Friday, February 1, 2013

17 books to read to your preschooler

Go here for my previous book recommendations. And here to read about dream crushing and repentance.

 The Three Little Pigs has to be the most commonly redone fairy tale. This version of it is our favorite, though. Anything with aliens and robots in it has got to be cool, right? Plus, we get a closer look at each of the planets in the solar system as the aliens fly through space. We bought this for Bennett for Christmas.

You have to pay close attention to the pictures to figure out what is happening... and the end is a surprise... funny book!

This book looks serious, and the illustrations are not the kind that normally appeal to us, but we gave it a chance. It is such a good book. There is just the right amount of humor in it to balance out the gravity of the subject matter for a young audience. This silly dog won't leave James alone while he is trying to escape from slavery, and ends up saving him! It's based on a true story.

What would the world be like if you got a side of dinosaurs with everything? Fun book! 

David Catrow's illustrations are always unique and delightful. This is a story about a little boy who learns his lesson in a funny way.

I'm honestly tired of abc and counting books, but if you gotta do it, here are some fun ones:

Every kid can relate to Mama's quick little ____ that takes forever. How many times do I say, "Just a minute..." to my kids every day? This cute lil gal has lots of adventures all during mama's quick little chat.

This is a fun book about being different. The theme is rather overdone in children's literature, but it's a funny book, nonetheless.

The math concepts in this book are over my kids' heads right now, but they adored the book anyway.

This isn't a story-- it's a fire safety book in a comic style. My boys ate it up. We read it months ago, but even today in the car, Joshy said, "Okay Bennett, if the doorknob is hot, you push out the window screen and I will help you out the window. I'll carry you, okay?" So the concepts in it must be pretty memorable.

A giant fireball is headed straight for Earth! Who will save the day? The boys loved this one.

This book has that repetitive structure you often see in children's books about animals, but the end is funny.

This is a set. The second one is my favorite. Who doesn't love David Shannon's illustrations?

Joshy suggested I include "the bathtub book," so here it is. A classic, although I wonder if uppity parents might be offended by it now. Also, I just had to recommend "the bad word book" again. My kids love it and I love it. So good!

At the end here, I just wanted to talk a little about kids who are learning to read. I feel like it's a really big step to go from "A is for apple" to actually sounding out words, you know? There's a disconnect there. It was very hard to get Joshy to attempt it until I found the Flip-A Word books. I've mentioned them before, but they really are great for bridging that gap for a beginning reader.

These books are a little irreverent and maybe crude at times, so I can't recommend them unconditionally. But The Cat on the Mat is Flat was one of the first "real" books that Joshy got excited about reading.

The Fly Guy books are super fun. We love anything by Tedd Arnold.

And I can't say enough good things about the Benny and Penny books. That second one actually won
the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award in 2010 (the most distinguished American book for beginning readers). Joshy LOVES them. Loves.

P.S. I have to admit that if the kids could have it their way, the only books we'd check out from the library might be the paperback superhero/tv show/movie books that are so disjointed and poorly written that I can barely follow what is going on and that have the illustrations lifted straight from screen shots. I do still let them check out these wastes of space because I'm glad that they are excited about books in general but that doesn't mean Imma like it. I'm gonna keep giving them the good stuff for as long as I can!