In no particular order, these books continue to be the most requested ones by our toddler––morning, noon, or night.
1. There’s a Wocket in My Pocket by Dr. Seuss
I had stored this old gem away when my older daughter outgrew it. Found it recently and saw my now two year old fall in love with it. With catchy rhymes, crazy imagination, and amazing illustrations, this one is sure to please young and old.
Synopsis: In this silly Bright and Early Book classic by Dr. Seuss, a young boy goes exploring in his house and finds an array of fun characters! Are you certain there’s a Jertain in the curtain? Or have you ever had a feeling there’s a Geeling on the ceiling? From the pesky Nooth Grush on a tooth brush to a sleepy Zelf up on the shelf, There’s a Wocket in My Pocket will have young readers eager to explore their homes and the wonders of rhyming and wordplay.
“Dr. Seuss ignites a child’s imagination with his mischievous characters and zany verses.” – The Express
I must admit that when we borrowed this book from the library and brought it home I thought that it would be just another counting book. Imagine my surprise when I was forced to read it several times a day by my toddler. After renewing it twice from the library, I finally decided that this one was for the home bookshelf.
Synopsis: What better attention-getter for small children than primates in all their variety? And who better to render them than Anthony Browne? In this elegant counting book, the author-illustrator outdoes himself with a vivid presentation of primates from gorillas to gibbons, macaques to mandrills, ring-tailed lemurs to spider monkeys. With his striking palette, exquisite attention to detail, and quirky flair for facial expressions, Anthony Browne slyly extends the basic number concept into a look at similarities and differences — portraying an extended family we can count ourselves part of.
“The key to the book’s impact lies in the dignity of a portrait sitting that Browne confers on creatures more commonly seen behind glass walls. Every face has a discernible personality. Even the lemurs are distinct individuals, with variations in snouts, eyes, and ears.” —Publishers Weekly
My two year old has a fondness for all animals. And who can resist a rhino who makes a great pet and plays peek a boo from the toilet? You will be in for a pleasant surprise.
Synopsis: Looking for a new pet? Bored with cats, dogs, goldfish, gerbils, and hamsters? How about a cheap rhinoceros? Shel Silverstein’s loving look at the joys of rhino ownership may convince you to be the lucky person who takes home this very, very unusual pet.
Knuffle Bunny, the first was a favorite of my older daughter. But my two year old found her comfort in the case of mistaken identity.
Synopsis: Trixie can’t wait to bring her one-of-a-kind Knuffle Bunny to school and show him off to everyone. But when she gets there, she sees something awful: Sonja has the same bunny. Suddenly, Knuffle Bunny doesn’t seem so one-of-a-kind anymore. In the tradition of the Caldecott Honor-winner KNUFFLE BUNNY: A CAUTIONARY TALE, this is another heartfelt, hilarious picture book that children (and their parents) will love.
“Irresistibly funny, tender, and universal, this is another consummate star turn for Trixie, daddy, bunny, and their creator.—SLJ
My toddler has a fondness for the Blues Clues book series. She especially likes this gem where Blue and her friends enjoy rides at the amusement park.
Synopsis: Blue’s class is going to the fair. Everyone looks forward to the rides, but some seem too scary–until Polka Dots comes to the rescue. Simple words and rebus icons are perfect for emerging readers. Full color.
My toddler goes wild for this touch and feel book that uses both her senses and her imagination.
Synopsis: Come join Todd and his friends for a fun-filled day in ToddWorld! Find out all about the things they like bestand the games they like to play together. Every colorful page is packed full of interactive elements. Todd Parr has created 22 books for children, as well as his own animated TV show, from which books, DVDs, and plush toys have been developed.
This one was a major surprise for me. Most kids get introduced to Shel’s brilliant poetry in early elementary. We had this book lying around the house and when we read her a few lines from it, my toddler fell in love with it. She doesn’t get bored with too many words or the sparse drawings not typical of other books her age level.
Synopsis: Come in . . . for where the sidewalk ends, Shel Silverstein’s world begins. You’ll meet a boy who turns into a TV set, and a girl who eats a whale. The Unicorn and the Bloath live there, and so does Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout who will not take the garbage out.
From head to toe, this book will delight toddlers. The catchy rhythm would make them tap their toes, do donkey kicks and thump their chest, animal style.
Synopsis: Just as alphabet books introduce the very young child to letters and simple words, From Head to Toe introduces the basic body parts and simple body movements. And in the same way that children progress from understanding simple words to reading and writing sentences and stories, so they will progress from simple body movements to dancing, gymnastics, and other sports and activities, with confidence and pleasure. Eric Carle’s colorful collages have delighted children for more than a generation. Each book provides hours of fun while encouraging them to stretch their imaginations.
I recalled borrowing this old classic multiple times from the library when my older daughter was little. This time around, we bought it to grace our toddler’s bookshelf. The transition of a baby to toddlerhood is told in rhythmic text enriched by cultural nuances.
Synopsis: The pleasing, rhythmic text of this mother-child love story features rich Mexican imagery and a charming refrain. The sweet illustrations, following a mother and child from the baby’s birth to his first birthday, bring the fiestas and mariachis resoundingly to life. Perfect for lap-sharing at bedtime or anytime, this enchanting book lends itself to reading aloud again and again!
“The rhythmic words and the bond between parent and child make this a great first book for babies everywhere.” —Hazel Rochman, American Library Association.
10. Silly Willy by Maryann Cocca-Leffler
Although this is a picture reader, my toddler immediately connected with Willy’s silly dress up game. A must have for laughs.
Synopsis: Silly Willy loves to get dressed in a most bizarre fashion–he puts pants on his head, socks on his ears, and the rest of his clothes in unusual places–in a zany tale combining rebus pictures with simple vocabulary to reinforce beginning reading skills.