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I have a confession to make. I am a children’s book-a-holic. When I taught, I could have easily spent my entire paycheck each month on books. I loved introducing my students to new characters and new books about their favorite fictional friends. Reading books aloud to my class is one of the things I loved most about teaching. Now I have an audience of one and I love reading to my daughter just as much!
You’ve probably heard a thousand times how good it is to read to your baby. As a former elementary school teacher, I’ve seen the benefits firsthand. It always broke my heart to see a child come to school for the first time and not know how to hold a book, let alone read it. I also saw how much getting lost in a good book could turn even the most hesitant of readers into a book junkie.
So I knew that when it was time for me to have babies of my own, our house would overflow with children’s books. I kept back some of my favorites books when I quit teaching and can’t wait to introduce Little Miss to Fancy Nancy, Junie B. Jones, Biscuit, Amelia Bedelia and anything by Mo Willems. (I’m going to stop there, because, seriously, I could go on all day.)
Knowing about my love for reading and books, the hostesses of my baby shower asked the guests to bring a book instead of a card with their gifts. What an amazing blessing that was! Little Miss received dozens of books with handwritten messages from so many people that we hold dear. I know as she grows older she will love knowing who gave her each book. Between the books we got at the shower and the books that I’ve bought since, Little Miss has a pretty great book collection!
I remember the first night we were home with her, before all the crying began, I pulled out On the Night You Were Born and the children’s Bible that the ladies from our church gave us at our baby shower and excitedly sat down to read to my tiny newborn daughter. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I really kind of felt dumb. It felt more like I was reading to The Mister since he was the only one listening. But I kept at it. I tried to read to Little Miss as often as I could through those first few months, still feeling silly.
Finally, about the time she was six or seven months old, she got interested in what I was doing. She would look at the pictures a little bit and she liked touching the pages. And now, she absolutely LOVES books and we read all the time! She cannot and will not go down for a nap or go to bed at night without at least one book.
We have board books stashed all over our house and one of my favorite sights is seeing her sitting in her chair reading a book. She’s even started trying to read them out loud to herself in her own little made up language!
Today I want to share with you a few of our favorite board books. If you’re ever looking for great books for a baby or toddler for a baby shower, Christmas or birthday gift, these have our seal of approval!
Pride and Prejudice by Jennifer Adams
This counting book is so much fun, especially for me, since I know Pride and Prejudice quite well! I had no idea that the company BabyLit existed until one of my dear friends brought us this book for Little Miss. They have turned classic literature into fun, colorful books for little ones! Pride and Prejudice is the only one of their books that we have currently, but I’ve already ordered The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Wizard of Oz for Little Miss for Christmas!
What baby doesn’t love touching things and exploring textures? This was Little Miss’s very first touch and feel book and it was so well-loved that eventually she managed to get the cover off of it. She has several more in this series including First Words and Cuddly Animals.
The Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen
I read this book to my class when I taught and was delighted to get it as a board book! This one will grow with Little Miss, as it talks about how obnoxious pouting is, but for now, she loves the illustrations of the fish and the repetition in the story.
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
Who doesn’t love Goodnight Moon? This is a bedtime staple in our house and it’s only made more special by the handwritten note inside from my grandparents that gifted it to us.
Where is Baby’s Belly Button? by Karen Katz
This book is so much fun! It’s teaches body parts and has fun flaps. Little Miss loves to read this book and then show me the body part that is mentioned on each page (hands, feet, eyes, etc.). She’s also gotten very good at lifting the flaps in the book.
Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed by Eileen Christelow
I cannot tell you how many times I have read this book in the last couple of months. We love pointing to our heads and getting animated as we tell the monkeys, “No more monkeys jumping on the bed!”
Moo, Baa, La La La! by Sandra Boynton
Little Miss is all about animals and their noises, so this fun little book is right up her alley. It has cute illustrations and is a quick read.
Your Baby’s First Word Will Be Dada by Jimmy Fallon
If Jimmy Fallon writes a children’s book, you buy it! Here’s another book with animals and animal noises, plus Little Miss’s favorite word- “Dada.” She asks for this book over and over!
B is for Breakdancing Bear by Thomas Nelson
This is one of the most creative alphabet books I’ve ever seen! It’s bright and fun and uses a lot of great vocabulary building words.
Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann
Oh, this silly little gorilla is currently our favorite. It’s a super easy read because there aren’t many words. Little Miss loves looking at the pictures and trying to find the banana on each page. We have fun giggling at the gorilla.
So there you have it- our Top 10 Toddler-Approved Board Books! I hope this list gives you some good ideas for your own little ones or maybe some little ones that you are buying gifts for. Do you have a favorite book that didn’t make the list? Let me know in the comments!