Tag Archives: childrens books

toddler books, revisited

A year ago I wrote about how I was desperately tired of our collection of toddler books. And I needed recommendations. Several of you came through with awesome suggestions (like “Giraffes Can’t Dance” and “Little Blue Truck”) — some of you even sent us books (thank you!) — and now I can’t imagine running out of book ideas.

duck-on-a-bikeAlso, I love the library and have misgivings for calling it shabby. I’ve since decided that shabby is charming. The librarians are kind (is that a given?) and are smitten with CM. It’s now open on Fridays. And the online system — where I can literally “order” any book I want — is amazing.

Anyway, for those of you seeking book recommendations because your little ones often demand you read a book over and over and over again and you don’t want to read the same books over and over and over again and the thought of going through the same books with baby no. 2 is torture, here are some more suggestions. What we love about these books are the creativity, the illustrations and the rhythm and rhyme (some of them you can almost sing).


  • “Kiss Good Night” by Amy Hest
  • “Bear Says Thanks,” “Bear’s New Friend” (and others in the series) by Karma Wilson
  • “Barnyard Song” by Rhonda Gowler Greene and Robert M. Bender
  • “Ladybug Girl and the Big Snow” (and others in the series) by Jackie Davis and David Soman
  • “And Then It’s Spring” by Julie Folgiano
  • “The Pencil” by Allan Ahlberg
  • “The Penguin Cha-Cha” by Kristi Valient
  • “To Market To Market” by Anne Miranda and Janet Stevens
  • “The Kissing Hand” by Audrey Penn
  • “Duck on a Bike” by David Shannon
  • “Penguin and Pinecone” by Salina Yoon

Also, a friend told me that Dolly Parton has a foundation called Imagination Library that will send your little ones books every month (depending on where you live). I never knew Dolly Parton was so cool.


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a toddler, books and … tears?


One of the wonderful things — and curses — of living in the desert is the quiet. So much quiet. The wind is fierce, the air is dry and the summers are hot. This week, the temperatures are pushing 100 degrees — a hint of what’s to come. Our swamp cooler kicks on at random times during the day and I have to park under trees and stretch a shade across the windshield.

There aren’t many toddler classes in town, the city is shutting down its only public pool for lack of resources and it’s getting too hot to go to the park.

That means that C. and I are spending most of our time at home or at the library. At home, we don’t watch TV — and so we read. A lot.

The tiny, shabby desert library is open Tuesday-Thursday and the kids’ section is meager. We’ve run across gems like Jim Aylesworth’s “Little Bitty Mousie” and Pamela Edwards’ “Warthogs Paint” about colors (C. still calls everything “bue”), but I feel like in a few weeks we’ll have picked over the stock.

As I skim through books, I notice that many of them have characters behaving badly, and I gently close them and return them to the shelves. A. and I have read that what you read to kids can influence them in ways you might not realize. Kids don’t have the staying power or ability to comprehend a resolution. They just pick up the bad behavior.

What we didn’t expect was for a book to make C. cry. This is new for our almost 17-month-old: His chin wobbles and he tears up when a book ends with a “goodbye.” He has no problem saying bye to A. in the morning, or bye to me if A. takes him to Home Depot. But a book about a mouse leaving a museum had him crying over the weekend. And a book about boats had him in hysterics yesterday evening.

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