Parent’s Choice

Books YOU will love to read to your child (again and again and again…)

We all know that reading to kids every day is important for their intellectual and emotional development. Research shows that the number of words children are exposed to in their first years of life has a huge impact on how well they will do in school and ultimately, in life.

We recommend that you read at least three books a day to your smallest children, preferably at bedtime. But the trick is to find books that you both love, so that at the end of your busy day, reading is not just another chore—you want books that make reading to your little one a true joy, so that you have extra incentive to cuddle up with a few funny or special books.

Here’s our pick of books for your youngest readers (0-4 year olds) that you’ll be happy to read, night after night.

Best Books for Laughs:

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, Mo Willems: The pigeon wants you to say “yes” to all sorts of things: staying up late, having hot-dog parties … and to letting him drive a bus. “Come on! What’s the problem? It’s only a bus!” Have a ball saying NO to the pigeon! Your little one will love saying “no” as well.



Meet Wild Boars, Meg Rosoff and Sophie Blackall: The wild boars are “dirty and smelly, bad-tempered and rude. Do you like them? Never mind, they do not like you either!” Meet Wild Boars is a hilarious take on nasty people. Do they remind you of anyone you know?



Diary of a Wombat, Jackie French and Bruce Whatley: “Morning: Slept. Afternoon: Slept. Evening: Ate grass. Scratched. Night: Ate grass. Slept.” In this international bestseller, follow Mothball the wombat’s adventures as she trains her humans and discovers that they make quite good pets.



Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy, Lynley Dodd: “Out of the gate and off for a walk went Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy …” and so begins this iconic book where Hairy Maclary is joined by his other doggy friends until they encounter Scarface Claw—the toughest tom cat in town. “Mrararararowowow!” said Scarface Claw.



Olivia, Ian Falconer: Olivia is very good at wearing people out. She even wears herself out. Follow Olivia’s adventures as she goes to an art gallery, tries to make some art at home, experiences time-out, and gets tucked up in bed by her exhausted but loving mother.



Best Books for Cuddles:

I am a Bunny, Ole Risom and Richard Scarry: In this beautiful book, Nicholas the Bunny talks through the seasons with you and your little one, finishing with a sweet scene of cosy hibernation—I Am a Bunny is a cosy story and beautiful drawings that you can talk about with your little one (ask them “what’s your favorite butterfly in this picture?” “what’s your favourite fall leaf here?”)



Time for Bed, Mem Fox: Does your child resist bedtime? This story coaxes them on their way, as it shows all the animals being settled by their parents “It’s time for bed, little goose, little goose—the stars are out, and on the loose.” It includes the stories of little animals who also resist sleep: “It’s time to sleep, little pup, little pup—if you don’t sleep soon, the sun will be up!”



Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes, Mem Fox: Little ones LOVE this book. Read the sweet rhythms in this book, which describe the tiny baby fingers and chubby baby toes of children living all around the world, while you do the actions, gently touching your child’s little fingers and little toes.



It’s Time to Sleep, My Love, Nancy Tillman: this story gains a sleepy momentum with its soft refrain, It’s time to sleep, my love, my love, it’s time to sleep, my love. The perfect story to read while cuddled up with your little one.



Madeline, Ludwig Bemelmans: “In an old house in Paris that was covered in vines, lived twelve little girls in two straight lines …” and this story is about Madeline, the smallest and bravest of all of them. Madeline is a Caldecott Honor Book that has delighted readers for over 70 years, and now comes in a board book format.

 



Best Books for Learning:

Red is a Dragon: A Book of Colors, Roseanne Thong and Grace Lin: “Red is a dragon! Red is a drum! Red are the firecrackers—here they come!” This is an exquisite book with masterful rhymes and gorgeous drawings that both you and your child will love, while they learn their colors by hearing the rhyme and matching the words to the story.



The Gruffalo, Julia Donaldson—This book is worth reading to your child for its sheer narrative genius. It tells the story of a little mouse who manages to outsmart all the predators of the forest by making up a monster called the Gruffalo. Then, at the end of the forest, who does the mouse find?



Rhymoceros, Janik Coat: In this clever, fun book, a blue rhinoceros appears on each page, showing little ones how to rhyme: caring, daring … stinky, inky … rhyme along to all 16 pairs!



That’s Not My Puppy, Fiona Watt: Both babies and toddlers love this series of books: That’s Not My …. (Bunny, Fairy, Dragon, Santa!). Each book takes them through a number of textures and concepts. For the smallest babies, put their little hand up to touch the textures as you read.



Have a look at some of our favorite websites:

Diary of an Overlord – diaryofanoverlord.com

The Toy Tigerbesttoysforkidsreview.com