I love the preschool years! Kids who are 2 and 3 years old are absorbing so much information and learning so quickly. Snuggling on the couch with a young child and introducing him to a silly or sweet book creates priceless memories for both of you. Here are some of my family’s favorite books for 2-3 year olds.
This little picture book combines comforting rhymes with fun pictures including a little mouse which can be found on every page. This is a classic which has stood the test of time and is still loved by children and adults.
2. Guess How Much I Love You
This sweet story with delightful illustrations is competition between two rabbits to see who can express their love more adequately – Little Nutbrown Hare or his daddy, Big Nutbrown Hare.
3. The Napping House
Everyone is napping in this crazy house – but not for long! More and more people and animals crowd onto the same bed – with completely predictable disastrous results. Each page in this book features the same animals (dog, cat, mouse, flea) which can be found in every picture as they move around.
4. The Hiccupotamus
What happens when a hippopotamus has an incurable case of the hiccups? This book is a winner with silly rhymes and colorful illustrations.
5. The Pigeon Books by Mo Willems
The Pigeon books are pure genius. These simple, interactive books are filled with humor and fun. Pigeon asks for the most ridiculous things and children must tell him “No”, much to the delight of any 2 or 3 year old.
6. Are You My Mother?
Another classic, this is the wonderful story of a confused baby bird who is trying to find his mother (he knows he must have one!). Simple language and repetition make this story fun to read and re-read, It is an excellent book for beginning readers as well.
7. The Very Hungry Caterpillar
A very hungry caterpillar chews through the pages of this book which teaches colors and counting and food names in a thoroughly enchanting way that encourages kids to absorb this information effortlessly. Unlike many “educational” books, the story line feels natural and unforced. You will be curious to find out what the caterpillar eats next.
The Bear family hears a lot of noises at night. These noises are caused by their animal neighbors who are getting ready for bed – spider tapping the water off his toothbrush, baby mouse saying “Eeek” when his feet feel the cold sheets, or little bug thumping up his pillow. This adorable story relieves night time fears and reinforces bedtime routines.
9. The Quiet Book
I love quiet books, don’t you? This quiet book is not a story, simply a description of times when we are quiet. And, while that might sound a little boring, the humorous situations that lead to the quiet times and the emotional drawings make this book thoroughly enjoyable.
This is undoubtedly the longest, most “advanced” book on this list for 2 and 3 year olds. I read and re-read this to my young children though, and they loved it. Read it with different voices, bounce your kids on your lap when you are reading about the critters that like to hop, whisper for the critters that are quiet and yell for the loud critters, and you will have a captive audience.
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