Bookshelf: Little Dude (and Dude-ette) Reads

My two-year old did something rather extraordinary the other night.

He couldn't fall asleep. I went in three times and at a quarter to nine, I gave up and went to brush my teeth. When I tip-toed by his bedroom, I heard him singing to himself. An hour later when all was silent, I crept into his room to find that he'd plucked a book off his shelf and fell asleep on page three.


If you want to give books as gifts (and not just Goodnight Moon or Where the Wild Things Are), here are some of my Little Dude's favorite reads. Also, if you're buying for a little person, go for the board books. They can take a lot of wear and tear and its easy for little fingers to turn the pages.

A tender, loving story about a penguin parent and his/her baby. The Little Dude and I like to act out each page, for example when we get to, "I like it when you hold my hand," we hold our hands and laugh. The writing has a simple, lilting cadence that he imitates and is perfect for nighttime reading.

We found this book at our local indepenent, The First Page. My Little Dude plucked it off the shelf and we read it four times in the store. We couldn't have left unless we bought it! He knows this book backwards, forwards, upside down and in circles. But I like it because the story helps him understand concepts like coming and going, on and off, small and large, etc.

Not only is this book great for showing colors, but also opening up the conversation about emotions. We've been reading it since the Little Dude was eleven months and now that he's two, he is now understanding the emotions associated with the different colors. I feel its important to teach that its okay to have feelings, even negative ones. The challenge is teaching someone how to channel them so they're not destructive and a book like this has been a good step for us.

What I love about the Curious George stories is that they teach kids about mistakes and how they can fixed. I've been reading this one since my Little Dude was a newborn. Over the last two years, he has gone from learning to turn the pages to identifying the objects in the book (bunny, bird, monkey, tree), and now yelling "oh oh!" when George loses the bunny.