Because Even My Toddler Loves Reading

We are all about books in this family. Always have been. I have always loved to read (hence, my 52 in 52 list on my blog). I used to own a small Christian book store. Both of my girls love to read, even the two-year-old. I am pretty choosy about the books I let them read. There are so many high quality, well written, lovely books available that I won’t let us waste our time on sub-par reading material. I wanted to share a few of my top picks for toddlers, in hopes that you might enjoy them too. These make great gifts as well.

One of my all-time favorites is Adam, Adam, What Do You See? by Bill Martin, Jr. and Michael Sampson. You will recognize Bill Martin, Jr.’s popular works Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? In fact, this book is, obviously, patterned after Brown Bear, but all the animals have been changed to Bible characters. It has lines like:

“Adam, Adam, what do you see?”
“I see creation all around me.”

“Moses, Moses, what do you see?”
“I see the Red Sea parting for me.”

“Esther, Esther, what do you see?”
“I see the king listening to me.”

“Little child, little child, what do you see?”
“I see Jesus watching over me.”

When I owned my bookstore, I carried this book in hardback and board book form. I was distraught when they stopped publishing the hard print version. And now that I have tried to upload a link to the board book, I can’t find it anywhere. Let me know if you are able to find it in print somewhere. Until then, check your local library.

Another series I love for my girls is the “The Story of…” board books by Patricia Pingry. They are published by Candy Cane Press. I treasure these books because they tell the hard truths of scripture without watering it down, but they are on a level that even a toddler can understand. We have The Story of Jesus, The Story of Christmas, The Story of Noah, The Story of Thanksgiving, The Story of the Lord’s Prayer, The Story of the Ten Commandments, and The Story of Easter. She has also done some historical books in the same series like The Story of Abraham Lincoln, The Story of St. Patrick’s Day, The Story of America’s Birthday, and The Story of Rosa Parks. These books are not expensive and hold up very well to rough little hands.

My last recommendation came from the museum store at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. I got them when I went to New York a few years ago, and my girls have really learned to recognize famous works of art by reading them. They are by Julie Merberg and Suzanne Bober, and the illustrations are the actual famous paintings. We have Painting With Picasso, Dancing With Degas, Sunday With Seurat, Quiet Time With Cassatt, and A Picnic With Monet. There are others in this series, and I highly recommend them as a starting point in teaching little minds to appreciate art.

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