Camden is now 2 1/2 and I feel like I’m making great head-way in training him to love reading. Since he started sleeping in his own room we’ve been reading three books to him each night before bed. We always end with Goodnight Moon.
Probably shortly before Camden turned 2 he began asking to read books during playtime. He is willing to play toys by himself sometimes, but when the option of one on one time is available, he likes to have all of your attention. I think this is why he loves to sit and read books with us.
To introduce him to books during playtime, we started with touch and feel books until he was about 1 year old, then graduated to the Karen Katz lift the flap books like “Buzz, Buzz, Baby” and “Where’s Baby’s Bellybutton”. These work for any kids!
For his first birthday I bought him some Bizzy Bear books by Benji Davies:
At 1 year old his little fingers weren’t yet strong enough to push the sliders, but he loved to watch mommy do it and is still interested in the books. (The video and pictures of Cam are recent so 2 1/2 years old) There are very few words with these stories, but the rhyming and the moving parts make them very exciting for early readers.
Most of my favorite books to read to Camden are rhyming because what’s more adorable than that? Books for bedtime are more likely to rhyme. One of the books he’s loving right now that is written with a great rhythm and some rhyming is:
The Pizza that We Made by Joan Holub and Lynne Avril Cravath
Because I want to provide him with a wide variety of books and topics we are not afraid to grab books that are way above his age recommendation. Some people might avoid these early reader books assuming they’ll be too long for a pre-reader. I actually think they are easier to grab without thinking than most hard back books because I know they won’t be too wordy. This one is great because it actually has a plot instead of some books where it’s just “Look out!” and “Brian is sad.”
I picked this next one out because brain washing is always a good idea:
Hooray for Books by Brian Won
Turtle knows he leant his favorite book to someone and has to go around to his friends to ask them. I love the message that it’s ok to like one type of book a lot, but if you try others it might be really fun! Everybody in the book loves to read, thus the brainwashing.
Puppy Parade by Jill Abramson and Jane O’Connor
In this book Scout is participating in a parade while hoping to win a prize for best tail or fur, etc. Scout narrates in first person and there’s enough emotion to read the story dramatically. The illustrations are really cute and so is the way Camden says the title.
The Littlest Train by Chris Gall
Camden is not insanely obsessed with trains, but like most little boys I know he has a solid interest in them. Lately this has been the book he asks to read over and over and over again. The littlest train falls off his train table and decides to explore. He gets homesick and wants to find his way back so other trains help to carry him home.
I love how it is illustrated. The author is the creator of Dino Trux which started as a book but was developed by Dreamworks into the show you can find on Netflix. The layout of the pictures has a distinctive comic book feel.
I do not love the way it is written. It feels like the illustrations were drawn, much like a story board is done first, and then there was an attempt to write the book around them. The plot is disjointed in places. In the beginning of the book it seems like “Mr. Fingers” will be the villain of the book, but at the end we find out he is the little boy who loves the train enough to miss him while he’s lost.
I’ve made a list of other books about trains that we’ll be working through in the next months so I’m sure you’ll see more of those on Camden’s list of books he’s loving right now.