All research shows that reading to your child helps them build vocabulary, focus, and a general love of learning.  Language and literacy aside, I’ve always found it to be a great bonding experience.

We started reading to each of our children as soon as they came home from the hospital.  The sound of mommy or daddy’s voice is soothing, no matter what you are saying.   Given how sleep deprived we were for the first year, books gave us the words to pacify even when we could barely remember our own names.

Now the challenge, with two children wielding strong opinions, is finding books that both of them enjoy.  This list hits a high note with my baby girl and my toddler boy each and every time.

Best Board Books

The Carrot Seed By Ruth Krauss
1.  The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss.  A story about hope and determination, this little boy ignores the taunts of his brother and the doubt of his parents while waiting patiently for his carrot to grow.  Both of my kids have me reading this book over and over and over…and I don’t even mind!

2.   Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina.  They love the silly emotional peddler and I love the lesson; monkey see, monkey do. If you want your children to behave a certain way, model it for them.  You’d be surprised how they ignore your words and follow your actions even at the youngest of ages.

3.  Jamberry by Bruce Deegan.  From the inscription “For my special berry picker and two little berries,” to the end, this fun rhyming book is adorned with fantastical drawings of berries in berryland!   Before becoming a favorite to both children, this story got us through many a witching hour when my son was colic.  Day after day, he was mollified as soon as we started reading.

4.  Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell.  My children always love a lift-the-flap book; it offers so much to discover on every page!  This simple, clean book reveals a new animal and an interesting matching adjective (the lion is fierce, the camel grumpy) with every discarded pet idea.

Put Me in the Zoo

5.  Put Me In The Zoo by Robert Lopshire.  On its surface, this rhyming book teaches children basic colors.  Of course, I love it’s deeper meaning:  everyone has a place where they belong, but sometimes it’s not where you thought you would find it.

6.  Moo Baa La La La.  Hands down our favorite Sandra Boynton book.   The kids love hearing all the funny sounds almost as much as they love to say them.

Don’t wait for school to instill the love of reading in your children; it’s your task to find the stories that make them light up inside!

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