Reading books with your child is a great way to bond, and to encourage early language skills; however, toddlers are not always as cautious as we would like when interacting with books. Board books are built to hold up to small fingers and mouths repeatedly tugging on the pages. When choosing board books to engage your child look for simple repetitive language, and clear simple pictures that are likely to hold a child’s attention. The following books are some favorites that are sure to withstand the test of time.
- Brown Bear Brown Bear, What do you See? by Eric Carle
This book provides great illustrations of animals. The repetitive rhyming texts allows young children to “read” along with their caregivers. Try pausing as you get to the end of a phrase, and allow your child to fill in the familiar text.
- Moo, Baa, La La La! by Sandra Boynton
Once again rhyming text helps to keep little ones This is a great book for introducing animal sounds.
- First Words by Bright Baby
This simple word book has one image per page allowing your child to learn new words as you label images in the book. The clear realistic images allow for generalization of new words into his/her every day life.
- Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann
This book has very few words per page allowing your child to use his/her own language to describe the scenes.
- Where is Baby’s Belly Button? by Karen Katz
This book helps introduce body parts, and the lift the flap format will keep young children engaged.
- Where is Spot? by Eric Hill
This is another lift the flap book to help keep little ones engaged. This book is also great for working on “yes” or “no” questions.
- Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell
This book combines a repetitive narrative with flaps for little ones to lift. There is a good reason that this book is still popular after 25 years.
- Yummy Yucky by Leslie Patricelli
This book, along with the other Leslie Patricelli board book, have simple repetitive language and themes, paired with simple pictures. These books do a great job of teaching early concepts to curious young minds.
- Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney
This is another great choice with a relatable theme, and a simple engaging rhyme scheme.
- The Little BlueTruck by Alice Schertle
Another book made the list due to its simple, engaging rhyme scheme. This book is also a great choice for introducing animal and environmental sounds to your child. Try pausing to allow your child to fill in the sounds as you read.
Story time should be enjoyable for both you and your child. Don’t worry if your child has not yet developed the attention span to listen to a whole story. Allow your child to get up as needed, and wander back to the book when he is ready. Keep in mind that it is not necessary to read every word on the page. Simply identifying pictures as your child flips through the pages is another great way to introduce your child to the joy of reading.
Meryl Schnapp M.A., CCC-SLP