Thursday, May 1, 2008

Books for a One Year Old

I was super lucky in the book reading department with my older two children. Jacob and Faith would let me read anything to them, starting from birth practically. I always wondered why other people complained their babies wouldn't let them read to them or why people would need "tips" for reading to their babies. Then I had Dieter and Rainer. Total opposite. These babies grabbed at the books, turned the pages, and didn't let me read to them. I still want them to love reading (and Dieter totally does now, at three) so I've had to be a little more persistent with these boys. Mostly I've found I can't sit down with just any book and start reading to them, but certain books do the trick. I thought it would be fun to make a little list of books that are working for Rainer at the moment.

Brown Bear Brown Bear, What Do You See? (and the rest of the books in this series)--this has a great rhyming scheme and big beautiful illustrations of different animals by Eric Carle. It's a classic that's been around since the 70's. Good stuff. Dieter still likes this one too.

My Big Truck Book (and other similar truck books)--what can I say? My boys are truck boys. "Reading" these books is just looking at pictures of trucks and naming them and talking about them. We make it fun by doing little motions and sounds to represent the what the trucks do. I learned that from Ken. For the backhoe, for instance, it's "dig, over, dump it out" with your hand doing the motions. The forklift is two fingers raising up. You get the idea. Boy stuff.

Good Dog Carl--we have the board book version. Lovely (wordless) illustrations of a dog taking care of a baby at home. Carl and the baby get into all sorts of mischief but the baby is always lovingly cared for by the dog. I'm amazed that Rainer will let me read this to him but he loves it and it's always fun for me too.

Spring, Fruhling, and other similar wordless books. We do well with the wordless books. I'm delighted that my boys like these. We look at the pictures, talk about them, point out certain things and animals, and go at their own pace. Fun for the mama too--I'm all about observing the seasons.

Babybug--this is a monthly magazine for babies. We've had a subscription for a few years (thanks to a very generous Gam who loves reading too) and have a nice stack of back issues. Each issue starts with a "Kim and Carrots" story of a young girl with her stuffed bunny and also includes lots of little poems and rhymes appropriate for babies. Rainer is really into the Babybugs right now. Go figure. But again, I'm delighted. We're about to switch over to Ladybug but our big stack of back issues will keep us going.

Pat the Bunny--another classic. Rainer is especially good and enthusiastic about putting his finger through "mummy's ring."

Off to Bed--this board book has staggered "easy to open" pages and big photos of household objects in a one-word-per-page format, which is great for this age group, I think. I love it because the photos are artfully black and white with just the main subject of each page in color.

Where's Spot?--both boys love the simple text and the "lift the flaps" of this classic board book. I remember reading this one to Jacob too. Spot's mommy is looking for him but keeps encountering different animals.

These are just what seem to work for Rainer at the moment. It sure is fun keeping him engaged and seeing what he'll like next. Soon I'll do a list of what the three year old is liking because that is getting very very fun. Do you have any special books your toddlers love? Share away in the comments if you like.


MamaBlogger said...

My kids were the same way as babies! I could recite Brown Bear, Jamberry and Goodnight Moon in my sleep from reading them over and over and over...

Carrie said...

I'm a Boynton fan. The old version of Horns to Toes is my favorite. And I had the privilege of getting to read it to a baby at work the other day. I love reading to babies and toddlers. What a joy!

About Us: said...

Thanks for posting these MaryBeth! We are sure to have a toddler so I am taking note of the titles and look forward to the titles you have for Dieter too. Loved the pic of your mother's gift on yesterday's post. I love that type of bag for a diaper bag too, I just don't sew! So, might have to see if my MIL would make it for me.:-)


Rachel said...

My two boys had books from they day they were born too. At first they were just toys, they chewed them, bashed them etc but soon grew to love looking at the pictures and listening to the words. We too love the Eric Carle books - The Very Hungry Caterpillar is an absolute must in our house! The Dick Bruna "Miffy" books are lovely too, really bright, simple pictures and very sweet stories.

e_susan94 said...

My husband and I read to our boys since birth and so to this day we love to read and they love to be read to. We started a routine since they were babies to read books before nap time (even if it was two naps a day at that point) and also before bed. We buy books and also borrow from the library. I have a son that is almost 5 and so we also read books that were in his collection.
Here are my 2 3/4yr old's favorite books at the current time:
*Anything from Patricia Pingry (we are Christian and love her books about God, morals and the Bible)
*BOZ the green Bear (like the Christian version of Barney)
*Anything that talks about the alphabet or letters and words to go with them.
*How to go Potty books :)
*Are you my Mother?
*Go dogs Go!
*Dr. Seuss' Alphabet book

varenia said...

what a great post! and the pants that Rainer are wearing are just lovely! this is a great list of books, a lot of these are favorites at our house, too. my 14 month old daughter is a bit of a wild reader :) so i have to be really choosy about the books that entertain her. she loves "chicka chicka boom boom" by bill martin jr (if i sing it!) and mem fox's "time for bed." my kids are big fans of anything mem fox, but a lot of them are better for my 3 and 5 year olds. wordless books are also a bit hit around here! thanks again for the great list!

kim said...

G'Night Moon.
Pajama Time (Boyton).
5 Little Monkeys Jumping On the Bed. for this age.

Carrie said...

Some of the books that my young two year old class loves:
Go away Big Green Monster
We're Going on a Bear Hunt(especially if you whisper from the point where you're at the cave and then "scream" when the bear comes out!)
All of the Carle books,as you mentioned.
Good Night Gorilla

Deanna said...

My second son was the same way and still is. Very independent, but the good news is that he loves to read. He did love all of those books with the texture pages in it when he was little. Sometimes he would stay on a page long enough for me to read the words!!

Heids said...

Oh I love reading to Miss Grace and am glad she loves it too some of our favourites include Eric Carle books, Pamela Allen books, Linley Dodd books and we also like some Australian poetry that have been turned into picture books inlcuding Mulga Bill's Bycycle by Bango Patterson. Other favourites from my childhood include John Brown, Rose and the Midnight Cat which Grace and I read and Hogglespike which is now out of print and I haven't been able to find :(

Em said...

Oh, we love Babybug in our house! My mom got them for my daughter when she was a baby, so we have lots of backissues too... and now that my son is almost two, he's gotten the subscription and he loves them. We love Kim and Carrots, and all of the Mother Goose rhymes they've been sprinkling in there lately are great too. My son yells, "Yellow Duck, Yellow Duck" when we get to that part in Brown Bear... Oh - another of his favorites is "The Lady with the Aligator Purse".

periwinkle said...

My 3yr old loves so many books.. Mr Men, Charlie and Lola, The Hungry Caterpillar... a lovely one called How Many Sleeps about a little mouse called Toast waiting for his Birthday, The Gruffalo is a firm fave too There are just so many.
Lisa x

amanda said...

Thanks for the link to Ladybug. I bet Ivo would like that. He loves to get mail. We read Brown Bear hundreds of times when Ivo was one! I can still recite it. You have some very good books in your basket I see. Lucky Rainer and Dieter :)