They say that reading to your children helps development in a number of ways. In babies, it helps them become familiar with sounds, words, language and images. While they may not be able to respond, eventually, your babies will really appreciate the value and joy that reading a good book brings. If they’re anything like my two-year-old, reading will soon become their favourite pastime. My husband and I love reading to our little one, and he loves looking at all of the pictures and trying to read the books himself. Sometimes we find him on the floor of his bedroom flicking through his books on his own. And there are definitely some books out there that you’ll love reading together. Here are our top five.
Any of the ‘that’s not my…’ books.
These ones are absolutely gorgeous to read and the best thing about them is that they’re tactile. You’re little one will love feeling the bumps, scruffs and lumps on each page as they learn all about animals, transport, monsters and fairies. The publishers must be doing something right because the series has sold more than 20 million copies worldwide. For us, I love watching my son make his way through the books as he discovers radiators, eye-patches, tails and udders. Plus, whenever he picks up the Pig book, he snorts, which is downright hilarious, so they’re obviously teaching him something.
The Very Cranky Bear series by Nick Bland
This one has been read so much in our house that my husband and I can now recite it word for word. Need to read a book in the dark, no problems, just pull out The Very Cranky Bear! The cranky bear is also itchy, noisy, brave, sleepy and hungry so there are lots of varieties you can pick up. It’s so addictive that my son has even been known to request the book three times in a row before going to bed, flat-out refusing any other story. What’s so good about the books? Firstly, they rhyme, so they’re easy to read and easy to listen to. But more than that, each book has a lesson to learn. And while this will probably go over your toddler’s head to begin with, it’s something they can learn as they grow.
Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes
I could put anything by Mem Fox on this list and you’d be guaranteed to love it, but there’s something about this book that gets me – every single time. Maybe it’s because baby fingers and baby toes are so darn cute. But it’s also probably because as you read it, you figure out that no matter where a baby is born, whether it’s the hills, the ice or in an eiderdown, they’re absolutely precious, even down to the three little kisses on the tip of their nose
There’s nothing quite like instilling a sense of curiosity in a kid. And that’s exactly what the Spot lift-the-flap books do. While it may not help children learn language or anything like that, it sure is exciting for the child to discover what’s underneath the flap. This gets them involved in the book which can really, only be a good thing. Plus, these Spot books have entertained my little one for hours (ok, let’s face it, minutes) on end as he opens and closes the flaps and looks at the pictures. He even finds them at his grandparent’s place so he can read them there too. Just be aware, there may be some sticky tape needed to conduct some repair work when the kids get a little too enthusiastic.
I’d Know You Anywhere My Love by Nancy Tillman
Okay, here’s where we get sentimental. This book is the epitome of emotional for parents. We decided to buy this one for our son’s first birthday and it’s definitely one of his favourites. You know why it’s so emotional? Because it’s all about a mummy and a daddy being able to recognise their child, no matter what shape or form he takes. While the concept of it may be geared towards children who are slightly older, your little ones will adore the animals on every single page. And it gives mum and dad an opportunity to test out those animal noises too.
Want to know what else is on high rotation in our house?
- The Ugly Five by Julia Donaldson
- I Just Couldn’t Wait to Meet You by Kate Ritchie
- Anything by Dr Seuss (obviously)
- Don’t Call Me Bear by Aaron Blabey
- Oi Dog by Kes and Claire Gray
- Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker (because, diggers)