A few months ago I tasked our readers with an important assignment: help me find books that I can read repeatedly without losing my sanity. For those of you who missed my first blog post, feel free to read it here. The gist of my request was that I now have a (just-about-in-only-one-week-where-did-the-time-go) two-year-old who has learned the word, “again.” And in some cruel twist of comedy, he uses that word over and over and over AGAIN when I read him books he enjoys.
Though I am thrilled by my son’s love of the written word, I would much prefer to repeatedly recite books whose wonder and humor don’t fade after the fourth reading of the evening.
Thanks to the suggestions of our many wonderful blog followers, I compiled a long list of books for our future trips to the library. Emmett and I spent the last couple months testing many of the books and quickly fell in love with several of the titles.
Along the way, I even discovered a surprise formula for choosing books that we could both enjoy when stuck on endless repeat:
- Lyrical rhymes: Melodic stories that allow the reader free reign to add colorful inflection, to sing, to chant, or merely to intone but that always maintain a soothing rhythm regardless.
- Beautiful illustration: When the words lose some luster, I can always change my focus to the drawings, the magical scenery, the detailed characters, the colors or depth of the paintings.
- The little guy persevering: Though this is not critical to the recipe for a great book, I did find that most of our favorites gave the little guy the chance to be a hero, and always in a selfless, unassuming manner.
So without further ado, and just in time for the holidays, should you have last-minute gifts to purchase for the book-hungry little ones in your life, here is the full list of recommended picture books, with a few added from our own research. I’ve placed an asterisk next to the books that became fast favorites for Emmett and myself and a double asterisk next to the titles we purchased for our own library.
Thanks again to all who contributed ideas, and feel free to add new titles in the comments below. Happy Reading! And reading again! And again! And again!
Little Blue Truck by Alice Shertle **
The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson**
Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson*
Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy Shaw*
Sandra Boynton stories
Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel
Giant Jam Sandwich by John Vernon Lord and Janet Burroway
My Little Sister Ate One Hare by Bill Grossman
My Lucky Day by Keiko Kasza
Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman
Go, Dog, Go! by P.D. Eastman
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archembault
I Love You, Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown
Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown
Bunny Bungalow by Cynthia Rylant
Milli, Jack, and the Dancing Cat by Stephen Michael King
Click Clack Moo, Cows that Type by Doreen Cronin
Moo by Matthew Van Fleet
Bad Case of the Stripes by David Shannon
Some other suggestions that fit my new criteria (all of which we’ve added to our own collection):