Shortly after I wrote For The Love Of A Book: Toddler Edition, I learned that I was pregnant. I remember being constantly exhausted until I hit the Golden Age of pregnancy (AKA the second trimester). And then, you know, shortly after it was back to exhaustion-land which seemed to stretch for quite some time until my daughter was 4 or so months old. Long live sleep. Long live naps.
It was during this 9-month time period that I devoted as much time as I could to nurturing my son. Before our baby girl made a visible appearance. Before the dance began of dividing my attention between my children. I knew I would do my best, but deep down I knew that a newborn would have heavy needs (read: demands). The thought of it made my heart ache, and still does.
I knew that, although this event was wished for, anticipated and thought of with happiness it would bring difficulties. It would change our family dynamics.
In that unsure time I read to him as much as I could. Endless books, especially at bedtime. Sometimes as many as 10, depending on length. Reading with my son is a bond that I treasure. Deeply. And so we read. And read.
This list of books are 6 that we own and love. During the age of 2, they were books that I remember reading over and over. And he would still ask for them the next day!
This is for you, J. The memories tied to these books still make me smile.
Favorites From Year 2
1. Hop On Pop, by Dr. Seuss
This book is a well-known favorite. The title makes me smile. I can remember reading this one as a child and how my brothers and I laughed over it. It has simple sentences throughout that help toddlers learn language and sentence structure.
2. Oscar’s New Neighbor, by Teddy Slater Margulie (Little Golden Book)
About this time J was still in his Sesame Street phase. One night, he asked for an Elmo book. I asked if we could read this “new” Sesame Street book. From then on he loved it! It is a story about Oscar and his new neighbor, a girl grouch named Germaine. They have some interesting conversations and Oscar learns a valuable lesson. I think J really enjoyed the emotional complexity as well as the happy ending.
3. Jake Baked The Cake, by B.G. Hennessy
Sometimes you find a book that is a joy for parent and child. Jake Baked The Cake is that for us. It is wonderfully romantic, yet centers on Jake, the wedding cake baker, so it isn’t overly so. It has short, rhyming text and beautifully illustrated artwork.
4. Llama Llama Red Pajama, by Anna Dewdney
Ok so this one annoys me a little bit. But J loves it and it helps us to understand each other. The Llama Llama books are a bit silly, yet always teach a valuable truth. This one is about bedtime and the balance of mama’s tasks with a child that needs “just one more thing” before bed.
5. I Am A Rainbow, by Dolly Parton
Oh this book! He wanted to read it over and over and over! He loved books that talked about emotions. This one combines emotions with different colors. I love how each emotion is gently explained. There is an emphasis placed on positive emotions, and yet other emotions (such as sadness) are not portrayed as wrong. I think this book helps a child to understand why they feel a certain way. It helps me too. Sometimes I would forget that the little things meant a lot to him.
6. Pup Pack Power, published by Bendon (board book)
I actually love reading this one. J started getting into Paw Patrol at this time and this book helped us learn the names of the Paw Patrol crew. Handy little reference guide 🙂
For our kids books, we’ve found that the best way to save money on books is to shop at the smaller, more obscure used bookstores as well as sales that are organized by our local library.
Two of these books we received through the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, which I heartily recommend, if you live in an area that qualifies. The program ensures your child has a free new book delivered monthly until age 5.
Library sales are awesome. Children’s books are typically the cheapest, usually running as low as 10¢. And it’s always fun to scout out different used book stores. Some of them will even offer some kind of a credit system. You can donate books you no longer need for a credit of a % off your next purchase. Kinda cool! Hope you enjoyed this volume of our favorite toddler reads. More to come in the future!