I find it’s not a rocket-science to get toddlers to read books. The trick is to start them early and to get the right book. As much as babies love to play with toys, I find they also love to hold and look at books. So if you start introducing to them at the early stage and make it a routine to read them book, they begin to love books insyaAllah.
To get an interesting book is tricky. Books that adults find amusing might not interest kids at all. From my past experiences working in the Preschool, some top titles that majority kids love (that I can still recall include) the Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr, Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney, Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown and Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. The bigger kids (5-6 years old) also love the Magic School Bus collection.
Since I’m a book-lover myself, I usually buy a book for AE whenever I went to bookstore (which is like once a month). Plus last time as a teacher, we got a privilege to buy books from Scholastic at a cheaper price.
The best type for those less than 3 years old is the hard cover. It is a bit more expensive, but I believe it is worth it. Only now that AE is 3-years old I find he’s able to read non- hard cover. Since his interest revolved around animals, most of his favorite books are on animals. He will read the book he likes everyday, day and night for months. Sampai lunyai lah kiranya buku tu.
Still, not all books with animal he loves. So when I buy one from the bookstore, it’s a bit of a gamble, too. I just look at it as an investment; maybe I can use the book for my future preschool. Well, or donate it I suppose. With books, it’s never a loss.
These are amongst the books that he loves:
Hooray for Fish by Lucy Cousins.
Although Lucy is famous with Maisy the mouse story, it’s the Fish book that attracts Ashman. There was all kind of creative fish illustration in the book such as elephant-like fish, upside down fish, shy fish, twisty twirly fish, etc. AE really loves this book since he was 1+ years old. I will make sure to bring the book whenever we go. Whenever I detect an almost-tantrum episode is going to take place (for example while we are having dinner outside and AE is getting bored already), the book will be my saviour. I’ll take out the book and AE will be calm reading it. Thanks Lucy!
Icky Bug Numbers by Jerry Pallotta
I bought the book in US from the Scholastic years ago. Haha sounds like I’m so well planned; buying toddlers book at the age of 20. No, I didn’t buy it for my future kids, I just buy it simply because I love books and kids in general:). Well, it is so worth it coz AE loves it so much. It has different kind of colorful bugs, teaching kids about color and numbers simultaneously.
Franklin Says I Love You by Paulette Borgeois
Bought the book from Scholastic, too. My niece actually like the book. She was 3-years old that time (now she is 10-years old). She will ask me to read it every hour! Mmg buku tu lunyai sampai koyak and dah stapler balik huhu… I think it’s a story about Franklin the turtle who’s looking for a perfect present for her mother for Mother’s Day. Have not introduced the book to AE yet, not sure whether will get the same receptive:).
I hope AE’s interest on books will last even when he’s bigger! I’ll share more idea for books from time to time. See ya later alligator!