Books should be an essential part of every young child's life. As a parent, one of your jobs is to instill a love of reading in your children. This process can begin at a very young age. You can even read to your baby while he or she is still in the womb! For babies, hearing your voice as you read can be very soothing, even when they don't understand what you are saying. With toddlers, you can establish a nightly routine that includes bedtime stories. Depending on his or her age and development, your toddler might not understand the stories either. But he or she will love looking at the pictures, and will start picking up on random words here and there. The important thing is to just read and not worry about how much of the story is sinking in. There will be plenty of time for that later. To give you some ideas of which books to check out, here are some of my favorite children's books, in no particular order.
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
This is a "board book," which means the pages are made of sturdy cardboard, rather than paper, so it is perfect for toddlers. The story is actually a poem about a little rabbit that says goodnight to everything he can see, and even to things he can't ("Goodnight air!"). The book contains fantastic illustrations, some in color and some in black and white, which makes it very attractive to young children.
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
I'm sure you remember this book from your own childhood, right? It's the story of a boy who gets sent to his room without supper, and then lets his imagination take over from there. The illustrations in the book are great; the creatures look just how a child would see them in his mind's eye. This is a children's book that can be enjoyed on a few different levels, so the young ones in your family will be sure to keep it around for many years.
The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
This is the classic story of four young rabbits who are warned by their mother not to go into Mr. McGregor's garden. Three of the young rabbits obey, but Peter defies his mother's instructions and ends up getting into a heap of trouble. This is a book that is fun for children to read, yet still carries an important lesson.
Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
Did you think there could be a children's book list without Dr. Seuss on it? Green Eggs and Ham is, on the surface, a story that teaches children to be open to new things, in this case, food. Your children will love the rhyme scheme, the illustrations, and the silly premise (green eggs). Adults may have more fun coming up with their own theories about what the green eggs and ham are supposed to represent.
Add these books to your child's library today!