Reading to my children is truly one of my greatest joys of parenting. There are many aspects of the day-to-day routine of motherhood that I could do without, but I look forward to story time. I am a huge advocate of rotating through library books at a steady clip so as not to drive yourself insane with children’s love of repetition, but it’s also important to have some staples in your baby’s board book library for gnawing and learning. Repeating the same stories every night is good for your babies and toddlers, and if you’re like me, you’ll be able to read these stories with your eyes closed in short order.
These stories were my son’s favourites, and even at 5 he still enjoys listening to them. Now it’s my daughter’s turn to memorize these titles and say the words along with me. If these original copies survive Miss Cub’s very passionate love of page-turning, they’ll entertain two more Cub babies in the near future!
If you’re buying a baby shower gift for a family’s first baby, these books are sure to be beloved. Just remember to enclose a gift receipt in case they get doubles (or triples) of these popular titles.
This is the first title my son memorized! I have the sweetest recording on my phone of him telling me the whole story when he was 2, and an updated version at age 4. I’m noticing my daughter saying some of the sounds with me now too, but she isn’t as advanced in language as her brother was at the same age. She knows the last words of each line, so she’ll say “see,” and “me.” I know that continuing to read this simple story to her will only boost her language skills, and this is the first title she picks off the pile at nap and bedtime.
The funniest thing about this book is hearing OTHER people read it out loud. I’ve read it so many times, in my very own particular rhythm, so when I hear it read by others it sounds completely wrong! I don’t know why letters are climbing trees, I just know this is our favourite alphabet book, and no kid can resist a book that says “boom” so many times.
I love this story. I don’t know what’s so adorable about a hippo looking longingly on as his other animal friends have fun until he finally decides to join … it’s just so silly, but the kind of silly that parents and kids can giggle at. We love all of Sandra Boynton’s titles, but this one is our favourite. (Close second: Belly Button Book.)
I have a very fond memory of my toddler cousin reading this book aloud to a boyfriend of mine in the sweetest little sing-songy voice: “Sometimes I like to curl up in a ball, John.” (She added his name to the end of every line.) There are other books in the Little Wombat series, but this one is the best. I’ve been reading this one for longer than I’ve had kids of my own, so it definitely holds up!
There are a bunch of animals in this series, so just pick the animal your kid likes best. We have a monkey and a kitten and a reindeer! This is the only book on my list that has any special features—you know, “touch and feel” kind of stuff. So many baby books have flaps to lift and holes to look through and noises to tire of. The lift-the-flap books never last at our house … unless they’re still fun to read when flapless! The noise-makers eventually run out of batteries or you run out of patience. But the textures in the “That’s Not My” series of books are durable and touchable. Cub and I like to take up the same pattern from this book and play “That’s Not My School Bus” while we wait on the corner for his ride to school.