Evie Reads • Books for Toddlers

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

It seems that as Evie gets older, our bag gets heavier on the walk home from each trip to the library. This last visit proved to be our biggest haul yet. We walked out with two bags, one on my back and one weighing down the stroller handles, filled with over 30 books. Over the last few weeks we've made our way through all of those books and have picked out eight of our favorites. I have such a hard time taking library books back, especially the ones that we enjoy. Alex tells me I have a problem every time I come back from the library. Something about me bringing home ridiculous amounts of books bothers him, especially when I keep them longer than the first check out period. This is apparently one of his type-A personality things coming out. Several of the board books that we have and read everyday have been renewed seven or eight times because I'm afraid that if I take them back, I'll forget the title or author and won't be able to find them again. So I decided to create a blog series and share our expert library book knowledge with you lovely people. If you're new here, Evie is 20 months old, so these recommendations are based on the attention span and interests of a younger toddler, but I'm sure, would be enjoyed by kids as old as six or so.

RRRalph by Lois Ehlert: This is such a simple book, but clever and inventive at the same time. It's about a dog that can talk and it has a corny, knock-knock joke feel that any young child will find hilarious. The illustrations are done in Ehlert's classic style (that you may recognize from Chicka Chicka, Boom Boom) featuring different paper textures, vibrant colors, large text, and recycled materials like pop tops, buttons, and zippers. Evie loves to mock the the different barks that Ralph makes and giggles the whole way through. It's a fun, short story for any toddler that loves dogs.

1, 2, I Love You by Alice Schertle - illustrated by Emily Arnold:1, 2, I Love You is a whimsical and soothing rendition of the classic nursery rhyme '1, 2, Buckle my shoe. . .', which makes it great for bedtime. It is a rhyming story, as most of Alice Schertle's books are (such as Little Blue Truck, another one of our favorites that we own), and the watercolor illustrations really enhance the lyrical feel of the words and give the book a dream-like quality. The story is full of wonder and features everything from elephants 'catching stars to put in pickle jars' to mermaids, rainbows, and trains. This is probably our favorite book out of all of the ones we brought home and will no doubt be making its way onto our permanent bookshelf to be read many more times.

Papa, please get the moon for me. by Eric Carle: 'Papa, please get the moon for me' is the story of a little girl who stares longingly at the moon from her window for quite some time, wishing she could reach up and touch it. She asks her Papa to please get the moon for her, so he builds a very tall ladder. . . and well, you'll have go check out the book to find out what else happens. This one holds some sentimental value for us because it's one of the few books that I've found in which the Father is called 'Papa' (what Evie calls Alex) instead of 'Daddy.' The little girl's name is Monica, but we like to call her Evie instead and Ev always gets really excited to hear her name in a book. It is one of Eric Carle's lesser known books, but it is probably my favorite of his and definitely worth reading.

Art by Patrick McDonnell: Patrick McDonnell has become a favorite in our house and we're on a mission to read all of his children's books. He has a quirky writing style and an imaginative illustration style, so every book we've read so far has become a favorite for both Evie and I. They're engaging for her and they're fun for me to read. This particular one is about a boy named Art who loves to create art. It draws you in with colorful crayon squiggles and paint blotches and flows from one page to the next with clever rhyming words. Just like 'Hug Time,' 'Art' has become a favorite that we reluctantly take back to the library every time. If you're a fan of 'Harold and the Purple Crayon' then this is a must read for you.

Hippospotamus by Jeanne Willis: 'Hippospotamus is a Suess-like rhyming story of a Hippo with a spot on her bum. On each page, she asks a different animal what they think it could be. Some respond with something more serious (the weasel says it's the measles, the fox says it's hippo pox and she should 'bundle up in warm petticoats and frocks, wooly pants and socks') and some respond with a simple explanation (her sister says it's a blister, a brown bear says it's an ingrown hair). The ending is my favorite part and makes me snicker every time, but I won't ruin it for you. I know that Evie doesn't understand invented words like 'bottomus,' but she is still entranced by the language and the animals.

