Since I was pregnant, I wanted to get my hands on all those colourful children’s books I saw at the bookstore and dreamt that I would spend hours reading to my child, her on my lap, me on the armchair with a cup of cocoa on the side and time, oh time going by peacefully.

Fast forward to today,with Naomi being almost 2 years old the reality has hit us hard. Yes we do spend time with books, but I wouldn’t really say we read them, since my daughter cannot stay still and just listen to mommy reading a story. So I would say it’s more of a turning the pages and pointing out objects and everything we see and trying to thoroughly describe what we are seing, so as to enrich my toddler’s vocabulary.

No, she won’t sit on my lap for more than a minute and unless she has high fever. And cocoa? You must be kidding! Number one, there’s no time for cocoa and number two, were there time for cocoa, it would probably sit on the highest kitchen counter, getting cold as the day goes by.

But, books and food are always the best way to invest your money. The former because it broadens your horizons and the latter because it keeps you healthy and the doctor away (nope, not just apples).

And having experience with a restless kid, that loves learning and listening to stories that mommy makes up and not recites, I would highly recommend the following books:

  1. Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell – even though this book has no text, it is one of Naomi’s favourites, it’s pictures are so poetic and atmospheric that you need no words to guide you through the story.
  2. The Storm Whale by Benji Davies – a beautiful story about friendship and the need for companionship. Lovely illustrations, plus Noi has six cats, which turns reading the book into a game of trying to find the cats.
  3. Arlo Needs Glasses by Barney Salzburg – I actually bought this book twice, since the first one got completely damaged by Naomi and keeping in mind at the time that my other future kids would want to read the book as well. I would say that is the most interactive book we have gotten our hands on and a great fun!
  4. All the Wonderful Things You Will Be by Emily Winfield Martin – this is the book that almost brought me to tears, since it goes on about all the virtues you long your child to have as a person and I would say it’s sort of a proclamation and declaration for the future of your little one.
  5. What a Wonderful World by Bob Thiele, George David Weiss and Tim Hopgood – this is actually Louis Armstrong’s famous song illustrated plus it comes with a CD in case you are not as good at singing as you are at parenting. As Naomi grew we have been reading this on many different levels, but we started by just trying to find the little blue bird that follows the young boy around this wonderful world of ours.

I would say all of the above are perfect for one year olds, even younger ages, but then of course if your child is older there are always different ways to read a book. What would your toddler’s top books be?

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