Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Favorite Children's Books of the Year

Having a 2.5 year old has certainly taught me a lot about encouraging the person and personality you get rather than forcing your interests on them. My daughter is completely her own person and definitely has her own, strong opinion on things, or should I say everything. I see a lot of things in her that surprise me every day. 

One thing we have in common is our love of books. We started reading to her when I was still pregnant and began reading at least 3-5 books to her every day since she was about 2 months old. She continues to love to read to herself and to be read to, it is definitely a nighttime routine in our house. Since I also am a voracious reader, it is something I love to share with her. 

Besides feeling a strong bond over reading with our daughter, I love as she grows to re-enjoy the books I read as a child and also experience some new ones. Most of all, the illustrations keep me entertained, even when the same book is read many times in a row, many days in a row. 

One of the immediate favorites and continues to be read time and time again. Charlotte knows this one by heart. 

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

This book is a classic for a reason. The story is simple but the illustrations are beautiful in their collage and overlapping textures.

One of the others that made an appearance at about 18 months was this one, about a very strong willed little girl, or should I say pig girl?

Olivia by Ian Falconer

I love the limited color palette of just grays and red to highlight Olivia's clothes. 

The original version of this book was an instant hit with Charlotte, especially when we do voices. When we got this version, our daughter's imagination took off. It is about a little girl who lives in the Plaza Hotel and floods the hotel by taking a bath. This book also features pages that open and expand to reveal larger narratives. 

Eloise Takes a Bawth by Kay Thompson and illustrations by Hilary Knight

Beautiful colored pencil drawings and a limited color palette really add life to this story. 

A recent favorite is this book version of the popular Peter Paul and Mary song. It came with a CD which means we have to sing the song every time we read the book. I love the softness of the images. 

Puff the Magic Dragon by Peter Yarrow and Lenny Lipton and illustrations by Eric Puybaret 

Maybe I am more inclined towards classics, but this is another one that we have returned to again and again. I got this for her when she was about 1 and she fell in love with it. The illustrations are loose and expressive. The language is in rhyme which made it easy for Charlotte to memorize. 

Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans

This was a book I definitely have memories of when I was little. When we read it to our daughter, I had such vivid flashbacks of certain illustrations and moments. The fun of hunting for Goldbug never ends. 

Cars and Trucks and Things That Go by Richard Scarry

This book was given to our daughter by my very best friend, Chandler O'Leary. She absolutely knows about the beauty of books and she of course picked a great example for our daughter. The language is simple and the high contrast illustrations really draw in her attention. She also loves to yell out the vegetables or fruit that is named in each picture, especially the smoked salmon. 

To Market, To Market by Nikki McClure

I am excited to see what new books she will be attracted to and what new adventures we will have as we read together. This was just a small sampling, she has a bigger collection of books than me!