These aren't in any particular order and I'm sure I'm missing some of the 'greats'. This list is based on what my husband and I like, and what my two year old likes... and, of course, what we own. I intended to stop at 10 books, but as you'll see I wasn't able to. Hopefully, you'll discover some new books for your little one... and if you have any suggestions I would love to hear them. Enjoy.
1. The Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle
This is a new book for us, one that Riley just received as a birthday gift, and it is certainly a winner. I have to admit I get a little excited when Riley asks to read this as it is just fun to read. Lots of rhyming and animal noises to make.
2. Llama Llama by Anna Dewdney
We have three Llama Llama books: Llama Llama Home with Mama, Llama Llama Red Pajama, Llama Llama Mad at Mama . Our favorite is Home with Mama, but Red Pajama is a close second. This is another book that is fun to read due to the rhyming and range of emotion. Plus, Riley likes to spell out the bolded words.
3. Moo, Baa, La La La by Sandra Boynton
We have many books by Sandra Boynton and most are winners, but this one has certainly been the most requested in the past. However, she just received Barnyard Dance for her birthday and requests I read it several times in a row so that may be her new favorite.
4. Brown Bear, Brown Bear By Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle
This book played a big role in Riley learning her colors. The language repetition in this book lends itself to kids being able to pick on on reading it themselves sooner than other books.
5. Mama, Do You Love Me? by Barbara M. Joosse
I picked this book up from Goodwill and wasn't sure how Riley would like it. I like it because it has a universal theme, and introduces some elements of the Native American culture. Turns out she really likes it and I love when she reads along and identifies things like the "Musk-ox".
6. I Love You Through and Through by Bernadette Rossetti Shustak
We've had this book since Riley was a newborn and it has almost always captured her attention. It introduces body parts and emotions through a cute little boy and his teddy bear. Plus, I find it heartwarming.
7. The Tooth Book by Dr. Seuss
When Riley was born, Grandma Suzie's co-workers each selected their favorite kid's book and presented them to Riley. They work in a dentist's office so it is no wonder that this book made it into the mix. Good story, good rhyming, good message... that is until the book encourages you to bite someone other than your dentist. Hmmm.
8. Jamberry by Bruce Degan
I have to admit I found this book to be nonsensical and a bit of a tongue twister at first. For example, here's what one of the pages says:
On rasperberry jam
Wha? After I stopped thinking about it so much and realized how kids would like the rhyming and the silliness (and I noticed how much my kid liked it) I fell in love with it.
9. Elmo & Friends First Look and Find by Sesame Street
Pretty much any 'look and find' book is a winner at Riley's age. For those not familiar, essentially there's usually a box with a bunch of objects that you search for throughout the page. Riley has gotten really fast with this so we usually throw in a few different 'rules' to make it more fun. We have a number of 'look and find' books, but this was the first we obtained.
10. Good Night Gorilla by Peggy Rathman
Riley has had this book for some time, but doesn't seem to bore of it. As she's gotten older she's been able to identify all the animals, point out the balloon that's on almost every page (even when it gets super tiny), and wakes me up when I start snoring like the Gorilla at the end of the book. She really gets a kick out of that.
11. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
Riley enjoys finding the mouse on every page and for awhile 'playing' with the fire. I tried introducing the concept of 'hot' by touching the fire and making a burning noise, but instead of seeing this as a warning she found it hilarious. Like, 'I've never seen her laugh so hard' hilarious.
Ok, I can't seem to stop so here are a few more that we've really enjoyed.
I'm Thankful Each Day by P.K.Hallinan
Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed by Eileen Christelow
Welcome to the Zoo by Alison Jay
Aaaarrgghh! Spider! by Lydia Monks
Eye Guess by Phyllis Limbacher Tildes