Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Favorite Baby and Toddler Books that are Hidden Gems

I need to confess right now.

I. Am. A. Huge. Fan. Of. Children's. Books!!!  Ever since I took a Children's Literature class way back in my college days, I have been hooked.  Plus, I'm a mom of five and am constantly reminded to read to my kids.  Over the years, I have loved these well-know toddler/children's books like:
  • Sandra Boyton's many boardbooks
  • Mercer Mayer's Little Critter books that ALL my kids love
  • David Shannon's hilarious works, including No David and The Bunyans
  • Any MANY others that any librarian would be able to steer you to in a heartbeat!
But today I want to let you know about a few hidden gems that I have stumbled across. They are ones that we just keep pulling out again and again.

Favorite Toddler Books that Are Hidden Gems
Meet Monster:  I love, love, love Ellen Blance's Monster series.  They are these super cute readers about the world's friendliest monster named Monster.  It is out of print now and I read that Marshall Cavendish's children's publishing got acquired by Amazon Publishing.  I got mine off Amazon a few years ago for about $12, but right now it is $45 USED.  If you ever stumble upon this book, new or used, when it is affordable, seriously snatch it up without a second thought.  It is a true rarity from the 1970s.

Classic Books With Holes BOARD Books:  These boards books are not fancy in book design/print at all but my kids have ALL loved them as toddlers and the holes in them are ingenious!  I especially recommend The Wheels on the Bus, This Old Man, and There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly.  I only recommend board-book versions of these books with holes because little fingers would definitely tear up any paper version of these books.  I would try to find a set of these like this, this, or this to save a little money.

Mary Had a Little Lamb:  This version by Mary Ann Hoberman is like the never-ending version of this well-known song.  As a mom, I have to find ways to shorten it so I can get busy with dinner or what-not, but my girls love this book (and the book certainly shows with lots of wear and tear). There aren't many new copies of this book around, but plenty of used ones, at very affordable prices.

Teeth Are Not for Biting:  By Elizabeth Verdick, this has been a great book to have around for those difficult toddler moments.  Also her book Hands Are Not for Hitting.  I also only recommend the board book versions of these books because the paperback ones take too long to read.  The author wrote them for those on the autism spectrum who need extra coaching on good behavior.

Step and Learn Nursery Rhymes:  Babies and toddlers are so entertained by this book, especially its interesting cut-out design.  I love it because it is a quick read and it has the classic nursery rhymes (which I believe are essential for a child's development).  Please note that the pages of this book aren't quite as thick as the standard board books.  If your babies are anything like mine, then it is going to need some reinforcement to edges and spine in the form of clear packing tape.  Just sayin'!

The Giant Jam Sandwich:  This story is catchy, rhythmical, mathematical, and its illustrations are above-the-rest awesome.  Seriously, this book rocks for those in between 4 and 9 years.  Look for a set of three men which appear on each layout page of the book.  Its like a separate hidden story all its own.  Because it is more geared towards toddler-age and above, I think you would be just fine with the paperback version, which is what we own.

I could go on with some more select titles, but let's not overwhelm ourselves!  What about you?  Is there a book that your kids and your just LOVED that you just happened to stumble upon?

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