A Little Night Time Reading – 5 Toddler Books. Admittedly, I am not the right person to talk about this since B is the one who reads books with A (and I’m the librarian – go figure!) but B has been busy talking to Claire at The Pramshed for her blog series on The Partners Experience so I’m collating these five favorite toddler books myself… I’m sure I’ll have an updated version from B very shortly.
A has always loved reading. Since she was three months old or possibly younger, B has taken out the books and read with her every single night with very few days missed in her short few years. She has a great selection of toddler books and it keeps growing. I think it’s more heartbreaking for B to miss a night of books than A. They have a funny night routine that starts with pj’s and ends with a milky kiss. I was pondering telling you the nightly routine in full but it’s so obscure and weird that I just think it would get lost in translation and we’d look like one of those families that have the oddest of traditions!
It’s pretty much A that sets the tradition and routine. She insists on doing near enough the exact same thing every night and I’m convinced it’s what helps her sleep. Here’s the shortened version. Before books, as I attempt to get the wriggling toddler into her pj’s, there’s Nudey Soothy which is A’s soother, held by a giggling Papa Bear, chasing a half dressed A three times around the sofa. B can barely catch up anymore, she’s gotten so fast. This is closely followed by Copycat in the kitchen as B heats up her milk. The two of them settle on the couch in front of Sky Sports News on mute and read about five books, sometimes more, sometimes less dependimg on A’s mood. B is a marvel at pulling faces and putting on voices, making reading more entertaining than I’ve ever seen it before. No wonder she doesn’t read books with Momma Bear, I clearly don’t have the same amature dramatics that B has. It’s A that decides when book time is over and she says to Papa Bear, “I have to go to bed” – long may this last!
I’m usually pottering around in the kitchen, as mothers seem to do, when A and B come to find me. Lately, I’ve been hearing A saying as they come looking for me, “Geraldine, where are you?” – really need to nip that in the bud. I don’t want to be one of those mothers known by their name and not Mommy, Mammy or Mummy, frick, Mother would do. But she does it because I laugh when I hear it.
A brushes her teeth and runs to her bedroom… I mean runs, she’ll be a world class sprinter before she’s seven at this stage. A few bounces on the bed, goodnight sun, hello star (don’t think she’s grasping the gro clock yet!), and a chase with Daddy into bed and she’s lying down. You’d think that’s the easy part. Nope, Duck, a cuddly toy she’s been attached to since Easter, has to kiss everyone goodnight – Spike the Dragon, Twilight Sparkle, Applejack, Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy and Rarity – yes alllll the My Little Pony’s – not forgetting Momma, Papa and A. Her bed is stuffed! This sounds easy but not the way B does it, there’s lots of dramatics and Duck can be a divil! All ends with a Milky Kiss between A and B and Daddy embarks to the kitchen to sort A’s day bag for the morning. I’m left with a semi-riled up toddler who I try to calm down with one last book and a few goodnight kisses and cuddles. Luckily, she’s usually asleep in about twenty minutes and we don’t see her again until maybe two or three in the morning when she comes looking for Papa Bear.
God forbid we attempt to change this routine in any way without A’s say so. But she goes to sleep happy having had 3o minutes of giggles.
Note – Momma Bear is a mere bystander in most of this and is only allowed to dress the child and flick through one book at the end! A’s rules.
I do believe I have digressed a little. We’re collectors in our family. We own a ridiculous amount of books and memorabilia and what nots! A has jumped on board and has caught up with our level of hoarding (we’re not hoarders, not really). She probably has a hundred books all told. Choosing a few a night can be tricky. There are so many great toddler books out there. But here are some of A and B’s favourite books to read together at the end of a long day.
I’m starting off with one of my favourite toddler books. A chooses which book I read with her in bed and I’m always happy to see this one. The story is simple but beautiful and not to ruin anything but ends with a goodnight kiss. It explores the journey of a little bird who has just learnt to peck and continues to peck anything he can find. A loves this book mostly because she gets to poke her finger through the holes which helps her to turn the page herself. It’s simply drawn and brightly coloured with an effortless rhyme that keeps the attention from page to page.
B has always made reading books interesting with A with different voices and faces. He also started incorporating games at book time asking A could she find the princess, the hat, the train etc. This helped A develop so many skills like hand eye coordination and mental recognition and memory. She loves any kind of Where’s Wally style book and since last year has become a huge Peanuts fan. Where’s Woodstock was an essential purchase when we saw it and A absolutely loves it. It contains eighteen search and find pages and features everyone from Peanuts with a special lean towards Snoopy. It’s fun and colourful and for an added bonus the answers are in the back if you’re struggling to find Woodstock yourself!
I’ll admit I’m not 100% in love with this book personally but A loves it. It’s the style of drawing she loves and is clearly attached to it. The story is a little obscure starting off with Simon the Squirrel heading to the shops with Rodney Raccoon and ending up in space with lunch at the Milky Way Parlour – as you do 🙂 but it’s a cute story and beautifully illustrated, colourful and engaging with a lot to see and follow.
This is one of B and A’s favourite toddler books. I simply don’t read this book right. B has an amazing way of helping A use her imagination to bring this book alive. The story begins with Ben who opens a present to find a penguin but no matter now hard Ben tries he can not get Penguin to talk to him. The illustration is very simple with a lot of white background on the pages. Ben and Penguin are often the only illustrations you see. The story is simple with short sentences and snappy text meaning B has developed a series of activities and actions for himself and A to complete while reading this story like singing a song and pulling funny faces. B has always found it important to ensure A interacts with the stories and this book is at the top of the scale when it comes to interaction despite being what I would consider a minimal story with simple illustrations. It is by far the favourite in this house. Also the version we bought came with a DVD with the entire story animated in a ten minute video. It truly was wonderful to see As face light up when she saw the story come to life on the screen.
If you have a toddler you probably already know this kids book so it really needs no introduction but deserves a spot in this top five list. A has loved this series of books since before she was one. We had every Gruffalo book for tiny hands with letters, numbers, colours and animals. In this original story the illustration is beautiful and simple yet colourful and bright. The story is gentle and flows in a perfect rhyming structure, short and repetitive. I quite like the message in this book – be smart, be brave, being small will not stop you.
What toddler books are popular in your house? No doubt, we need to keep adding to our collection 🙂
*Disclaimer – I am not affiliated in any with the authors or illustrators of any of these recommended books or with Amazon.*