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Toddler Talk: Story Time

Photograph by Getty Images/iStockphoto

One of my favorite low-key ways to spend time with my children is to read through a stack of good books. Reading is such a good activity for everyone involved. Even the youngest kids benefit from listening to your voice and language. Sharing books helps build speech skills and at the same time, introduces essential literacy skills like reading text from left to right. Reading books together demonstrates the fundamentals of a book—how to hold it, how the pages turn, etc. Once mastered, children can entertain themselves, telling their own stories while paging through book after book. Most of the time, their stories are much more exciting than the real thing! And for me, one of the most cherished parts of reading together is, of course, sitting close and snuggling.

We are good-book connoisseurs. We love good stories but also we are also drawn in fabulous and ingenious illustrations. Since we are always searching for ones to add to our collection, here is a list of ten we really love. Maybe you’ll want to add them to yours.

Oh No, George!

The story of a dog who really tries to do the right thing but often fails. The title is a much-repeated phrase throughout the book and in my house, is said with much enthusiasm. The illustrations are fresh and vibrant and oh so enjoyable!

Press Here

Who said you can’t get active while reading a book? Press Here gets everyone moving and is a big favorite with my little ones.

Z is for Moose

This is a classic alphabet book with an impassioned moose character. My budding reader loves to point out the matching letter and illustration for each page. And that moose is funny, albeit sensitive.

Have You Seen My Hat?

Simple monochromatic illustrations and an easy storyline come together to make a great search and find book. I couldn’t help but giggle as the bear tries to find his missing hat.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

A forever favorite for its color, fun rhymes and bouncing letters. Children (and adults) will be repeating little story bits. It’s a bright and lively way to see the letters of the alphabet.

I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More

A fun play on words makes up the best little story about playing with paint. Rhyming coupled with marvelously colorful illustrations create one riot of a book. Beware: It could be inspirational to little creatives.

Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site

This is the perfect bedtime book for any little truck lover. A construction site is put to bed through sweet little rhymes providing a wonderful way to wind down after an active day.

Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons

Pete the Cat is my kids' favorite character at the moment. He is so cool and so groovy, especially in this book. My youngest can recite the core of the book in rhythm, which is so much fun we all enjoy it.

Hattie and the Fox

Fabulous collage illustrations are paired with an easy storyline as a hen tries to warn her uninterested barnyard companions of the impending danger. I always read it in my best Minnesotan accent because it totally fits Hattie.

The Napping House

The husband and wife illustrator/author team Don and Audrey Wood is one of my all-time favorites. The building storyline of this rainy day book is easy for little ones to remember and then assist in "reading." And, as always, the illustrations are brilliant.

All the World

Though this story is written for children, even the oldest among us will adore the significance in the story. It’s about families and friends and being together. The illustrations are breathtaking.

Reading books together not only provides an activity for today but develops skills for tomorrow and beyond. My wish is that I can pass along my love of reading to my children, as there are adventures to be had in each book.

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