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I am really passionate about children’s books. We read 2-3 books every night (provided they’re shorter ones) and it’s important that I enjoy reading those books. So I research before I buy and always love to hear recommendations from others. Make sure you leave a comment at the bottom of this post with your favorites! I’d love to get more ideas for great books.
A lot of my favorite books are books that rhyme or are quirky so if that’s your jam, these might be the books for you. These are, of course, books “for boys” because I have three boys, but I think little girls would enjoy them too. But obviously we’re a bit heavy on the books about vehicles.
1. The Belly Button Book: Pretty much anything by this author is excellent. The book has rhymes, a cute little song to sing, and hippos. We also get a kick out of the focus on belly buttons.
2. I Love You Through and Through: This is a cute book with adorable illustrations. It rhymes and I think my kiddos liked hearing a book entirely focused on how much I love them.
3. I’m a Dirty Dinosaur: If you have boys (and maybe girls too), then you probably have struggled with getting them clean. This book is really cute and there’s a lot of repetitive parts that let the kids “read” along.
4. Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late: Like all of the pigeon books, these are cute and pigeon is always doing naughty things. The kids can fill in the “noooooo…” parts which is fun for them. So you’ll read pigeon’s line, “Can I get a drink of water before bed?” and the kids say “Noooooo….” My kids absolutely adore this and I think it’s fun because this is exactly our routine every night before THEY go to bed.
5. How Do Dinosaurs Love Their Dogs?: I love all of the dinosaur books. They’re cute and they have lessons within the book. They talk about the things you DON’T do to your dog and the things you SHOULD do for your dog. I find this particularly useful at this age because the boys still had pretty bad boundaries with our dogs. It’s nice to have a book that reinforces the proper way to treat pets. Of course, we do a lot of talking outside of reading about how to treat the dogs which I talk a bit about that in my post, Introducing Your Dog to a New Baby.
There’s also a cat version.
6. The Very Hungry Caterpillar: This is a book that the kids love due to the bright illustrations and it’s also easy for them to “read.” This is great for preparing them to read later on. If you LOVE this book, make sure to check out the Hungry Caterpillar Baby Costume that I made that’s perfect for a baby in a sling carrier (for the cocoon)!
7. The Little Blue Truck: This has trucks and animals, including lots of animal sounds. It rhymes too. My boys love all of the Little Blue Truck books. They all have a little lesson in them.
8. Five Little Monkeys: My kids think these books (there’s a couple) are hysterical. They’re very repetitive which again- good for early reading skills and fun for the kids to “read along.” I have been making my own audiobooks of our favorite books for the kids for a while and I actually have a recording of my mom reading this book- which is sort of hilarious because she keeps pausing with commentary about how awful the 5 little monkeys’ mom is. Honestly… in terms of bad parenting… mama monkey in these books sleeps through her kids baking a cake and starting an oven fire and the firefighters coming (in a different book) so there’s that.
9. Bear with Me: A friend bought my son this book when he was about to be a big brother. This is a great book about becoming a big brother and would probably work with adoption or foster care too. It talks about a little boy who is frustrated about the bad things about having a new brother, then realizes there’s a lot of good things too.
10. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?: Another favorite book with lots of fun illustrations. The mix of colors in these Eric Carle books are just neat. My kids love them because they’re repetitive and I usually make animal noises to go along for each page. They like to help read.
11. Counting Little Geckos: This is a cute book that rhymes and works on counting. Also, there’s geckos and they’re adorable.
12. Dinosaur Roar!: Super cute book that I got at a yard sale. It rhymes and it’s all about opposites so that’s great for young kids.
13. I Love You, Stinky Face: It’s a cute book with a little boy asking his mama a lot of “but mama would you love me IF’s.”
14. Thank You Prayer: Definitely a cute book if you want to work in a short prayer that’s easy for the kids to understand. We do longer prayers now, but for a while this was a really great alternative because I know the wiggle factor on boys can sometimes make it difficult to get through longer prayers. Plus it has illustrations to go along with the prayers.
15. Work, Dogs, Work: I love these books. The kids love to find the cat hiding in most of the illustrations and it is alllll about trucks.
Other Favorites: Hippos Go Beserk!