During the month of April, public libraries are celebrating National Library Week. While this might not be a highlight for most of us, I am using it as an excuse to indulge in my greatest passion–children’s literature.
As a kindergarten teacher, I would scour the shelves of the school library, looking for new books to read to my students; and now as a parent, I am no less obsessive on my quest to find works of excellence and beauty to put on our bookshelves. I love expanding little hearts and minds through great literature. So below I am listing 10 of our family’s favorites for the youngest of listeners (ages three and under). All of these titles are available on amazon.com or for free at our very own Fort Worth Public Library.
Ten in the Bed by Penny Hale is a lovely bedtime story. My sons ask to read this one over and over again. Bruno Munari’s ABC is a crisp, modern alphabet primer full of unusual illustrations and words. It’s great for building a little one’s vocabulary. Frog Went A-Courtin by John Langstaff is a wonderful story about a rat wooing a little mouse. The story and pictures always draw my children’s attention. Three Little Kittens by Paul Galdone is a guaranteed crowd pleaser. Even my 10 month old gets into it. I promise you will have it memorized in just a few reads! 1 Is One by Tasha Tudor is an old-fashioned counting book with truly beautiful, timeless illustrations. It is a delight to read. The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr is a sweet, engaging book about a hungry tiger who stops by for a cup of tea. The title pretty much sums it up, yet my kiddos never tire of reading this one. Pocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes by Salley Mavor is a gem! All of the illustrations are lovingly hand-stitched by the author herself, and then photographed to create a unique, multi-dimensional picture book. Even if you already own a copy of nursery rhymes, this brings them to life in a whole new way. First Prayers: A Celebration of Faith and Love is a collection of poetry and prayers for the very youngest. With beautiful pictures, we enjoy reading this one in the evening before bed. It also makes a thoughtful christening gift. Each Peach Pear Plum by Janet and Allan Ahlberg is a fun read with a host of characters from classic fairy tales and nursery rhymes. In this story, Cinderella, The Three Bears, Baby Bunting, Robin Hood, and many others all come together for plum pie at the end. This is also an “I Spy” book, which takes the excitement up a notch for my three year old. Edward the Emu by Sheena Knowles is the tale of a discontent emu at the zoo. After visiting many other animals, Edward decides being an emu isn’t so bad after all.
What are some of your favorites books for ages three and under?
SO many to name, but we have always loved the Little Blue Truck books. Also the Brown Bear, Brown Bear series were awesome at teaching them colors. Hungry Hungry Caterpillar.
I LOVE Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willemstad and all of the Llama Llama Red Pajama books by Anna Dewdney