Finally branching out from indestructible cardboard to paperback…

Baby E has always been interested in books. When she was little, she would sit on the couch, or in her seat on car rides, and “read” her board books. She would look closely at each page, examining every detail of the pictures. She would honestly do this for an entire 30-45 minute car ride!

Baby E celebrated her 2nd birthday not long ago, and lately she has started to become interested in longer stories. I wrote once before about only reading books printed on thick indestructible cardboard. Well, I’m excited to share that we are now branching out into paperback books!!

I have always loved to read, and even before we had our baby, I fell in love with children’s books. When my best friend’s children were young, I loved reading their new books with them. I actually bought two of the books in this list (Skippyjon Jones and Click Clack Moo) before I even got pregnant, because I loved them so much, and hoped that one day I’d have a child of my own to share them with!

If you’re looking for new books for your family, or to give to a friend, here are some of our favorites right now:

*How to Babysit a Grandma by Jean Reagan: This is a very sweet story about a little girl who goes to babysit her Grandma. A lovely message, and beautiful images that our daughter loves.

*The Very Cranky Bear by Nick Bland: This is one of my favorite books. Beautiful rhymes, a lovely story, and humorous as well! This book is about a very cranky bear … and a lion, moose, zebra and sheep who try to help lift his cranky mood.

*Counting Kisses: A Kiss and Read Book by Karen Katz: This is a sweet book that is titled a “Kiss and Read” book. It’s the perfect snuggly, loving book before bed!

*Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen: This is a wonderful book about a lion who joins the children for story time at the library. A very cleverly written story about friendship, rules … and the times when rules just don’t apply!

*There’s a Lion in my Cornflakes by Michelle Robinson: This is a story of two brothers who collect coupons from their cereal boxes in an attempt to get a free lion. Instead, they end up with a house full of animals, and a bit of mischief. This is a fun and humorous story that parents can enjoy as well!

*Stuck by Oliver Jeffers: This is a fun and unique book, with wonderful illustrations. It all started when Floyd threw his favorite shoe into a tree to try and free his stuck kite …

*The Smartest Giant in Town by Julia Donaldson: Julia Donaldson is one of our favorite authors, and both Baby E and I love this book. This story is about George, a giant who buys a new outfit to replace his “scruffy” gown and sandals. But on his walk home from the store, he meets a number of animal friends that need his help … and need his new clothes! This is a sweet story, with a lovely message (and musical element).

*Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey: This book was written in the 1940s, and I read it as a little girl. It’s still a favorite in our house – we went through a period where Baby E asked for this story every night! It’s a lovely story about Mr. and Mrs. Mallard, and their search for the perfect place to raise their ducklings.

*Stella and Sam books by Marie-Louise Gay (Stella, Fairy of the Forest and Stella, Star of the Sea): A good friend of ours recommended the Stella and Sam books to us, and lent us these two stories. They were immediate favorites with Baby E! These are sweet stories about the adventures of Stella and her brother Sam, complete with beautiful illustrations.

*We are in a Book (an Elephant & Piggie book) by Mo Willems: This cute book was another immediate favorite with Baby E, and led to a new family joke! In the story, Elephant and Piggie realize that they are in a book – and that whatever they say will be repeated by the reader! They try “banana”, and burst into laughter when the reader says it back to them. This started a family joke where Baby E would turn to us and say “Banana”, and burst into laughter. Then she’d say “Apple!”, “Cucumber” …  giggling non-stop! Her first joke!

*Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner: This is one of the books that I bought before I had a child of my own (before I was even married in fact)! The first time that I discovered this book, I heard the accompanying CD with the story read aloud – and I was hooked! This is a humorous story about a Siamese cat who stumbles into an adventure with a band of Chihuahuas. The story, the Spanish words and accents, the illustrations … all make this one of our family favorites!

*Click Clack Moo by Doreen Cronin: This is a humorous story about a farmer whose cows find an old typewriter in the barn. They use the typewriter to negotiate a trade for electric blankets for the cows and the hens, who have been finding the evenings a bit cold! This is quite a humorous story – especially for the parents!

These are just a few of our current favorites. Snuggling in bed together reading stories before bedtime is one of the best parts of our day. There’s nothing sweeter than lying with your daughter’s head on your shoulder, sharing a great book together. We are loving these new books that we’ve added to our library recently, and are always looking for new stories. Please feel free to share any of your favorites with us!

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