Parenting

Our Favorite Books for Early Readers

I love reading to Wolf. All the research shows that reading with young children is the best way to develop their brains, and it’s truly amazing to actually witness the truth to that claim with my son. It’s especially apparent that Wolf absorbs best through books, because he’s an auditory learner. At this point, he’s memorized many of his books, and sometimes he reads aloud by himself or to me. He also likes referring to his books when he makes connections in real life. I’ve noticed that some books have stood out and are particularly memorable to him, and these are also the ones that were quite engaging. I enjoy reading them (almost) as much as Wolf does. Of course, after the nth time reading it, it’s not as fun for me, but kids love hearing the same stories over and over. It really helps when the books are well-written so adults don’t find the repetition too draining, and so children learn how to appreciate and tell good stories! So for parents on the lookout for good books for your babies and toddlers, these are what we highly recommend:

Chu’s Day by Neil Gaiman
Illustrated by Adam Rex

This was Wolf’s absolute favorite book as a baby. Even if he didn’t really talk yet, he loved listening to the words and looking at the richly illustrated scenes. And he would laugh over and over every time Chu the panda would feel like sneezing.

The Tooth Book by Dr. Seuss
Illustrated by Joe Mathieu

Wolf brushes his teeth at least twice a day. If we’re at home, he brushes after each meal. I don’t struggle to brush his teeth, because he knows through this book that brushing is good for our teeth, unless we want to end up like “Billy Billings, whose teeth have fifty fillings!” This book is wonderful, as most if not all Dr. Seuss books are, but it stands out especially to me because it makes my life so much easier. No toothbrush tantrums from this kid!

Ladybird Favourite Stories
Retold by Mandy Archer
Various Illustrators

I have nothing but praise for the way Ladybird books are written. The descriptions are so rich and vivid, and the plot flow is paced just right for young readers. The illustrations are also tasteful and cheery. This particular collection contains popular tales, such as Jack and the Beanstalk, The Pied Piper of Hamelin, and The Three Little Pigs.

The Missing Blanket by Cheeno Marie Sayuno
Illustrated by Tristan Yuvienco

This is a beautiful story about love and loss. It’s also a great way to acquaint kids with our country’s weaving culture. Because of this book, Wolf, at 2 years old, was able to grasp somewhat the concept of death’s permanence and impact. I know this because after reading this book (where the mother gets sick and dies), I got sick, and Wolf told me, “If you get sick, you can go to the hospital. I will not see you. But you will not die. You will get better. Then I will see you again.”

The impact of books on Wolf’s development is truly astounding. He absorbs new words and concepts almost immediately. He adopts positive traits that he sees in the characters in the stories, values such as patience and concern for others. I noticed that his sentence construction is also improving due to my reading to him. His sentences are getting longer and more complex. There’s a whole myriad of benefits to reading with kids, and I’m so fortunate I can do this for Wolf so often. We love discovering great books, so please hit us up with your own favorites!