Here is a list of books that my husband, Richard and I read aloud to May and Eloise. It is by no means a comprehensive list, rather a starting point. From time to time, new favorites will be added at the end of articles based upon my husband’s and my years of reading aloud to our daughters, our love of perusing children’s bookstores and my many years of teaching. I have categorized these read aloud books based upon age.
From birth to one year:
Babies generally like to eat books at this stage of development, but there are several books that go beyond mere morsels for teething. These are just a few.
Moo, Baa, La La LA! By Sandra Boynton
Grabs the attention of little ones with animal sounds and clever illustrations.
Little Puppy Finger Puppet Book
There are a few of these finger puppet books on the market. An adult is able to animate the text by putting a finger into the built in puppet.
Both books are by Let’s Get Talking. I discovered these books on a recent shopping trip to Costco and was thoroughly impressed by their one-word simplicity and captivating illustrations.
From one year to two:
Dog By Matthew Van Fleet and Brian Stanton
This was May’s favorite book and I could understand why. It is a book that we started reading when she was about one year old and she continues to love it to this day. It illustrates a variety of breeds and is a highly interactive book for toddlers.
The Ultimate Guide to Grandmas and Grandpas By Sally Lloyd Jones
A delightful book about what a child needs to do when caring for grandparents. Warm and loving!
Z is for Zoo
An interactive touch and feel book. A child uses the text to find hidden answers. Good for developing early comprehension skills.
Just Grandma and Me By Mercer Mayer
Illustrates the close bond between grandma and grandchild as they spend a day at the beach together. Great summer read.
A Good Day By Kevin Henkes
Bad days turn out to be good days as you turn the pages of the book. Great discussion starter for sharing with your grandchild bad turned good days.
From two to five and often beyond:
Drummer Hoff Adapted by Barbara Emberley
This was a favorite of our daughter Jessica when she was little. It was a book that was read to her time and again by my husband, Richard. When May came of age, it was introduced to her by her grampy, bringing back those times that were lovingly shared over a great book. The text allows for interaction through its repetitive lines.
The Little Engine That Could By: Watty Piper
Another classic! Great spin-off for discussing the difficulty a child might face when learning a new skill and how ultimately, with confidence and practice, the skill can be mastered.
The Quiet Book By: Deborah Underwood
A wonderful book to read just before “lights out.” It describes the different types of quiet and should be read with a quiet voice, setting the tone for a good night’s sleep. The illustrations lend themselves to opening up a discussion about feelings.
Silly By: Marcia Leonard
There are times to be silly and then there are times when not to be silly. This little, interactive children’s book allows for discussion about the joy of acting silly. Add your own silly faces as you read along.
Ages five and up:
Quick as a Cricket By: Audrey Wood
A great book for introducing the concept of similes! The books lovely illustrations and selection of comparisons lends itself to forming new comparisons on the part of the reader/listener.
Owen and Mzee By: Isabella and Craig Hatkoff and Dr. Paula Kahumbu
A wonderful book about an unlikely friendship. This true story that takes place in Kenya is about the friendship between a 130 year old tortoise and a young hippopotamus. It is a lengthy book filled with many areas for discussion. It is a bit too time consuming for a one night read along. I would recommend dividing the book into small bits and making predictions about what will follow during the next night’s reading.
At this stage of a child’s development, I would begin reading chapter books to my grandchild at night. Books like Gooney Bird Greene by Lois Lowry, Mary Pope Osborne’ s Magic Tree House series, and the Marvin Redpost books by Louis Sachar, are delightful read alouds. The poetry books written by Shel Silverstein are most appealing, Where the Sidewalk Ends being one of my favorites. Oh, and not to leave out, all books about DINOSAURS!
Until the next post…