Running from the Law: Favorite Books for Preschoolers - 2.5 Years

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Favorite Books for Preschoolers - 2.5 Years

We seem to be on a reading kick these days!  More than ever, Mac is really interested in books and reading has become such a big part of our day.  We read books before naptime, before bedtime and a few different times during the day.  He loves to read books while we put Mim to bed and while we're making dinner.  It's absolutely wonderful to see him develop such strong connections with books and I hope that he grows up to love reading as much as I do.  
(aww, baby Mac!)
If you've ever been to our house, you know that I take my personal library very seriously.  I have an entire room in our house lined in bookshelves.  Mac's room is no different.  I want reading to be a big part of his life, so I've purposely surrounded him with as many books as possible and made them as accessible as I could. For having kids that can't even read, we have more children's books than I ever imagined.  We've got everything from the classics like Goodnight Moon and Corduroy Bear to the newest Little Blue Truck and Llama Llama.  All the Dr. Seuss books and tons of little Goldens.  Every night before bed, Mac and I read two books together (or three, or four, or seven).  I let Mac pick a book and I pick a book.  We have very different taste, but I've been surprisingly proud of the books that have become his favorites.  Here are 24 of our "mutual" favorites (some are mine, some are his).  

I Love You Stinkyface by Lisa McCourt - This is one of those books that I love just as much (if not more) than Mac loves.  The illustrations are beautiful and the message that the mama will love her child no matter what (or how much they stink) is wonderful. 

Animal Alphabet: Slide and Seek the ABCs by Alex Lluch - Mac loves sliding the doors open to reveal the animals in this book.  We use it to identify letters and sound them out with the animal names.  There are even a couple animals that we weren't familiar with (xenops), which gave us the opportunity to look up what kind of bird that was and talk about it.  The hand-drawn illustrations are really pretty and are reminiscent of Eric Carle.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. - I think this one is fun to read.  It's rhythmic and colorful and entertaining.  Great for identifying letters and colors.

Where Do Diggers Sleep at Night? by Brianna Caplan Sayres - I love this book.  Mac got this from Santa for Christmas and it's quickly become a new favorite.  He loves anything to do with trucks/tractors/vehicles and I love the rhymes and how sweet the book is.  Cute illustrations too.  Definitely a winner.

Lift-the-Flap Tab: Trucks by Roger Priddy - This one's been a favorite for over a year now.  We've lost a tab here and there, but he continues to love this book.  Every page is a different vehicle with fun things to discover about it.  Each vehicle has a driver and Mac knows them all by name. It's pretty cute listening to him tell stories about each page.

Stellaluna by Janelle Cannon - This one gets me every time.  A baby bat loses her mother and is adopted by birds, so she has to change to fit in.  Great lessons, great illustrations.  

My Father Knows the Names of Things by Jane Yolen - This is such a cute book with sweet verses and really adorable illustrations. I always felt like my dad knew everything there was to know about everything, and I hope Mac and Mim grow up feeling the same way about their dad (and mine).  

I Stink! by Kate McMullan - My boss recommended this one to us when he heard that Mac was obsessed with the garbage truck. It's all about the garbage truck eating the trash at night.  It has an A-Z list of disgusting things that the truck eats (moldy melons, dirty diapers).  There's even a page where the truck lets out a huge burp.  Mac thinks it's hilarious. I think it's a bit hard to read (it doesn't flow or rhyme), but he loves it.  Another garbage truck favorite (if you're into this kind of thing) is Smash! Mash! Crash! There Goes the Trash! by Barbara Odanaka.

Bear in a Square by Stella Blackstone - This book is great to work on counting and shapes with kids.  Each page has a different shape that you have to find on the pages.  It's bright and colorful and well-written.  Bear on a Bike is also good. 

The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson - I love this book.  Beautiful illustrations and very pretty rhythmic verses, it's one of my favorites.  Mac loves naming all the animals on the pages.  The story of a very small animal helping to save a very large one is very sweet, too. 

We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen - This is a fun book that Mac loves, but only if daddy reads it to him.  I've tried, but apparently I don't do it right.  Also, if you were a girl scout, you're going to want to sing it, which your child will probably hate.  Otherwise, it's a cute book with great sounds and a fun ending. 

