Sunday, August 30, 2009

Children's Book Monday

My friend, Teri, requested a list of books that would be enjoyable for her two-year-old, and because it's been awhile since I've done a post of that sort, I thought it would be just the thing for this week!

First of all, it's been a couple of years since I had a two-year-old, but I've a toddler who loves to read (well, he loves to open and close books while I'm trying to read) so I've kept him in mind on our library trips. I think you will find that, since your two-three year olds probably haven't learned to read yet, if you are reading aloud they can generally sit through a book that is "recommended" for ages 4-8, especially if you read with expression and catch their attention to find details in a picture. Sometimes, we don't give our little ones enough credit for "understanding" a book that might be above their level! So grab a stack of these and snuggle close... you'll find your bigger children drifting closer and eventually surrounding you and listening as well.

The Small books and the Little books by Lois Lenski are favorites around here; Gideon and Eliana especially appreciate them for their very simple pages of drawings that are still interesting enough to take the time to examine. The stories are full of families helping each other, workers doing their job to the best of their ability, etc. Wonderful! (I have to admit a soft spot in my heart for these- I read them growing up as well!) Your library should have whole handfuls of these to enjoy - check online before you go and you can reserve several for the week!

(Little girl book alert!!!) The Very Best Doll has been memorized and quoted around here for a couple of years, ever since we found it tucked behind some other books at the library one day. Julia Noonan's illustrations are precious- dollhouses, dresses, tea parties, swings... We love the story of a little girl and her favorite, well-worn but beloved doll, and the brand-new doll that came one day to replace the old one. Every little girl will understand the longing to find your comfortable old doll and have her keep her rightful place. You just never forget that first doll, do you? Bath Day, Breakfast Time, and Going to the Corner are also wonderful Noonan books for this age group.

I Like to be Little, Over and Over, and The Seashore Book, all by Charlotte Zolotow. These are staples in our bookshelves- stories of love and repetition and forgiveness and delight, the two and three year olds in your life will love the pace and information and tactile delights.

Eloise Wilkin Stories are treasures that every little child, boy or girl, should have on their bookshelf. We really love how the stories inspire our little ones to be part of mama and daddy's day, by helping with yardwork, grocery shopping, setting the table, getting dressed on their own, doing housecleaning, making a special dessert for Daddy, and so much more. The round-faced, wispy-haired children in the stories are very real, and I know that Eliana couldn't get enough of the pictures when she first began looking at these books. The messages of family, faith, and community lace through the stories in a subtle, but natural way. Treasures.

I know all of these books are not board books, or vinyl wipe-off books, but they are perfect for pulling a little one onto your lap to read together. And chances are, the more they see you turn the pages and taking the time to teach them to handle the books gently, the better they will get at not tearing and bending the books themselves. Any board book by Margaret Wise Brown, Eric Carle, Richard Scarry, Touch and Feel, Bill Martin Jr., or Tomie de Paola I can highly recommend for those little shelves that are accessible when Mama can't be around and watch over the paper-paged books. But keep a stack of these *real* books handy! You will treasure the moments.

(An aside- when we finish a book we particularly love, Eliana has so often seen me flip to the back cover to see what else the author or illustrator has written that she now does the same- when we finish, she turns to the back and gasps, "Oh, they made other books! Can we buy them from the library, too?" This is another wonderful way to expand your reading horizons- check what else the author has written, and if you really love the illustrations, see what else the artist has contributed to.)

Happy Reading!

I simply must pop back in to commend one more author to you, dear reader... Shirley Hughes! How could I forget tousled curls... round limbs... big brother-little sister... Delightful- enjoy!

9 fellow travelers shared:

Elizabeth said...

We have that Eloise Wilkin book...my little girl adores Baby Dear. :) Thanks for all your suggestions!

~nanashouse~ said...

My children grew up on Eloise Wilkin. We Help Mommy and We Help Daddy are two of their favorites :)

Teri Selbher said...

The library is now emptied of all your listings. Thank you so much for sharing such quality books. Our little one was mesmerized last night as we read one of our new found treasures with her. The joy of reading and the joy of reading your blog. Thank you!!!

Teri
selbher@gmail.com

Liz said...

Don't forget Mother Goose board books! "Time for Bed," (can't recall the author) is another good choice. The Helen Oxenbury (sp?) books are oldies but goodies. And here's one I just bought for my great nephew, who just turned 1: What I Love About You. Catchy rhymes, loving theme and bright colors and illustrations. Babies will love it. You'll love spending the time with the babies.

Liz said...

Oops -- should have mentioned that that book is by Carol Casey. Enjoy!

jenny said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jenny said...

We just read from Eloise Wilkin's Treasury yesterday. My twin girls love to hear Baby Dear over and over again. After reading it, we went down to the basement to look at their baby cradle, and then sat and read through their baby books for awhile. :)

Anonymous said...

I knew you would like "Over and Over". I just love it! I love the birthday party at the end. Those Wilkin books are treasures in my day. Have you seen Zolotow's "Say It!" about a glorious fall day and a girl asking her mom to say "I love you"? Very, very special. I'm encouraged to invest in my little ones' hearts this fall.

Anonymous said...

from Mary Brooke above

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