Ten Books Every Toddler Should Have

Yesterday was a clean house day. Ostensibly it was so we can find Rebecca's glasses that Margo squirreled away somewhere. At this point I assume they will turn up when we pony up the money to buy a replacement pair.

The bright side to all this is the kids' rooms got a good cleaning.

Isaac cleared his booshelves of books he decided he was too old for. Now that he is reading on his own, apparently picture books are for babies. Margo excitedly welcomed the new library in her room, but that meant we had to get rid of her board books.

And that was a sad day for me. A lot of these books have been through all three kids. We built the library up over the past nine years and some of my favorite books are in there. I may never have used my MLIS when I was an actual librarian, but my kids have benefited from my education and training.

So I have created my top 10 list of books every toddler should have. And I will pass these books on and hope another family will enjoy them as much as my kids have.

Learning to read starts when kids are infants.  Talking to your babies, reading, and singing to are the best ways you can prepare your kids for future reading success. I am here to tell you there is no app, no computer game, and no video series that works as well as good old fashioned reading. Twenty minutes a day is all it takes to raise successful readers.

When choosing books for you kids look for these elements: unique words; rhyming; strong narrative; simple pictures; refrains for kids to repeat.; and they have to be fun. It's important for the books to be fun and read with excitement. If you aren't interested, your kids won't be interested.

Without further ado here are my top 10 board books every toddler should have.

1) Piggies. Audrey and Don Wood. The pictures are great, the rhyme is silly and Audrey and Don Wood understand what kids like and what kids need to hear to develop reading.

2) Napping House. Again, the pictures are fabulous. And the kids will hear words they don't normally hear. In addition the book is a sequences which will help kids build narrative as they get older.

3) Bear Snores On. Karma Wilson. It is a longer book than most toddlers will sit for, but they are captivated by the pictures and the refrain they can repeat. The author uses lots of unique words and rhymes to help build vocabulary and phonetic understanding.

4) Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? Bill Martin and Eric Carle. This classic is fun to read and sing! The pictures are simple, and the kids can participate by naming the animals.

5) Goodnight Moon. Margaret Wise Brown. Another classic that will help kids build vocabulary and narrative. The pages are filled with pictures to help the child tell the story on their own. There is a reason this book has been around for generations.

6) Snuggle Puppy. Sandra Boynton. Sandra Boynton's books are funny silly and full of rhymes. A lot of her work is songs and one of her best compilations is Philadelphia Chickens that comes with a CD that the kids can listen to while following along in the book.

7) Who's Hiding. This series has simple text and simple pictures to help kids learn new words. It is a sturdy lift the flap book that covers all sorts of animals.

8) Is Your Mama a llama? Deobrah Guanrino and Steven Kellogg. The rhymes will keep your kids guessing and they will learn a lot of new words in this fun book.

9) Toes, Ears, and Nose. Marion Dane Bauer. Karen Katz. This series of books is great for young toddlers learning body parts. It is a lift the flap book done in Karen Katz's typical style which appeals to young readers. You won't be disappointed with any Katz book you pick up.

10) Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed. Eileen Christelow. A familiar chant that the kids love. It is a book that keeps them excited for reading and the only downside is you might get tired of reading it :)

There are so many other books I could add to the list. But these are the books I know have made a difference in the reading life of my kids. If you want to raise successful readers add these books to your personal library!

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