Babies by Gyo Fujikawa - My mom said this was one of my favorite books when I was little.  I love the books of Gyo Fujikawa and we have a bunch of his illustrated books of nurseryrhymes, poems and fairy tales that I can't wait to read to Mac and Mim when they get a little older.  This one's about babies and we used it to teach him what baby Mim would be like when she arrived. 

The Little Engine That Could (condensed board book) by Watty Piper - After trying to get Mac to sit still for the longer version of this book, I wised up and got the condensed board book for him.  I love this story and the morale.  He now says, "I think I can...I think I can," which is so stinking adorable I could die. 

The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn - This is a sweet book about a little raccoon going to school and missing his mama, only to find that the mama misses the little raccoon just as much.  It's like my autobiography.  Mac loves all the animals.  Plus, it comes with stickers to use as kisses.  

My First Animals (Tabbed Board Book) by DK Publishing - Mac loves all the tabbed DK Publishing books in this series and we've been reading them for two years now.  He has My First Animals, My First Words, My First Farm, My FirstColors - they're all very well-loved.  These were some of his favorite books for the beginning and have definitely withstood the test of time.  The animals one has probably been the favorite because it not only has the farm animals and baby animals, but it also has lots of bugs, snakes and birds.  The farm one has two pages of tractors and farm vehicles, so that one's a close second. 

Go, Dog. Go! by P. D. Eastman - One of my favorites from when I was a kid.  I got Mac the entire Dr. Seuss library before he was born, so I'm thrilled that he likes some of these.  Go Dog Go is a favorite, as is I'll Teach My Dog 100 WordsThe Foot Book and One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.

Dog by Matthew Van Fleet - Again, this one has been a favorite of his for over a year.  He loves feeling the different textures, wagging their tales and making the dog pee.  Plus, there's a three page spread of dogs in the back of the book that all have names - he's got almost all of them memorized and talks about the dogs like he knows them.  This kid loves dogs.  He chose this book as his very favorite book to take to nursery school last week when he was the leader.  He LOVES this book.  We also have the farm version of this book called Moo.  

Press Here  by Herve Tullet - I do not quite understand the appeal of this book (it's a lot of work), but Mac loves it.  Of course he doesn't "press" anything, he punches and stabs the dots, violently shakes the book and is pretty rough with it.  I'm shocked it hasn't lost any pages yet.

Steam Train, Dream Train by Sherri Duskey Rinker - This is another favorite of mine.  I love the sounds in this book and the pretty verses. Mac loves trains and animals, so the illustrations keep him occupied.  By the same author of Good Night Construction Site, which is another favorite. 

Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann - For a book with very few words, this book takes a long time for us to get through.  Mac loves talking about all the animals, finding the balloons on the pages, seeing the animals' lovies in their cages and spotting the mouse.  It's cute.  

Llama Llama Wakey-Wake by Anna Dewdney - I got this book to help Mac get ready for school.  So far it's done little to help him get motivated to get out the door, but I think all the Llama Llama books are cute and have great rhymes.  This one is a board book and much shorter than some of the others. 

Dinosaur Zoom by Penny Dale - This is a book about dinosaurs traveling by various vehicles to get to a birthday party.  I don't know what it is about this book, but Mac loves it.  I do not see the appeal, but it's one of his favorites.  We always have to sing Happy Birthday to the little dinosaur at the end and help him blow out the candles.  Toddlers love vehicles, dinosaurs and birthdays, so it's a big hit around here.
Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss - A classic.  Repetitious, nice rhyming, cute illustrations, talks about trains and goats and trying new foods.  Everyone wins.

Poke-A-Dot: Who's In the Ocean by lKids - This is Mac's "special book" that I got him to read while I fed the baby in the early days of baby Mim.  He loves this book and it's now well-worn.  It's great to work on counting and really fun to pop the dots.  I’ve even found myself popping the dots when he’s not around. 

  • What are some of your kids' favorite books?

    *This post does NOT contain affiliate links and all opinions are 100% my own. 


    1. What a great list!!! I want to add so many of these to Cam's library...thanks for the tips! ;)

    2. Thanks so much for this list! We love reading books too. I'll have to pick up a few of these!

    3. There are too many to name! We love the book Owl Babies and Trains Go. Other favorites are the board book version of Mr. Brown Can Moo and Happy Hippo, Angry Duck. Roadwork has lots of trucks and sounds and Starlight Sailor is the go-to bedtime book.

