I am a lucky mother for many reasons, but one of them is that my son LOVES to read. As a one year old, he would sit happily paging through The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Of course, he is obviously not at the age when he can read to himself, so he picks up his book and goes “read it, mama.” In his room, some of the books are out of his reach, so he leads me over by my hand, and goes “pick”, his signal for me to lift him up so that he can pick a new book. I am trying to encourage this as much as I can because I really do want him to get an appreciation for books.
The problem, however, is that a toddler can listen to the same exact story 100 times, without ever getting bored. Last week, my son presented me with a board book in German (!), which my father in law speaks, but I most certainly do not. And my son asked me to read it. I decided to improvise, and made up a story to correspond to the pictures. The story went something like this: “Look! The firetruck needs to go save this cat. It’s stuck in a tree! But it got so tired, so it went back to the firehouse afterwards and took a nap with the other firetruck. See? They are both sleeping.” This seemed like a brilliant idea until Lucas said, “again mama!”. And I had to attempt to replicate 10 page story. And then a third time, after which I said, “and now the book needs to nap too! Like the firetruck!”.
So I guess my point is, I can read the same story many times, if it is in English, and the story is entertaining for me as well. So I present you with: the top 5 books that Lucas loves that I can read over and over again.
I’d love to get your recommendations for books that aren’t on this list!
Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle and Jill McElmurry
This book has it all: action, adventure, silly sound effects, and a good moral. Lucas loves trucks now, so the book was a hit from the beginning. He has been starting to finish rhymes off in books for me (we start a sentence and he finishes it), and so this book provides a lot of that. He loves to hold his blue truck and go “Beep Beep Beep” while I’m reading.
The Pout Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen and Dan Hanna
The Pout Pout Fish is another book that has a lot of rhyming and is fun to read. I will say that because the verses were longer than some of the other books on this list, it took a while for Lucas to get into this book. However, Pout Pout is one of his favorites now. Because we’ve read it so many times, he now refers to any fish he sees as a pout pout. And, not to ruin the ending for you, but the story allows me a great opportunity to smooch Lucas at the end.
The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli
The Watermelon Seed is a fantastic book about the consequences of swallowing a watermelon seed. What happens when the poor crocodile has a watermelon growing in his belly? The book is great for sound effects, and is short enough to allow your child not to lose interest. This has been one of Lucas’ favorites for months, and he goes to the bookshelf to pick it out specifically.
Gaston by Kelly DiPucchio
Gaston is a book about being true to who you are. I love reading it for the puppy names along (“meet fifi, foo foo, ooh la la, and gaston”). But at the end of the day, I hope that Lucas retains the point: which is that you should be comfortable with who you are, and that his parents will love him for who he is.
Pat the Beastie by Henrik Drescher
My love for Pat the Beastie may come from my hatred of Pat the Bunny. Pat the Bunny is one of the most tedious books that Lucas has me read to him. Pat the Beastie, on the other hand, is a book that I’ve purchased for many of my friends. Pat the Beastie is about Paul and Judy, who mistreat their pet Beastie. They pull his worm buggers, and jump on his belly. My favorite line is toward the end (sorry to spoil it for you): “If you cross a Beastie, he will feastie!” For those parents with a sense of humor, this book is right up your alley, and the spoof on Pat the Bunny will make you laugh up a storm. Plus, the moral can’t be beat: don’t mistreat your cat otherwise it will eat you. I mean, be kind to your pets.