…On Reading with Toddlers (and our most-loved books).

Here is a quick list of some of our most-loved books- ones both of our girls have really loved. This was almost impossible for me to do because there are so many books they enjoy, but these are some that we have memorized and have read over, and over, and…(you get the idea!)

  • Maisy’s Morning on the Farm by Lucy Cousins (any of the Maisy books!)
  • Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
  • The Great Gracie Chase by Cynthia Rylant
  • Counting Kisses by Karen Katz
  • Freight Train by Donald Crews
  • Are you my Mother? by P.D. Eastman
  • Little Bear by Else Homelund Minarik
  • One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss
  • You and Me, Little Bear by Martin Waddell
  • Danny and the Dinosaur by Syd Hoff
  • LIttle Blue Truck by Alice Shertle
  • Peek a Who? by Nina Laden
  • Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault
  • Shades of People by Shelley Rotner
  • I’m a Big Sister by Joanna Cole
  • Go, Dog. Go! by P.D. Eastman
  • How Do I Love You? by Marion Dane Bauer
  • How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? by Jane Yolen
  • The Fire Cat by Esther Holden Averill
  • The Napping House by Audrey Wood
  • Babies by Suzan Canizares
  • Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see? by Bill Martin Jr.
  • Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy by Lynley Dodd
  • The Colors of Us by Karen Katz
  • The Valentine Bears by Jan Brett
  • Dr. Seuss’ ABC: An amazing alphabet Book by Dr. Seuss
  • A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka

Here are a few tips for reading with toddlers…

*Encourage them to notice- point out and talk about parts or words in the story, illustrations, or things that the characters did. Help them to notice…

*Point to the words as you read- This teaches them that meaning comes from those little symbols they see on the page. It shows them how to track print from left to right, how to sweep down (with your eyes) to the next line while reading,  and even teaches them 1:1 correspondence (when you point to 1 word, you say that one word= each word ‘means’ something).

*Read in a comfy, cozy place- make it an enjoyable experience.

*Don’t set yourself up to fail- You know your kids and you know when the best time to introduce a reading routine would be. If they get way too cranky before going to bed try reading right after dinner, or right after their naps in the afternoon. Find a time that works best for your family and go with it. It will be no fun for anyone if it’s a struggle.

*Don’t stress too much- Reading a book with your kids (and enjoying it!) is enough. Please don’t feel pressured to quiz them incessantly. They’re toddlers. Talk about the story and the illustrations, but you don’t need to push too far. Above everything else, make sure time spent reading is a positive and relational experience.

*Ask them to read the story to you- Toddlers love to have control over a situation. Once your kids get old enough, ask them to tell you the story simply by encouraging them to look at the pictures. Will their story make sense? Maybe, maybe not. But, I bet you will be pleasantly surprised about how much they have internalized and how much they have been paying attention while you have been reading!

Also, check out Some of My Favorites.  Here you’ll find an ongoing list that I try to keep up and continue to add new favorites that I find.


Angela (a readingteachermom)


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