I love to write, I love to read, and I love introducing my daughter to new and classic books. Instilling an inquisitive mind and the ability to enter the worlds these books create has always been important to me. So I thought it might be fun to chat about what’s on my three-year-old’s reading list.
Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines lived twelve little girls in two straight lines…I could read this book in my sleep. As a kid, I loved the Madeline books and had my mom bring home a Madeline hat when she visited Paris. It’s easy to read, has some cute rhymes, and has a splash of French. As far as the morals and stories, they’re relatable in any decade. There’s the misunderstood neighbor who just wants to be included, a dog who needs a home, and a group of girls who believe in the power of friendship.
Stormy Night by Salina Yoon
This one is new to me, but by a kid’s author who has quite a few cute stories and the matching stuffed toys. In Stormy Night, a little bear is scared of the storm, but his parents help him realize that there’s nothing to be afraid of. Perfect for the light sleepers in your house.
Just Go To Bed by Mercer Mayer
Hello, childhood, is that you calling? I’m not sure about you readers, but I had dozens of these Little Critter books, growing up. Out of all the kids books, this little…porcupine? hedgehog? beaver?…creature had the most relatable storylines and family of al the classic families. Little Critter was a bit of a brat, but always learned an important lesson, unlike a certain pox on society named Caillou. I have about fifty of these books from my youth all ready to go for story time.
Dinnertime for Chickies by Jane Trasler
The chickies in this book, and the rest of the series, are a trio of baby chicks being raised on a farm with Cow, Pig, and Sheep. Each story tackles a new topic that little kids can understand. In this, the chickies don’t want to eat their healthy dinner, but their farm animal caregivers tell them they at least need to try a bite. It’s a healthy way to promote a more varied diet, without the “finish what’s on your plate” narrative. Other topics in the collection include going to bed and getting a new little sibling. The art and rhymes are adorable, and the author is constantly making YouTube videos featuring the books in musical, puppet form.
The Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Deisen
This book is a best seller, and deservedly so, as far as kids books go. There’s a little drama queen fish that just drags all his aquatic fish down with his bad attitude. Through the series, he learns something new about the importance of a positive attitude and trying hard, even when things are difficult. And it’s pretty funny to watch your kid try to mimic the longer words in the rhymes.
The Cat in the Hat by Dr Seuss
This book didn’t make my list because of its innovative storyline or because I have some old-school attachment to it. I like Dr. Seuss books for kids because the simplicity of the writing and the repetition makes it perfect for new readers. Really, all of the classic Dr. Seuss works should be in every little kid’s bookshelf. But none of the new age ones with the modern art. Stick to the oldies like There’s a Wocket in my Pocket.
Birthday Monsters by Sandra Boynton
Is your kid obsessed with their birthday? Mine is. Time is still just a vague idea to her, so she’s always asking when her next birthday is. Birthday Monsters is a cute and short board book that’s great for early readers. There’s some repetitive rhyming and simple drawings that make the book easy for young kids to master.
Ollie’s Halloween by Olivier Dunrea
I love the goslings in Dunrea’s books. The tiny geese go on all sorts of different adventures and learn about holidays, friendship, sharing, and all the rest of those child-friendly themes. While this particular book is about Halloween, it’s easy to find one featuring just about anything. The words and phrases are simple and the illustrations match the storyline perfectly, which can help your child to better identity words as they learn to read. I know it’s no longer Halloween, but according to my daughter, this book’s the best of the bunch.
So, there are my top kids books and series for now. As my daughter continues to learn, I’ll continue to update with more lists for the little readers in your life. Parents, let me know, what are your kids into?