So far, much like his parents, our little one (Lucas) is a bookworm at heart. We have two permanent Voorlezen Sessies (read-aloud sessions) a day (typically in the morning and in the evening), and when he doesn’t get at least those 2, he often gets cranky. We have also been able to hold his attention whilst reading aloud for quite long periods of time (I can read him 3 long stories out of the Children’s Bible totaling about 30 minutes worth of read-aloud and he sits and listens with no issues). In fact, I even read to him from my (very boring, black and white with almost no pictures) Dutch workbook for 15 minutes straight and receive only attentiveness and curiosity from him. Thus, I thought it’d be fun to compile a list of his current favorite reads:
Oh The Thinks You Can Think!
By Dr Seuss
What we (Jay and I) love about it: It’s a classic, it’s small (we have the bright and early board books version), it’s durable, and it’s so easy to memorize that we are easily able to multitask while reading it to him (I can flip pages while I pump and recite it by heart without bothering to glance)!
What Lucas loves about it: Colors! Rhymes! Silliness!!!
Ladybird’s Baa Baa Black Sheep
What we (Jay and I) love about it: It comes with 5 classic animal nursery rhymes with touch-and-feel visual aids, and it’s an easy (quick) go-to when there’s not enough time to read a whole story to him but he’s in need of some stimulation.
What Lucas loves about it: COLORS! SONGS/RHYMES! ANIMALS!
Bizzy Bear Dinosaur Safari
By Benji Davies
What we (Jay and I) love about it: It’s short and sweet and it rhymes. Also, it’s durable (very thick board book) with pull-out visuals that will come in handy and keep Lucas entertained even as he gets older.
What Lucas loves about it: COLORS! RHYMES! DINOSAURS!!! And a bear. 🙂
By Margaret Wise Brown
What we (Jay and I) love about it: It’s a classic, it was a gift from the Grand Hyatt Singapore (thanks again to the wonderful, over-prepared [in the best way possible], thoughtful staff there!), and we grew up with it too. So it’s nice that Lucas can as well. Also, I personally love that it offers both black and white, and color pages. And I am easily able to read it to him in Dutch (aka, translate it along the way — it’s got enough words that it makes sense to translate, but not too many words that it couldn’t be done on the fly).
What Lucas loves about it: So with this one, he seems to particularly enjoy the colored pages (he kind of went through a funny phase where he hated the black and white ones or would get impatient with them haha). He also appears to love the rhymes. It’s easy on the ears.
Love You Forever
By Robert Munsch
What we (Jay and I) love about it: I’ve always loved this book — not only because it’s adorably featured on F.R.I.E.N.D.S. (click through to see the scene or watch the embed below!), but also because it’s got such a sweet “unconditional love” message in that you’ll-only-truly-get-it-when-you-yourself-are-a-parent way (and I think even the book makes that clear given the ending — is that a spoiler for those who haven’t read it yet? Haha). In any case, it makes a really good bedtime read in particular (with the lullaby and all), and I always feel warm and fuzzy when I finish it.
What Lucas loves about it: Lucas actually seems to “get” this story. I mean, obviously I’d like to think so, but he laughs at the “and he grew and grew” bits, is always excited/happy/smiling (I have this on video!) when I sing the lullaby bits, and whines a little when you see the mama’s older. I think he likes that it’s got a mix of storytelling and singing, and when you read it with emotion has natural laughs and lulls.
First Bible Stories
What we (Alex and Jay) love about it: We love that this particular printing of First Bible Stories is written in a way that it’s easy to read to infants, but will also be great for growing children learning how to read. I think it’ll last a long time. Also, it doesn’t take any alarming liberties with the stories in the Bible — it respects the Word of God, and that’s incredibly important. We wouldn’t want a “dumbed down” or “unnecessarily modernized” retelling of Bible stories, so we like that this is accessible but generally accurate (despite being abridged for a juvenile audience).
What Lucas loves about it: We’d like to think he loves that it’s a blessing to him, and that may very well be the case. But besides that I think it helps that the stories are a good length (not too short and simplistic, not too long and drawn out), with pretty pictures.
The Wheels On the Bus
What we (Alex and Jay) love about it: I’ve written about this and the Bible before in a previous “must-haves” post, so I’ll keep this brief: We love that this book is a board book (durable), compact (fits in the front pocket of his diaper bag), and colorful.
What Lucas loves about it: Colors! Cars! Music!
My ABC Book
What we (Alex and Jay) love about it: This was a gift from one of my best friends (shout-out to Tita Berns!), and has come in handy particularly during tummy time. It’s one of those handmade cloth books, and we love that it’s likely going to last forever. Also, as you can tell from above: the choices of words are certainly not corny/simplistic/overused. It’s not one of those “My First Words” books, that’s for sure, but I like that it chose alternative words rather than the usual A = Apple, B = Ball, X = X-Ray.
What Lucas loves about it: I think he loves that he can chew on it. Haha. And that it’s colorful.
Who’s Afraid of Giant Goliath
What we (Alex and Jay) love about it: This version is by a Filipino publisher and is bilingual (with both Filipino and English translations on each page). The artwork is original (very different, and animated), and it’s written in a way that it can be read aloud to little ones, but also be a useful learning tool for kids as they start to get into reading on their own.
What Lucas loves about it: I think he likes that the drawings are different, and the story is one of those classic hero tales with the standard story arc (Beginning-Middle/Climax-End) because you can feel that journey as you read it aloud.
Is Your Mama A Llama?
By Deborah Guarino
What we (Alex and Jay) love about it: We love this one because: 1) It was a gift from our friends (thanks, Yoda and Angel!!!), 2) it’s got some interesting artwork, and most importantly: 3) it’s full of great rhyming riddles! I think it’ll come in handy as he gets older and look forward to making him guess along when he’s ready.
What Lucas loves about it: Animals! Rhymes! Illustrations!!!
What books do your kids love?? 🙂 Let me know/leave some suggestions in the comments below.
Disclaimer: Thank you to all the publishers for the cover photos of these books.