- A parent reading to her child introduces vital language skills. If mommy reads, then children are drawn to the idea that letters and words work together to make something important to pay attention to. We've all been through years of school and life, and we all know, being able to read can make or break you in this world. Our job as parents is to prepare our kids for adult life, and let's be honest; reading skills are a vital part of that.
- Reading can open new worlds. Cheesy? Maybe, but it's absolutely true. Reading is a sure-fire way to introduce new ideas, encourage learning more advanced vocabulary, and foster a curiousity for learning that just doesn't come up in a normal, home atmosphere without books.
- Reading time is precious social time with mommy and daddy. We're busy. We all know that. I feel like I'm going a hundred miles an hour all day, but taking time to slow down, relax, and read to your children will make special memories that'll mean the world to them. Your small sacrifice of 15 to 30 minutes a day will be paid back a hundred-fold. I promise. I still remember hearing my father's voice as he read to me all those years ago.
"Cook-A-Doodle-Doo!" is a to-die-for adorable book about the Little Red Hen's great-grandson who decides he's sick of eating chicken feed and wants to try out cooking like his great granny. The story is clever. The writing introduces simple cooking terminology in a GENIUS and incredibly fun way. The dialogue between the characters made my husband burst out laughing. And the art is absolutely gorgeous. (If you know me, I'm a sucker for great illustrations.) I didn't have this one growing up, but I completely adore it now.
This is one I grew up with. "The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and The Big Hungry Bear," (besides having the longest title ever) is one of the funnest books to read to toddlers. The story is about a little mouse who, after picking a strawberry, goes about different methods of hiding it from the bear. The writing is, again, genius. My boy can hardly stand the suspense of what's going to happen to the poor strawberry (even after the hundreth reading). And once again, the illustrations are gorgeous.
A classic, am I right? "Each Peach Pear Plum" makes a fantastic I-spy game out of beloved nursery characters all while subtly introducing words the rhyme.
"There's a Wocket in my Pocket" is one of Dr. Seuss's many gems. I love this one, because it's simply written (some of Seuss's books can get a little wordy for a toddler) and is a great introduction to rhyming. My boy likes it because all the wacky Suess-animals are in familiar settings he recognizes, like under the table, on the ceiling, on the couch, etc. Being able to recognize stuff is exciting for a two year old who is just getting a grasp on language.
Oh, another classic. My boy ADORES this book. It's an absolutely fantastic way to drill colors without your kid knowing what you're up to. :) Meanwhile, all the familiar animals make my child excited to keep turning pages.
My boy loves the entire series by Laura Numeroff. Again, it's the recognition thing. He loves being able to point out things he recognizes, like pancakes, taking a bath, and dancing that all happen in this book. He gets so excited, and I can totally use that recognition to my advantage. "Look, the pig is taking a bath! What letter does bath start with?" I ask him. "B!" he yells, jumping up and down. Using familiar words to drill letters is a great way to get todders interested in reading.
Short and sweet. This is the first book I ever bought for my child. In just a handful of pages, "The Little Engine That Could" by Piper Watty tells a wonderful story about how anything is possible if you believe in yourself. What a great lesson to teach your children.
And these are just the tip of the iceberg. There are SO many good books out there. What are your favorites? Why are they so good (aka what lessons do they brilliantly teach)? I'd love to hear some excellent tips for new books to try out. I bet with all of us, we can come up with a pretty fantastic list. :)