With the holiday season rapidly approaching (and two special boys’ second birthdays!), we thought we would share some of our favorite books and toys. Some of these are things that Callum and Gavin have really enjoyed and others are ones we have on our own shopping lists. To get things started, here are the boys’ top 5 favorite books!
Callum’s Top 5 Favorite Books
Peek-A Who? by Nina Laden
This was the first book Callum ever sat through cover to cover, and it’s still a big favorite; the worn cover says so! It’s a very simple rhyming book based on the peek-a-boo game (each page has a peek-a-boo cutout window). The short text and rhyming make it a big page turner – and a book that kids can begin to “help” read once they begin talking since the rhymes are easy and memorable. The best part might be that the last page is “Peek-a-You!” with a little mirror so you get to be a part of the story.
Curious George and the Bunny by H.A. Rey
This is actually part of a 4 book set; the whole set (Curious George Rides, Curious George Goes Fishing, and Curious George and the Rocket) is cute but Callum LOVES this one – as in we read it many, many times a day. He even goes to get his stuffed bunny to read along with us :-). I think the appeal is the frequent use of the word “bunny” as well as limited text per page; it doesn’t require lots of waiting around for page turning time. And who doesn’t love a soft, little bunny? All 4 books are adapted from longer Curious George books to be more suitable for a younger audience.
Richard Scarry’s Biggest Word Book Ever!
Richard Scarry in general is a big hit these days but this book is probably our favorite. By “biggest” they mean physically big – 2 feet tall – so it’s lots of fun for a toddler to interact with. And despite seeing lots of use (and abuse!), ours is holding up really well; it’s a very sturdy board book. Richard Scarry books are like “Where’s Waldo” for the toddler/preschool set. Callum has lots of fun finding Lowly Worm, Sergeant Murphy, Bananas Gorilla, Mr. Frumble, and the rest of the BusyTown gang on every page. The fact that everything is labeled makes them great vocabulary builders that will grow with your toddler.
Richard Scarry’s Cars and Trucks from A to Z
I have to include this little book because it’s our on the go entertainment. As promised, it goes through the alphabet with fun vehicles – Pickle Car! Upside Down Truck! – Callum loves spotting his favorites and it’s small enough to easily fit in a purse or pocket for take along fun.
Andy Warhol’s Colors
This is a cute little book for pop art fans and animal lovers – Callum is particularly enamored with the “Big Red Dog.” Each page features a Warhol artwork with a little rhyme about the animal; the short text is great for short attention spans and little hands eager to turn pages. We have several books that use famous art as illustrations; I think they are a great way to introduce little ones to the art world.
Gavin’s Top 5 Favorite Books
The Spirit of Christmas by Nancy Tillman
Gavin and I both love all of Nancy Tillman’s books, but this one has been Gavin’s favorite for past year. Yes, it is a Christmas book, but we read it almost every day. The words sound almost musical and the illustrations are amazing. My favorite part of this book is the message at the end: “The best part of Christmas always will be… you beneath the Christmas tree.” I still get choked up when I read it. This is a great Christmas gift (or before Christmas gift) for any child.
The Little Red Caboose by Marion Potter
This book came from my own childhood collection of books, and it is now one of Gavin’s favorites. The message about the little guy saving the day is a good one, but the retro illustrations are probably the most entertaining aspect of the book. Each page depicts a different Americana scene, and babywearers will especially like the page with Native Americans carrying their babies on their backs. That is my favorite page.
Little Bunny’s Bedtime! by Jane Johnson
This has been one of our standard bedtime books since Gavin was 6 months old. The little bunny in the story always reminded me of Gavin because the little bunny wants to stay up late with his mommy. I could always sympathize with the mom, and at the end when the second youngest bunny can’t get to sleep, I’m always grateful that I only have one little bunny to try and get to sleep 😉 The bunnies in this book are the most adorable things ever, and Gavin likes to kiss Little Bunny on each page.
The Going-To-Bed Book by Sandra Boynton
We love Sandra Boynton’s easy to read and quirky books, but this is probably our favorite (a close runner up is Moo Baa La La La). This book depicts the bedtime routine for the animals on a ship, and the last line is my favorite: “The moon is high. The sea is deep. They rock and rock and rock to sleep.” Gavin always turns to me and smiles after we read that. It is the perfect book to read before lights out.
Photo Book from Shutterfly: This one will take some effort on your part, but the result is worth it. The most recent book I made for Gavin is called, “Gavin Likes” and I included pictures on each page about something Gavin likes from people to his favorite activities to his favorite toys. I made my husband a book for Father’s Day and Gavin likes that one also. I also made one called “What a Wonderful World.” I filled it with pictures of Gavin exploring his surroundings, and I put the words of our favorite songs to go along with the pictures.