Dog and Bear by Laura Vaccaro Seeger: This is a set of three short stories about the adventures and conversations of a dog and a bear who are best friends. Each story is simple, but clever. We go back to this book time and time again for it's heartwarming qualities. It is a quick read and would be good for children as young as 9 months, depending on his or her level of interest in books. The illustrations have a hand-drawn quality to them that Evie can really relate to. To be honest, it didn't look like much from the outside when I pulled it off the shelf at the library, but we have grown to love 'Dog and Bear.'

The Bunnies Are Not in Their Beds by Marisabina Russo: I have found that there are very few children's books that are actually fun to read out loud. A lot of times I can even fall in love with a story and a style of writing, but still find it awkward to find my voice in reading it out loud to Evie. 'The Bunnies Are Not in Their Beds' is rhythmic and soothing for bed time, but still full of fun! It is a joy to read and offers a lot of moments to inject emotion and excitement into story telling. The colors are vivid and the content is full of. . . childhood. It is what every kid wishes they could do instead of going to sleep. We especially love the repetition from the parents (think 'Green Eggs and Ham') and how the story builds to a climax using all of the different activities that the little bunnies get caught doing instead of sleeping. My favorite part of the story is the glimpses into what the parents are doing downstairs while the bunnies are supposed to be sleeping (eating cake, drinking tea, reading the newspaper). It gives kids an idea of what Mom and Dad are doing during that elusive time that they're not with them.

Wag by Patrick McDonnell: While this isn't our favorite from Patrick McDonnell, it is still a book worth recommending, especially for dog lovers. The characters in the book are repeatedly asked ". . . but what makes Earl's tail wag?" and the list of answers go on and on. It seems like everything gets Earl's tail wagging. Evie loves when I make the make the sound of his tail wagging - 'fwip, fwip, fwip.' In the end Earl's best friend, Mooch, knows the answer - love! This is such a heartwarming tribute to the joy of owning a dog.

As I'm finishing this up, we just returned from the library with bags full of fall themed books, so give us a little time to read them over and come back for another 'Evie Reads' post soon. (If you're interested in seeing the first post in this series, click here.) Also, feel free to share some of your favorite children's books in the comments so that Ev and I can check them out on our next library trip.

We just got back from a little family road trip this weekend, so it should be quiet around here for a few days as I have lots of laundry to do and grocery lists to make and a week to plan. I would love to come back to a few more votes over on Top Baby Blogs, so if you have a minute, click the link below. Please and thank you!

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  1. I love this list because we actually haven't read any of the books on it!! So nice to have some good recommendations to take with us to the library next time!

    PS I think you should make a button for your blog so that I can feature you on my blog!

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. These posts usually have the least number of views/comments, but I keep doing them because I like to, so I'm glad someone will get some use out of them! Hope you (and Riggs) enjoy!

      And a button is coming soon!

    3. We definitely will! Let me know when you get the button done:)

  2. Hey! Stopping by from the Mom-Lovin hop. Thanks for the recommendations - it's always hard going to the library and picking random books and not knowing what you're going to end up with - we've found some pretty bad books that way!! :) New follower on Bloglovin - look forward to reading more!

    1. Thank you for the follow, Nancy!
      We've had the same problem too. We were having such bad luck walking in and picking a few off of the shelves. Out of 20 or so, only 8-10 end up being favorites. Glad the recommendations might be of some use to you!

  3. I love this list! I'll have to write some of these down. Our library bag keeps getting heavier, too!

    I have a blog about children's books and education (among other things). You should check it out and we can talk kid's books! Haha.

    Stef @ Barefoot Adventures

    1. Thanks, Stefani! I think that might be what my blog is slowly becoming. Ha! These are my favorite posts to write. I'll check yours out though! Sounds like I'd be interested. ;)

  4. I need to keep these books in mind. My twins are 13 months and we read the same books over and over and over. How do they already have favorites? I just can't say no to their little faces when they walk up to me with a book and go "Eh?" Thanks for the list. I look forward to reading more about you!

  5. I love these books! I haven't heard of any of these before. The Eric Carle one looks so fun!



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