I’ve always LOVED children’s books, but I never understood what an investment reading to a child is until we started reading every night before Nova’s bedtime. It was challenging for months. I got hit in the eye with so many book corners I am surprised I can still see- haha. And I will be honest- it was a chore at first because Nova’s attention span was incredibly short. I would only get two or three pages before she wanted to stop, start over or change to another book.
I guess I kind of zoned out, though, because tonight I realized we can now easily read 3-4 books in her 15-20(ish) minute story time that we do every night. It happened so fast! She loves books now and I am honestly afraid to see what would happen if we tried to skip her story time before bed (lol). In just a few months she went from having zero interest in books to being super invested in her favorites. It’s so fulfilling!
Today I want to share ten of our favorites incase there are a few you haven’t heard of. We received a lot of these as gifts, and a few I had been collecting for the past few years as we waited to adopt.
1. The Wonderful Things You Will Be
My absolute favorite and Nova’s too. It’s the perfect toddler book with the most beautiful message. We currently read it almost every night.
Every time Nova sees this page she says “it’s Nova and dada”. Such a sweet coincidence that it looks just like them.
I just love the illustrations in this book.
This book, along with its sequel, is my favorite book for illustrations. It’s just gorgeous. The story is great too (adorable!) but the illustrations are the reason I bought it and they inspire me so much. Nova is obsessed with this book because she loves to say the dog’s names- “Fi-Fi, Foo-Foo, Ooh-La-La and Gaston”.
I mean…. look how cute!
Total honesty…. I also bought this book because the illustration is so cute. Nova is obsessed with it. It has been one of her go-to books for about three months now (which is a really long time compared to most books). It’s one of our most read books and she has it mostly memorized at this point. Oh- and the follow up, Square, was just released as well.
4. Last Stop On Market Street
Nova’s current favorite. We have to read this one first EVERY night the past few weeks. She loves it. It is beautiful and has a great message (being honest- I don’t think she comprehends the full message at her age, but she still loves it!).
5. The Mermaid And The Shoe
Another beauty! I love this story and the illustrations are just incredible.
6. No Such Thing
This book. It makes me SO happy. Early on it was one of Nova’s favorite books. She has it completely memorized now… we can actually recite it like a poem without even seeing the pages and she finishes all the sentences.
It’s a halloween book, but it snuck its way into our year-round reading list and it’s a keeper!
7. Counting Kisses
This is the sweetest toddler book. My friend Diana recommended it and it is so great for bonding. It’s probably meant for a little younger than Nova’s age, but she doesn’t know that (lol). She learned to count recently and it’s just such a sweet book!
8. Hug Machine
Nova LOVES this book. It’s a very easy read and a sweet story.
On a side note it’s been weird figuring out which books are best for Nova’s current age. I’ve bought a lot of books on Amazon that are super cute and look like they are for a toddler, but then they have super long paragraphs on each page which just wouldn’t work for us yet.
9. Hug Me
This was a gift and I love it! It’s beautiful.
10. Not Quite Narwhal
This story is really cute as well. I love that so many of these books have deeper messages… messages that toddlers 100% do no understand- LOL… but still important messages that maybe will sink in slowly over time. I love stories that teach that it’s a good thing to be different, that we all have different talents, books about imagination and themes of love, curiosity and individuality.
At Nova’s age the elements of each story that stand out to her are very random, but I still believe that it’s important to read books
I’ll try to add a new list in a season or two as our rotation evolves. Currently we add a new book a few times a week, but they don’t all stick. If they are over her level or she has trouble paying attention to the end I put them back for later and try again in a few months. It’s crazy how fast she is changing at this age- one month she won’t understand something and the next month she will. So I try to rotate the stories quite a bit.
We received many of these books as gifts so I definitely think they make great gifts as well. xx!