Friday, August 22, 2014

Top Five Favorite Board Books to Read Aloud With My Toddler

There are so many children's books on the market and I've got a nice sized bookcase at home dedicated to my toddlers board books. However, not all board books are created equally. When it's time for bed I cue my boy to relax by giving him his "goodnight milk" and reading a few books in the rocking chair together. Sometimes I cheer inwardly at his selections for the night and often I cringe at the thought of having to power through a boring board book one more time.

This post is dedicated to the books I love to read him.  The ones that have character and wit, who's wording slides smoothly off my tongue and that I can get excited to read time after time.

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5. The Mixed up Chameleon - Eric Carle

This is a good introduction to colors, and not only does it have Eric Carle's vivid and playful illustrations it's also got a silly story with a nice message about being comfortable being you (a message that I have no doubt is lost on my little guy, but it's still nice).  It's fun to read this one while trying to get my boy to point to different things in our room that are each of the color's of the chameleon.  I've only met marginal success with this game, but I'm hopeful that he'll catch on.  This and pretty much any of Eric Carle's books are a welcome addition to our home.

*If you're buying this one online make sure your getting the board book version because it also comes in paperback.

4. Eyes, Nose, Fingers and Toes: A First Book All About You - By Judy Hindley and Brita Granstorm

As you might expect this books leads you through your eyes, nose, finger and toes and many of the body parts in between.  It has cute little snippets asking you to do differently things as it goes through the body, like counting your fingers, and wiggling your toes, so you get a chance to connect the word with the body parts.  The story, rhythm and pacing are all good, but my main reason for including it on this list is how nice of a guide it is for learning where and what your body does.  

3. Little Blue Truck - By Alice Schertle and Jill McElmurry

We actually got this book as part of a book exchange and it took me a read or two to realize how much I liked it.  The book is written in rhyme and I feel like it should be read with a little bit of a southern drawl.

"Horn went 'beep' engine purred.
Friendliest sounds you ever heard.

Little Blue Truck came down the road.
'Beep,' said Blue to a big green toad."

It's a good one to practice your animal sounds, and the story is about helping others and being a good friend (though I think my little guy is too young to understand all that).  He's just happy to copy the sounds I'm making for both the trucks and animals.  I've probably read this one over a hundred times now and I can still read it with out cringing inside, so I'd say it's worth checking out.  There is also a series based off the book, "Little Blue Truck Leads the Way" where the truck goes to the city, and "Little Blue Truck's Christmas".

2. Dr. Seuss

Okay, I know for this one I just have an author, but I realized that I couldn't pick one single book to put up here because I love so many of his.  We read "There's a Wocket in My Pocket!" for it's sheer ridiculousness, "Dr. Seusses ABC's" for an into to the alphabet, "The foot book" for opposites and I've already got a whole book shelf of paper backs ready for when my little boy is able to handle those nicely. Pretty much any Dr. Seuss book you pick up is going to be a winner so I'm including them all.

1. Happy Hippo, Angry Duck - By Sandra Boynton

This is my favorite board book of all time. Honestly I love all of her books.  The are perfect for little hands, the rhythms and silliness is just plain fun.  My boy loves them and after a year of reading them to him I can still enjoy them.

My current favorite is "Happy Hippo, Angry Duck". It's ten pages about moods, "Are you happy as a hippo? Or angry as a duck? Or maybe sad as a chicken. (Can you sadly say 'cluck, cluck'?)"

We love reading this one and voicing each of the emotions as we read it.  We say "Happy as a hippo" as happily as we can with big similes.  We say "Angry as a duck" with a low voice and a scowl.  It makes the book a blast to read and it's fun to see my little guy mimicking my face as I read. Hopefully when the terrible two come into play we'll and at least able to name the crazy toddler emotions he's feeling, and wait for him to again be "happy as a hippo".  

Do you agree with this list?  Or do you have any you think should be added to it?  Then leave a comment, I'd love to hear about them!

*This list of Top 5 list is based purely on personal opinion, it has not been verified or backed up by marketing research or consumer interest.