I hope you find a few good ones in here! Feel free to email me for other recommendations.
Here are some versatile simple stories for babies and toddlers - that we couldn't get enough of this year.
Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox
You might even want to pair this classic book with the host of toys and other very hungry caterpillar gear available. In fact, Pottery Barn Kids has an entire line based on this popular story.
Where would Land of Once Upon a Time be without "once upon a time" books....like fairy tales.
I think Lucy Cousins' collection called Yummy takes the star for this category (see post on once upon a time books) - especially for children under 3! To be honest, Yummy may be my favorite book of the whole year, but then again, I have a soft spot for these tales. You could easily pair this book with the topsy turvy dolls: Little Red Riding Hood/Grandma/Wolf and Goldilocks/Three Bears to make a really nice gift.
In my opinion no at-home "library" is complete without one really good collection of nursery rhymes. We have a few favorites, but I still hold The Real Mother Goose near and dear to my heart because it's the collection I grew up on. I think it makes a fantastic gift for that reason, too....it can easily be passed down through generations - it has that old-timey feel. Plus, when you give the gift of nursery rhymes, you are also giving the gift of early literacy skills (see my post on nursery rhymes to learn more).
Many of the books that we read have some wonderful characters. But, a few stick out in my mind. Here are three characters that we have grown to love in 2011.
Fancy Nancy by Jane O' Connor from the Fancy Nancy book series (p.s. you cannot go wrong with ANY of these as they are SUPER cute - check out my posts on book + activities and books for little girls)
David from No David by David Shannon (also just one book in a series). This book made an appearance in my very first post outlining a shared reading experience focusing on language.
Pigeon from The Pigeon Wants a Puppy by Mo Willems (see post on phonemic awareness). This pigeon has charmed us in LOTS of books, but this one is a favorite.
Another two great books that we read this year were I Like Myself by Karen Beaumont (see post on self esteem) which has a fantastic message about being yourself, and One World, One Day by Barbara Kerley (see post on multiculturalism) which has amazing photography from around the world.
But, if you are looking for a fun book that is jam packed with learning opportunities, then you might consider Shout! Shout it Out! by Denise Fleming. It is a word, alphabet, and number book all in one (see post on strategies to enhance learning during shared reading).
Pair it with Melissa and Doug's Chalkboard/Dry Erase Board (we have it and use it often), and you've got a nice educational gift!
Our favorite math book from this year was Anno's Counting Book (see post on baby math) which could be paired with a set of classic blocks to make learning even more "hands on".
Bedtime has always been an issue in our house, but books like Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney (see post on bedtime books) certainly made this process easier and more enjoyable. Pair this book with some red pajamas and a teddy bear (or llama) if you are looking for a themed gift!
If you have an infant to buy for, Peek-A-Moo (see post on strategies to enhance learning during shared reading) certainly made baby bookworm squeal with delight when she was younger.
And, 13 Words by Lemony Snicket is just the quirkest, most unusual, and yet fantastically educational book. My list wouldn't be complete without it (see my post on learning new vocabulary) because it's awesome.
So that's it.
My book gift guide for this holiday. For kids under 3.
I promise you and your baby bookworm will
not be disappointed.
Disclosure: Land of Once Upon A Time participates in the Amazon Affiliate Program