the girls as they continue to grow and discover more favorites.

What are some of your little ones’ (or your) favorite children’s books? Any ballet books we may have missed? I feel like we’ve exhausted that topic at our library!

Learning to Love to Read: Some of Our Favorite Children's Books

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The Freedom to Read

Why I Can't Wait to Share a Banned Book with My KidsSeptember 21-17 marks Banned Books Week. I’ve never really understood the idea behind banning books. To me, encouraging reading is encouraging reading. I mean, I’m not reading Fifty Shades of Gray to Lila at bedtime, but when the time comes, I don’t expect I’ll be telling my kids can’t read books. But Fifty Shades of Gray is a bad example of what banned books are, because after all it’s salacious pulp fiction with little literary value. The same can’t be said about other books that have been banned throughout the country:

  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
  • All Quiet on the Western Front
  • the Bible
  • The DaVinci Code
  • Captain Underpants
  • The Bluest Eyes
  • And Tango Makes Three
  • The Kite Runner
  • To Kill a Mockingbird

The list goes on, many a “classic” on there – books I read as an English major, books that hold literary value. Of all of the ones on the “most banned” list, perhaps the one that makes me the saddest is the Harry Potter series. Since reading Harry Potter so many years ago, A and I started talking about when we could share it with our children. Even before we had kids, we were daydreaming of sharing these amazing stories with our kids. Now isn’t the right time – we can’t make it through a 15 page picture book without Lila asking 35 questions a page so reading an extended chapter book isn’t going to happen for several years. But to think that someone else might take that experience away from us, or the joy of Hogwarts from our kids, that horrifies me. Books are meant to be read, to be shared and to be loved.

To celebrate Banned Books Week, I’ll be sharing some of the girls’ favorite titles this week. Sure, Knuffle Bunny has yet to be banned (or not that I could find at least but did you know Green Eggs and Ham was banned in China?) but to me this week is a chance to celebrate all books, the love of reading and the ability to share that love with others.

Read more about Banned Books Week at the American Library Association or the Banned Books website.  Help us celebrate this week by sharing your favorite children’s title – banned or otherwise.