I hoard children’s books. I love them. But the more I read and study, the more I observe human nature of a small child, the more I realize that more is not better.
|It is sad to say, but …
I’d like to be sitting in the middle of these
Have you ever noticed that toddlers want you to read the same book over and over again? I have “Brown Bear, Brown Bear” memorized. Sometimes I have read it 5 or 6 times in a row, and heaven forbid I suggest another book. “No! Bear book!”
I love the Waldorf method of telling the same story for 2 to 4 weeks at a time. So this year I’m doing it. I am weeding Kymee’s books down to only SIX books in her room. The rest will be placed in my “library” to be rotated out at a future time.
I’ve put a lot of thought into my 6 books. Believe me when I say it is EXTREMELY hard for me to pick 6 books for the year. So here were my standard’s for choosing.
- I have to want to read the book over and over again and still enjoy it.
- Kymee has to like it. At this point she likes to look at books and doesn’t particularly want me to read them out-load. She wants to “Do it myself.” Which leads me to the next standard …
- They have to have beautiful pictures worthy of looking at without the words
- They have fit my focus of the year, which is poetry, nursery rhymes, and seasonal. I believe that giving 3-year-olds poetry enhances their language through rhythm and rhyme.
This is the Bible book I’ve been looking for. I wanted something to teach Kymee who God is and what it looks like to have a relationship with Him. I didn’t want Bible Stories which focus more on people and what they do for God. I’ve been reading Psalms straight out of the Bible to her, but this is such a sweet translation for her age (I haven’t found anything blatantly unbiblical yet).
|1. Psalms for Young Children
by Marie-Helene Delval
illustrated by Arno
|2. Prayers for Children
by Eloise Wilkins
This would not have made my top six. I already have a Bible book. However, Kymee loves it. She carries it around, she takes it in the car for journeys, she sits and shows the pictures to her baby bear. Little Golden Books were geniouses in designing books just the right size for toddler hands. That being said, it is a really sweet book, which includes classic prayers like “Now I lay me down to sleep.” There are morning prayers and meal prayers and prayers for play.
|I love children’s book illustrations and
no one draws sweeter, purer children than
|3. The Complete Book of Flower Fairies
by Cicely Mary Barker
Both Kymee and I LOVE fairies. I dream of fairy gardens we’ll someday design together. She flutters around waving her arms pretending to be a fairy. I hope I’m never too old to look under flowers trying to catch a glimpse of the flower fairies. This book is a classic based on the poet illustrator Cicely Mary Barker who lived from 1895 – 1973. The book contains all of her books which are collections of poetry.
|The illustrations and words
I plan to use this book for throughout the Kindergarden years (for all my non-Waldorfy friends, that’s from age 3 – 6). I’ll use the poems for my yearly rhythm – reading and memorizing two or three per season.
|4. My Vary First Mother Goose
edited by Iona Opie
illustrated by Rosemary Wells
Introducing Kymee to Mother Goose. What more can I say? This will be the core of out “literature” this year.
|Rosemary Wells illustrations are simple, fun-loving and spunky.
Perfect for a three year old.
|5. Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes
by Mem Fox illustrated
by Helen Oxenbury
I adore this book. Everything about it. The simple rhythm and repetition of the words. The pictures of babies from all over the glode and from different walks of life. I love how it subtlely teaches that all people are equal, whether they are born far away or close, in a town or village, black or yellow, red or white. And it’s an awesome book to have finger and toe play and teach counting.
|The babies are so charming,
I challenge you not to smile
as you read
by Lois Ehlert
Fun, fun book. The words are simple and flow beautifully, “Leaf Man used to live near me, in a pile of leaves, but yesterday the wind blew Leaf Man away.” The book then goes on to tell of Leaf man’s journey across the land.
|The illustrations are ingenious
with landscape and creatures
made of leaves
This is kinda like an “I spy” book. So much to look at and admire. Great trigger for leaf talks on autumn, leaf collection, art projects which we make our own “Leaf Man.” I’m so excited.
by Eric Carle
When choosing only 6 books, you HAVE to have one by Eric Carle. Love this one. Kymee loves the animals named One, Two, Three, Four and Five, and the tree named Tree. There’s a surprise in the end – who would expect anything less from Eric Carle.
by Bruce Degen
I could read this all day long and never get bored. Even if you only read it one the jingle of the words will stick in your head all day long, “One berry, two berry, pick me a blueberry, hat berry, shoe berry, in my conueberry. Under the bridge and over the dam, looking for berries, berries for jam …”
|The illustrations just pop|
Can’t wait for the first berries of the season: to pick, to taste, to make jam. Yum.
Have any ideas?
That’s it folks. What are your top choices of books for toddlers?