    4. LOVE these suggestions! Adding several of them to our wishlist right now!

    5. I've been trying to grow Mason's book collection so I will have to bookmark this for later! We have a couple Ikea shelves as book shelves on his walls and I just realized the other day that they are full so I may need to go get at least one more to keep the library going!
      Mason is really into the Little Blue Truck books and anything by Sandra Boynton right now! So cute.

    6. Great recommendations! Elin and I love books so I buy a ton for her and I love getting recommendations to fuel our addiction! :)

    7. We love Steam Train Dream Train! To The Beach by Thomas Docherty has been a favorite here and we love the Bear and Mouse books (Visitor for Bear was our first - I did a post about them here ). Anytime I ask the boys to pick a book for KC it's Chicka Chicka Boom Boom or One Two Three by Sandra Boynton. I've been meaning to look into Press Here, I've heard such great things about it!

    8. Little Blue Truck and Llama Llama are this mama's favorites. Agreed, I love books and want the boys to love them just as much.. I hate when they crinkle the pages right now though! I drool over Mac's book wall! Will have to try some of your faves.

    9. Thank you for the list!! I never know what books to look for when we go to the library but these would be great for C who is just a little over 2 years old.

    10. I always love new book recommendations, so I will add some of these to our collection! Liam loves books! Some of his favorites: Mike Mulligan & His Steam Shovel, Blueberries for Sal, & The Napping House.

    11. Awesome list! And you're right, the girl scout in me totally wants to sing that book, and Abbie would totally hate it and slam it shut on me. Toddlers.

    12. Reed LOVES Goodnight Gorilla too. I love the way he says Hyena - "hi-na". It cracks me up. I'll have to look into that garbage truck one!

    13. Love this list! We have Goodnight Gorilla too and that's a favorite over here also. Definitely going to check out a few of these; I'm always looking to add books. They're the one thing you can never have enough of. Unlike toys... which take over the house...

    14. Always looking for new books as Noah gets older and can sit for longer stories!

    15. I am such a book hoarder -- I could buy books for the kids every day! Some of y'all's favorites are ours, too!

      Other big hits for us are the longer Ladybug Girl books (I suppose they are a little "girly" so maybe for Mim in a year or two), My No No No Day (we read this multiole times a day and I think it really helps her when she's super cranky), Roadwork (I love the rhymes in this one; B thinks the sound words are hysterical; both kids enjoy it!) , Dear Zoo, anything by Sandra Boynton, anything Olivia (although my husband hates these), The Lorax, and the Fly Guy books.

    16. oh man, Aria doesn't have ANY of these but the diggers one, which is one of her faves! I'm hoping right over to her book wish list and adding some new ones! The Press Here one I've seen in Target and perused before, I thought that one was clever it is on her list already. We love books around here! I love that you have a book lined room. That sounds perfect.

    17. Brb adding all of these to our wish list. But seriously, we have a few of them plus a million other. BTR's school had a book shower before Jude was born so we were blessed with MANY books. And am I bad mom for admitting we haven't read most of them yet? #dontjudge

    18. This is a fabulous collection! M's current faves are Brown Bear Brown Bear, A Day at the Airport and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. You've given me some great ideas for sure and I LOVE the book wall in Mac's room!

    19. We are big on reading in this house too. Our nightly rocking, snuggles, and books is easily on of my favorite parts of the day. There are so many on your list that we don't have! Going to have to expand our collection. Thanks for sharing!!

    20. amazing book shelves! wow!
      bought several of the books you recommended:) thanks! favorites of ours now: Tip, Tip, Dig, Dig; Chugga Chugga Choo Choo; Big Red Barn; I love you because you're you; Farmyard Beat; Hush Little Polar Bear; Hidden Hippo; Put Me in the Zoo; Planes Go; Little Quack ABC's

    21. Great list!! We are also book lovers, so I appreciate getting some new ideas. T is really into 'Where the Wild Things Are' and a Mickey and Friends book he got for Christmas. He also loves a personalized book he received as a gift that uses animals/letters and spells his name.

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    23. Wow!! What a fine list of books for preschool kids. You know, even my son is also very fond of story books. Even, his Phoenix kindergarten teachers also told me that he has very sharp mind than other students and he learn poems quickly.

    24. Yeah interesting Character books can be an advantage in preschool education. It is way too interesting for the little learners. My daughter’s teacher uses cartoon Characters for teaching them. She has now suggested to prepare kids at home too by using the tests and games available on