The Children’s Bookshelf: A 2 Year Old’s Top 10 “Reads”

Time is flying!! I can’t believe my little man is 2 years old already(and we’re expecting a new baby in October so there’s even more excitement here!)  He’s reached a stage where his love of words and books is really starting to show, and I find it quite exciting. He loves to be read to, and he’s also rediscovering old favorites and pulling them out for rereads.  We’ve been having a lot of bookish fun here at my house.

So, what does my son love to read these days?  Well, it’s a combination of new discoveries and books read to him as an infant that he has rediscovered and pulled from the book basket for constant rereads.  Here are the top ten:

goodnightmoonGoodnight Moon is the first book I ever read aloud to my little guy. I remember that I started reading it to him a day or two after we got home from the hospital. At that age, reading aloud is less for content and more just to show little ones that reading and love and comfort all go together. This book is a great intro to the world of words and it’s one of those enduring small children’s classics that many of us know and love. I’ve seen a number of bedtime books and this is still one of the sweetest and dearest. I routinely give this one as a baby shower gift! Continue reading

A Charming Family Story – Review of The Penderwicks

penderwicks Book InformationThe Penderwicks

Author – Jeanne Birdsall

Publication Information – Dell Yearling (2005, $7.99 paperback, $7.99 digital)

Reading Challenge Book? Yes. This is a children’s book.

Growing up, I loved family stories. The various sibling groups in Noel Streatfeild’s Shoe books, the All-of-a-Kind-Family stories, Little House books, you name it.  I think I always wished I had more siblings, and so I enjoyed living vicariously through the adventures of families in fiction.

The Penderwicks is a wonderful addition to these sorts of books. In something of a nod to Little Women, Birdsall writes of four sisters – Rosalind, Jane, Skye and Elizabeth (Batty). We learn in the book that their mother died of cancer soon after four-year-old Batty’s birth and as the story opens, their professor father has taken them to stay for the summer in a cottage on the grounds of a New England estate called Arundel. Continue reading

The Children’s Shelf – 19 and 20 Months Old

Previously I had mentioned that interest in books ran high in our house; now interest in everything runs very high. Chasing a toddler in all directions can get exhausting, but it is so much fun to watch him figuring out things and exploring every bit of the world that he can get his hands on.

Little guy still loves to flip through books and to be read to. During these high activity months, I’ve discovered that prime reading times seem to be right when he wakes up and then again in the evening after dinner. He loves the books, and I love getting in some snuggle time with my increasingly active boy.

So, what have we been reading?

godblessourfallGod Bless Our Fall by Hannah Hall is absolutely adorable. I had feared it might be overly saccharine, but this book has just the right touch of cuteness to it.  And it’s got a gentle introduction to God and creation for the very littlest among us who will have only a small understanding of these ideas.  My son loves the rhyming text and adores the illustrations.  If your child is a big fan of animals, he or she will get to learn all kinds of new woodland animal names from this book! Continue reading

The Children’s Shelf – 18 Months Old

Something incredible has been happening in toddler book-land in my house. Reading (or “reading” perhaps) has just exploded! I never dreamed that watching a little one fall in love with books would be so wonderful. My little guy sometimes enjoys being read to, but also loves hiding behind the couch (always behind the couch! 🙂 ) to flip through his favorite board books and identify the objects that he recognizes. It’s been very fun.

And now that he has started to interact more with his books, here are some of this month’s favorites:

redstop Red, Stop! Green, Go! has been a delightful discovery. The book takes some of the drawings and language from the classic Go, Dog Go! and builds on it, adding interactive wheels to turn and flaps to pull. Busy little bodies will love it! Continue reading

The Children’s Shelf – 17 Months Old

I was away on vacation so my latest Children’s Shelf post was a touch delayed. My son has continued growing and exploring, and lately I’ve noticed that he seems more attached to his books than usual. In the past, he enjoyed being read to but now he likes to hear a book 5 or 6 times over.  Harry the Dirty Dog, one of his favorites last month, continues to be beloved. However, we’ve discovered some new-to-us favorites as well.


Prayer for a Child by Rachel Field won a Caldecott Medal back in the 1940s, and it’s not hard to see why. This book contains a gentle nighttime prayer for the littlest of children, and it’s a lovely bedtime read. The illustrations are charming, and my son’s bedtime routine is not complete without several readings of this one. Highly recommend. Continue reading

The Children’s Shelf – 16 Months Old

At 16 months old, my son is enjoying walking (and running!), and exploring everything he can reach. While he is very active, he does still enjoy quiet time with books in the morning and just before bed. Here are a few favorites that he has been loving this month.
The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown, with its message of love no matter what, is such a dear book to read to a little one. My son loves the pictures, and I adore the message it sends children. Not only does it show the breadth of a parent’s love, but also can help point a child to the greatness of God’s love. I’ve actually seen this book read in conjunction with Psalm 139, and the juxtaposition is very effective. Continue reading

The Children’s Shelf – 15 Months Old

At 15 months old, my son is walking – and running! He’s a very active child, but even so, he enjoys story time at the end of the day. He also likes to pick up his books and flip through them, babbling in imitation of reading.  It’s adorable!

playmesongPlay Me a Bible Song! is a perfect book for this age. It mixes a child’s love of words, music and activity beautifully. My son loves to play with the keyboard now, and I know picking out the actual melodies and learning to read the notes of the songs will come in time. He also enjoys having me sing the songs to him, and I love that he’s starting to associate happy memories with some of the classic children’s songs of the faith. This book would also be good with older children to help them learn how to read music as it features a simplified form of the musical transcription they would learn in piano or other instrument lessons. Continue reading

The Childrens’ Shelf – 14 Months Old

I know I’ve been offline a bit, but I haven’t given up on blogging.  I promise! I just had a series of family emergencies that kept me travelling for several weeks, and away from my reading and writing longer than I would like.


However, in the midst of a busy, difficult season, I still kept up reading with my son and he has been enjoying his books this month. We’re hitting that stage where he will insist I read a book over and over to him. And one of his favorites to get that treatment this month?  Curious George’s Opposites is a short, sweet dip into the wacky world of Curious George. The illustrations are as charming as ever, and the length is perfect for the toddler attention span. Continue reading

The Childrens’ Shelf – 13 Months Old

Since I review books as I read them, you all already know what I’ve been reading. Reading to my son has rekindled my love of children’s books, and he’s at an age now where he has definitely started to express preferences.  Sometimes he brings me a book to read or he taps on a book when I’m done and  insists I read it again.  So, what does my active 13 month old boy love to read?

gnightmoonI started reading Goodnight Moon soon after my little man was born, and now we’ve reached a point where he finds the rhythm of the words comforting, and he brightens visibly whenever he sees the book. As adults, we sometimes speak of much-loved books as treasured friends, and I think this one is definitely a treasured friend for my boy. Continue reading