Sandra Boynton Books
If you haven't heard of Sandra Boynton yet, you need to go find one of her books immediately. They have adorable pictures and funny lines that will make even the adults in the room giggle. Our favorites are Moo, Baa, Lalala, which teaches animal sounds; Happy Hippo, Angry Duck, which does a great job of introducing emotions; Snuggle Puppy, a fun and silly baby love song; and Pajama Time, great for singing when they're getting ready for bed. There are tons of other great ones, too.
Mini Masters Series
These are one of my favorite baby finds ever. They are board books that use paintings from the masters for pictures, along with cute rhymes that tie them together. My sister got me started on these by giving Cricket Dancing with Degas, which she loves. I have since gotten A Picnic with Monet and In the Garden with Van Gough, both of which are also awesome. They're not expensive, and what a great way to introduce great art to children at a young age!
I think all babies toddlers go through a phase when they just absolutely love pictures, especially of other babies. I don't really know why, but maybe they just feel like they can relate. We got this book through the Reach out and Read Program at our pediatrician's office.
I have to stop a minute and tell you about this program. It is so great. It's a non profit organization that provides books to children through their pediatricians. Every time we go for a well visit, Cricket gets a new book that is geared exactly for her age. These books always end up becoming the new favorites. The program also works with doctors to incorporate advice on reading together as a family into your check ups, which as a teacher I love because reading to your children when they are young is the single greatest advantage you can give them academically. No amount of Baby Einstein videos or V-Tech toys have been directly linked to later academic achievement like daily reading to your child. I love that my pediatrician considers this as important as other aspects of healthy child development.
Ok, tiny rant there. Anyway, books with real pictures of babies are awesome, and Cricket loves them.
Pride and Prejudice
I am totally in love with this book, and the whole Cozy Classics series. First of all, the pictures are photographs of elaborately constructed scenes using needle-felted characters. Needle felting! How cool is that!? And they look amazing! Each picture is accompanied by a single word, and yet somehow, the basic story is totally in there! The great part about just having one word on each page is that Cricket pretty much has it memorized by now, and it gives a lot of freedom for us to talk about the pictures as she points out different things. They have a whole series of these, and I'd love to get some more. They even have Emma coming soon!
Dr. Seuss Board Books
You can't talk about kids' books without talking about Dr. Seuss! A lot of his regular books have been adapted to the shorter, more sturdy "Bright and Early Board Book" series. Cricket's favorite is Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb, which reads like a chant and is very fun, until you get to the end and are reminded creepily of Planet of the Apes. She also loves The Foot Book and The Eye Book, which are not my favorite 'cause I feel like he pretty much just rhymed random words, but whatever. She likes them.
My First Picture Album
Cricket's Grandma got this book for her for Christmas, and it is just the best thing ever. It's a soft fabric book with clear plastic pockets that you can put pictures in. The pictures are protected and she gets to look at them as much as she wants, which is great, because like I said, she is obsessed with pictures and would read my Shutterfly albums all day if I let her!
One of the coolest things about this book is that you can change out the pictures whenever you want to, and it's like a completely different book! I actually want to get a couple more of this style book so I can make one book of her friends and one of the rest of the family I couldn't fit into the first one!
I'm sure there are lots of other books that Cricket is into right now. It seems like she's always got a book in her hand! What books do your little ones love right now?