janet @ the taste space

Favourite Books for Babies and Toddlers

In Mains (Vegetarian) on July 6, 2018 at 7:47 PM

Favourite Books for Babies and Toddlers

Hi there!

Long time no chat! Like, a really long time.

We’re doing well and instead of waiting to share a new recipe, I thought I’d tell you all about the books my baby toddler enjoys. I can’t believe it but he turned 2 last month, so he definitely is no longer my baby. I have wanted to compile a list like this for a long time, but to be honest, P did not really like books for a very long time. When he was smaller, he would always flip through them to finish before letting anyone read to him or even look at the pictures. He only started to sit with us for books once he was around 18 months.


We always had a ton of books at home but it really clicked when we left home. We were on vacation and the AirBnB host left us a handful of books and toys for P. One of the books was My First Colours and Shapes. He really liked the colourful photos and it was conducive to lots of labelling and learning new words. After I got home, it was a lot harder to track down with such a non-descript name, but we eventually found it and got him his own copy.


Along the same line, P really liked Disney My First Words. Real life pictures, that were easy to label, worked well for him. Short and quick back-and-forth interactions were what he needed. He couldn’t sit through long sentences.


Another way P liked interacting with books was with flaps. Do Cows Meow? is a very simple book but really fun for P. He liked seeing what was behind the flaps and hearing the noises all the animals made. I also really liked the summary page at the end with all the animals.


Flaps, flaps, flaps. P loved nearly every Karen Katz book with flaps that we had. Vroom, Vroom Trucks! is possibly his favourite right now (because he loves all things trucks) but he also really liked Roar, Roar Baby! before he discovered his love of vehicles. Each book is short, with a few key things on each page (something to lift and something underneath). The summary pages at the end usually highlight everything in the book.


Squishy dinosaurs heads were also one of favourite ways to entice him to sit for a book. Our neighbour bought Five Little Dinosaurs for Peter and even though he doesn’t usually squish the heads, it was amusing and kept him interested. There were lots of details on each page.


Apple Farmer Annie is one of P’s favourites. I can’t explain it the allure, but the pictures are vibrant, busy and easy to describe. There are apples, Annie, her cat and her dog on many pages as well as her truck. Whenever he sees a non-descript delivery-type truck he calls it “Annie truck!”.


Goodnight Moon is a classic for a good reason (#2 on Amazon’s bestseller list for children’s books, and this was originally published in 1947!). I don’t know what it is about the book, but P loved this book a lot and it has been on repeat for many many months.


On the topic of classics, another book P read on repeat at an AirBnB was Jamberry. The book makes little sense with many made-up words, but the rhythm of the book is soothing (it is to the tune of “Ten Little Indians”). Shortly after reading this book on instaloop, P was saying strawberry and blueberry, so I consider that I success. Rob doesn’t want to see this book again though since the pictures creep him out! Haha! I think it is cute.


Harold and the Purple Crayon is another classic that P has enjoyed. This surprised me because it isn’t a board book. It is a hardcover book with real pages and it is long. But P is mesmerized and sits through it every time. Although I will admit that sometimes I skip pages to get to the end faster!!


Another series that P really likes are The Peas Series by Keith Baker. I bought them because I have my own Little P and he’s liked them too. 1-2-3 Peas is his favourite and it might be solely due to the page for the number 30 which has a bunch of cars and trucks and bicycles.


Recently, P has become even more interested in books once we tapped into his very strong love of vehicles. He has two Playtown books (Construction and Airport) and they combine his love of flaps with vehicles. The pictures are bright and busy with lots of things to talk about.


We are very close to our library, so it is nice to explore different options through them. We found P’s first hardcover book with Truck Truck Goose. The pictures are colourful and fun with a story throughout the book. The words are very short (imagine it being something similar to Truck, Truck, Goose…) but we describe much more of what’s happening on each page. Trucks, animals and ice cream; many of P’s favourite things, so it is no wonder this was an instant hit with him.


The other book P really liked from the library was Mighty Truck Muddymania!. The book has vehicles as characters with a truck (Mighty Truck) that turns into a superhero after a wash. I’ll admit that I really don’t like trucks as much as P, so this is not my favourite but he loves it. He may have ripped a few pages in his excitement. Thank goodness it was a library book.


Speaking of destroyed books, we have had a few described books from Matthew Van Fleet. P REALLY enjoys the flaps and tabs and moving parts of his books. He has loved Cat, Munch! and Lick!. However, Fuzzy Yellow Ducklings is probably my favourite since it is simpler and has less to destroy.

Things That Go!

And last, but not least, since I love the idea of a book actually being indestructible, there is a whole series of books that are chew proof, rip proof, non-toxic and 100% washable. I haven’t needed to wash any yet but all the pages are intact! P likes Things That Go!, obviously. Because there are things that go!

So many books, so little time….

I hope to return back to regular blogging with recipes in short time. What have you been up to? What were your favourite books? What books do your children love?

  1. We are a house of readers also. Little Blue Truck was always a toddler favorite and given what yours likes would likely be a hit for him too. Bear Snores On has rhyme that I always enjoyed reading aloud. A book of basic Mother Goose rhymes is classic. As he gets a little bit older anything by Mo Williams will be appreciated. Elephant and Piggy is a favorite silly series around our house.

  2. Nice to hear from you – hard to believe that your little one is 2. And interesting to see what he likes – am sure it will change as kids do so quickly. Am surprised how few I am familiar with and even those that you say are classics are not ones we had when I was a kid or when sylvia was a kid. In Australia the Mem Fox books are classics and sylvia loved those. She also liked a boynton book call Moo Baa La La La that sounds a bit like does a Cow Miaow. She also loved the Ahlberg books like Peepo. It is so lovely to sit and read books with a child – enjoy!

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