Little Library: Our Favorite Books in August

At 2.5 years old, our daughter has begun to show a marked interest in poetry and rhyming books. She loves to read the same book or poem over and over again, repeating the words along with you as you read out loud. She also enjoys retelling the stories in her own words as she flips through the pages.

Sometimes she will intently study our mouths as we read, paying particular attention to the lilt of our voices.

And as her sense of humor continues to develop, she is especially fond of silly stories or poems that make her laugh. She loves to exclaim, “That’s so silly!” as we read together.

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Here are some of the books we’ve been enjoying this month:

A few of our favorite books at 30 months old.

ONE // Elly MacKay’s Butterfly Park pairs beautifully unique illustrations with a charming story about the power of community and friendship and the importance of persistence. Our daughter loves both butterflies and making friends, so this book was very well received by her.

TWO // Although we’ve been reading Helen Oxbury’s Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes since her first Christmas, it’s being requested more and more often since Lilly is excitedly anticipating meeting her little baby sister in December. She loves to look at the pictures of the babies and point out their differences — one is a boy, another is a girl, one is sick with a cold and needs to lay down and rest, etc. Featuring a sweet rhyming text, Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes an engaging book for toddlers about multiculturalism that would make a wonderful gift for new parents.

THREE // Iza Trapani’s Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush has been a hit with our daughter all month long. I love the book because she loves to read it back to me, thoroughly describing what is happening on each page. In addition to the nursery rhyme being a joy to sing, the detailed illustrations prompt wonderful discussions about wildlife and gardening.

FOUR // When Green Becomes Tomatoes: Poems for All Seasons by Julie Fogliano chronicles the emotions and feelings that often accompany the passage of time and the changing of seasons. It’s a book focusing on the simple things in life — the frustration a child may feel when it rains for days non-stop and they are cooped up indoors, the anticipation one has toward the end of a long, hot summer when they longingly wish for the leaves to change and the weather to cool so they may sit cozily by a fireplace, the transformative beauty of snow — whether its snowflakes falling to the ground or snow piled high on an old, rusty bicycle left outside, the delightful pleasure of eating berries and peaches in the spring and summer months. The illustrations are delightfully simple as well and pair well with each poem selection. This seasonal poetry collection would be a wonderful addition to a nature table for children.

FIVE // Mary Ann Hoberman’s The Llama Who Had No Pajama: 100 Favorite Poems is filled with fun and silly poems covering a range of topics, including the weather, wildlife, childhood games, birthdays, and time. Our daughter will page through the book looking at the vivid illustrations until she comes to a poem that she would like for us to read. She has her favorites which she has now memorized and loves to read them over and over again. We are slowly working our way through reading them all, following her lead in which ones she is most interested in on any given day. With its focus on playfulness and rhyming alike, I think it’s a great introductory book of poetry for toddlers.

My daughter’s favorite selection this month is “Yellow Butter.” She laughs with gusto each time we read it and enthusiastically says, “Again, let’s read it again!”

Yellow butter purple jelly red jam black bread

Spread it thick, say it quick

Yellow butter purple jelly red jam black bread

Spread it thicker, say it quicker

Yellow butter purple jelly red jam black bread

Now repeat it, while you eat it

Yellow butter purple jelly red jam black bread

Don’t talk with your mouth full!

I will admit I throw in a belly tickle at the end to add to the fun. 🙂

SIX // Welcome Home,  Bear: A Book of Animal Habitats by Il Sung Na is a wonderful introductory book about habitats and adaptation for toddlers. The text is simple and easy to memorize, while the colorful illustrations depict the stark differences in habitats required by different animals. Books about bears are always a hit with our daughter, and this one by Il Sung Na was no exception.