By Contributor Salma Dinani
Reading with your toddler can be one of the best things you do with them. It gives you that special time to spend together one-on-one, it invokes their imaginations and it helps them with their language skills and development. And really, reading is just a lot of fun, especially when the weather starts getting cold and more time is spent indoors.
We’ve been reading to the children since they were a few months old. We incorporated it into their naptime and bedtime routines. If people wanted to bring gifts for the wee ones, we always suggested books.
When they became toddlers, we instituted a library visit once week. First we would go in for story time. Then the kids would pick out the books they wanted to borrow for that week. By the time we would get home for lunch, they were itching for me to read one of the ‘new’ books we had brought home.
It’s so great to see how much the kids love reading. And over time, even though they are always excited to read new books, there are a few that have remained their favorites. If you want to get your toddler more interested in books or if there’s a little one that you want to buy a book for, these are my top five suggestions:
1.‘POUCH!’ by David Ezra Stein – POUCH is a story about a little Joey kangaroo who is hesitant to leave the comfort of his mother’s pouch until he starts discovering the world around him. The kids will have so much fun chiming in every time Joey yells, “POUCH!”
2. ‘The Book Of Sleep’ by Il Sung Na is a beautiful story about how different animals go to sleep at night, except for the watchful owl. It’s the perfect nighttime story that your child will love.
3. ‘Jamberry’ by Bruce Degen. This is a delightful story that will engage your child with it pictures, rhyming and alliteration.
4. ‘Dear Zoo’ by Rod Campbell -This book is about a little child looking for the perfect pet. It’s simple but fun and the kids love it because of the Life-The–Flap portion.
5. ‘The Water Hole’ by Graeme Base – This book has amazing illustrations! The story is a journey of discovery that takes the kids from Africa to North America. I promise you that when you read it once, the kids will want you to read it over and over again.