My ultimate favorite gifts to give and receive are books. Books are timeless and can give hours of entertainment, which translates into hours of often needed quiet time. And best of all, books are relatively inexpensive and easy to send to family and friends who live abroad, and they're reusable and can be enjoyed time and time again.
With a new baby in the house, books are a great way to keep my older two occupied when they want to be close by while I nurse their new brother, so I wanted to share with you a few of the classics that have hit home in our house. My kids got a ton of gift cards for the holidays - and I bet yours did, too - so perhaps some of these books will find a spot on your shelves soon.
Sometimes I Like to Curl Up in a Ball
This is a sweet book about a wombat and his favourite things to do. It’s a great, short book for little ones that gets them inspired for sleep. And more sleep is never a bad thing.
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
This is a classic Eric Carle book many of us know well, and may likely be on your shelves already. If not, it is a much needed addition. Each page is a peek at a different animal, which helps with animal and colour recognition for toddlers. It is simple, predictable, and bright. Even young children can easily memorize the pages and "read" it to you by age one. It never fails to bring a smile.
Author: Margaret Wise Brown
Yes, it's on my list; how can it not be? Many of us had this book read to us when we were kids. This is a great book for teaching simple words such as "comb" and "balloon." The images are a bit retro, but this adds to the appeal - at least for parents. But while perhaps not the most eye-pleasing - the "old style" telephone is out of date and would be a cell phone now - my kids seem to adore it and it gives me a glimpse back at life before cell phones and tablets took over. This is another book that kids can easily memorize, and they love to recite back to parents before bed.
Peas On Earth and Bear in Underwear
Author: Todd H. Doodler
I adore Todd Doodler’s books and could recommend many more. "Peas on Earth" is one of my kids’ all-time favourites. Who wouldn’t love a book that teaches kids to share, play nicely, and eat healthy too? We love the rhymes, cute drawings, and a pop-up surprise at the end.
"Bear In Underwear" is another great book about a bear who stumbles upon a bag of random underwear in the woods and finds his favourite pair, and then his friends all find great pairs, too. (Next to more sleep, comfy underwear is very important.) My kids and husband think it's hilarious and the pictures are adorable. This is a great springboard book for kids transitioning to underpants, too!
Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons
We have been fans of the Pete the Cat series since the first one, "His Four Groovy Buttons." There are now several more and my kids can’t get enough. Pete is a friendly, chill cat who gets into some trouble but stays happy and positive. The illustrations are cute and you can even listen to the stories being sung by Eric Litwin online for free. So fun.
Author: Jeremy Tankard
Don’t let the name get you down. Yes, "Grumpy Bird" is a story of a bird down-on-his-luck, but his helpful friends soon cheer him up. This book will turn a bad mood around and teach kids about various animal types and how to look on the bright side, and it's great for building friendship values.
Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!
Author: Mo Willems
I get a kick out of the various Pigeon books, of which there are several. These stories are about an eager pigeon who wants independence and choice – much like our toddlers. He has to learn to accept this isn’t always possible. Mo Willems wrote several brief and funny for both kids and adults, and the illustrations are simple, yet explosive and depict action beautifully. They really capture a small child's attention.
The Very Cranky Bear
Author: Nick Bland
This is a great book about a team of animal friends who work diligently to cheer up a friend. I love the lessons about friendship, sacrifice, and kindness. Great rhyming and illustrations keep kids attention from wandering.
How To Catch A Star
Author: Oliver Jeffers
There are several books by Jeffers that my boys and I love. This one is about a boy who wants a star of his very own. He is persistent and his hard work pays off, and without giving away the ending, I'll just say that it is one of the most requested books in our house.
Author: Tedd Arnold
There are now many books in the Fly Guy series about a boy and his pet fly. They are great stories about friendship and acceptance, and this book is a hilarious take on the classic idiom that consistently makes our kids giggle. These books are excellent for new readers too, and our older son can read many of the simple sentences already.
Author: Stan Berenstain and Jan Berenstain
The Berenstein Bears are a classic that I remember well from childhood. I love the stories about family, friendship, and values we all share are parents.
Please do share your favorites with me!
My kids’ book library can never get big enough!