Almost 6 months ago, in May, I did my first Edition of Lucas’ 10 Best Books, so here’s an update as he’s gotten older and his tastes have changed (ever so slightly). While his favorite reads might have changed a little, his love for books has not. We still read to him multiple times a day (and his nanny does as well throughout), and when we miss reading time, he’s a crankier little lad. As such, here’s our latest Best Books for Kids list that we’re currently loving as a family:
Fox In Socks: Dr Seuss’ Book of Tongue Tanglers
By Dr Seuss
What we (Jay and I) love about it: It’s an abridged version of classic. It’s small, it’s portable, it’s a board book (so it’s sturdy). We also love that it’s full of twisty words and phrases that’s great for learning fluency, tone, and rhythm.
What Lucas loves about it: Words! Rhymes! Tongue Tanglers! Silliness!!! (He loves it particularly as entertainment while eating, and if you read it in funny accents or as-fast-as-you-can [or both together], it cracks him up.)
Bright & Early Board Books About Me!
(Mostly, but not all, by Dr Seuss)
What we (Jay and I) love about it: So this one’s a bit of a cheat, but it does come as a box set? I know it’s technically 4 books, but we do only read him 1 or 2 at a time (we like to cycle our books on a weekly basis so he doesn’t get bored). In any case, these books are particularly fun because they rhyme, and are about something relatable. For example, as his teeth come in, the Tooth Book is a great one to read (funny, with visuals, and trivia and jokes here and there). The Eye Book and Nose Book are also lots of fun because you can use them to illustrate how these body parts work. Lastly, the Foot Book is great for teaching opposites.
What Lucas loves about it: Rhythm & rhyme, learning time!
Goodnight Goodnight Consturction Site
By Sherri Duskey Rinker
What we (Jay and I) love about it: This one’s a bit long, and we’ve had it for a while but it’s only in the last 6 weeks or so that it’s really started to grow on Lucas. We like it because it’s a nice little tale about hard work, good rest, and industry – and it’s a bedtime story too so you can do all your “yawns” and “sighs” and “time-to-sleeps” while reading it, putting in a tone of “okay it’s time to wind down and relax now.”
What Lucas loves about it: I think he actually enjoys the story now and the sound effects that are built into it. Despite being on the long side, the visuals are appealing, and it’s got a nice, calming rhythm to it that I think really suits early morning or before-bed reading times.
By Benji Davies
What we (Jay and I) love about it: It’s the same old Bizzy Bear but in DUTCH! We love that we can now read variations of his favorite books to him in his other language. It’s perfect for introducing new Dutch words, and it’s still got that same old Bizzy Bear charm (the double board, the pull-out scenes, the interactive sliding pages, and more).
What Lucas loves about it: Well, he loves this one just as much as he loves his usual Bizzy Bear collection.
The Very Hungry Catterpillar
By Eric Carle
What we (Jay and I) love about it: This one’s a classic: a simple story, beautifully told, with gorgeous art. I especially love the ending, that whole “growing and becoming”. There are lessons to be had about eating healthy, I suppose, as well as, “becoming something new”, but in general it’s just a lovely little short story with very pretty visuals, number skills factored in, and a nice little primer on flora and fauna.
What Lucas loves about it: I think the colors and patterns in the collage style artwork, as well as the way that the double board book is configured (so that the number of fruits overlay just so as you proceed through the story). It doesn’t rhyme, but it also still has a nice rhythm to it and is a simple, quick read.
My First Book of Learning
By Joanna Bicknell
What we (Alex and Jay) love about it: This book is great. It has multiple tabs for firsts: shapes, animal sounds, colors, numbers, words, opposites, and the alphabet. It’s a great starting point to build vocab and comprehension, and its vibrant colors are eye-catching and stimulating. I also love that a lot of it is flexible and we can actually teach him some of the tabs in both English and Dutch (first words, and alphabet excluded).
What Lucas loves about it: I think he mostly loves it for the colors and because I sing “A you’re adorable, B you’re so beautiful” when I’m pointing at the different letters on the Alphabet tab. BUT I do also think he enjoys hearing the animal noises, and I look forward to the day we can use it as actual learning material to study the different concepts it presents.
What we (Alex and Jay) love about it: This is a lovely short Dutch story about a blue train that needs some help, and gets by with a little help from some friends. I personally love it cause it’s a great way for me to practice fluency and a fun Dutch read for Lucas in general.
What Lucas loves about it: Bright colors! Transportation! Buttons that you press while playing that make the sounds of their respective type of transport!
First Stories: Jungle Book
What we (Alex and Jay) love about it: This little double boarded book is like the Bizzy Bear version of abridged classics. The First Stories series does a great job condensing classic stories into palatable shorts for babies. At the moment, most of the series covers the princess stories, but there is this one, and Jack and the Beanstalk as well. (I’d like to see a more equal representation of all types of characters come to the series soon.)
What Lucas loves about it: Lucas has loved this book for months, honestly, and I don’t see it changing any time soon. He loves the interactive pages (the push, pull, swing of different elements). He loves the animals. He loves the adventure. And he loves that we sing Bare Necessities at the end while swinging Mowgli and Baloo back and forth in a dance on the last page. Haha. Oh and all the books in this series rhyme too. So that’s a plus.
Kijk eens wat ik kan!
By Nannie Kuiper & Dagmar Stam
What we (Alex and Jay) love about it: This is another cute Dutch children’s story that’s great for my fluency, and a nice thing to read to Lucas in his other language. It’s a cute story about a mischievous baby boy, and comes to us at the perfect time when Barend (the key character) is into many of the things Lucas is into too (opening and closing doors, making a general mess, and so on).
What Lucas loves about it: At the moment, Jay and I actually enjoy this book more than Lucas does. It runs a bit long for his tastes. However, when he is in the mood, you can get him to sit through it and enjoy it just fine. It rhymes, and it’s a light one, and I foresee him enjoying it more and more as he gets older.
Noah’s Ark Soft Book
(I bought this from a handmade goods store at a bazaar in the Philippines…
but you can also buy it via eBay)
What we (Alex and Jay) love about it: We love this interactive soft storybook that’s perfect for leaving on the high chair during dinner to keep Lucas preoccupied (especially when we have guests and want to avoid flying plastic or wooden toys – at least this one’s soft, made of cloth, and all the pieces are anchored to the pages by ribbon). It also doubles as a lovely Bible bedtime story any time.
What Lucas loves about it: Animals! Soft stuff! Eat-able/chewable!
So that’s our list! A cheat because if you really count the Bright and Early set it’s more like 13 books long but ANYWAY. As you do. In the meantime, do tell me what books 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.