BABY | Books We Love 21-24 Months

I feel like this last quarter we have been bombarded with books. SO many books. SO many books that now the bookshelf is overflowing onto the floor. It used to be cute and organized with a basket of toys on one shelf and a large toy on another shelf, so I think it may be time to remove any non-book items from the bookshelf. But hey, at least she likes to read!

There were two especially fantastic things about this quarter. First, I had many opportunities to read to her and while the reading helped increase her vocabulary, I was able to teach her additional vocabulary words from items seen on the pages in these stories. I had her look at the page to find items she knew and I taught her new items that she would see when we read the book the next time.

Second, her vocabulary and sentence comprehension EXPLODED. I looked back at my journal of her speaking progress around 16-17 months, and she had just started to really say concrete words. Now she’s saying full sentences, repeating and creating sentences with her own context and content, and her vocabulary is well over 300 words and phrases at this point. (I have her words written down in, but I haven’t yet made the spreadsheet I keep promising to do to count the grand total.)

**Update: I counted, and it’s over 500. Thank you, story time!!**

What’s also very exciting is she now can “read” books to me – she has memorized the sentences on the pages and when I get her going, she will continue the story. Sometimes I don’t have to say anything and she’ll know what’s on the page. It is one of those miracles of child-rearing that no one prepared me for.

Anyway. Enough about the benefits of reading. Here are the books she soaked up these last few months.

At the beginning of this quarter, my daughter was very much into Mercer Mayer’s Little Critters. We have the Collection which is 7 books in one hardcover. Somehow she got hooked on “I Was So Mad.” This was one of the first books I recall her asking for by name, which was, of course, extremely adorable to hear her say “so mad!” and luckily just mean it for a book.

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I was nervous to start reading this Eric Carle book to her because there are some thin foldable pages inside, but once we started reading this became another nightly request. The story is simple and it got my daughter hooked on the moon. The simple storytelling gave me an opportunity to act out the story as the moon got smaller and smaller, or grew and grew. More ways to expand their little brains.

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Another Eric Carle classic, paired with the talents of Bill Martin Jr, this book is helpful for colors, animals, and memory retention. My daughter knows what’s on the next page without my having to turn it, and we recite this book together when we’re getting ready for bed or out in the car because it doesn’t require a consistent storyline. So if we aren’t looking at the book and she says the Yellow Duck sees a White Dog (even if that’s not what comes next in the story), we still progress through the rest of the animals. It’s a lot of fun to see her get excited about knowing her colors and animals.

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This was one of those books where I wasn’t sure she would like it because it is an older Golden Book, but she sure latched on quick once she saw the bunny. We see bunnies almost daily on our walks, so this was a nice tie-in. Plus, there are other animals and vocabulary for her to learn. Margaret Wise Brown tells a simple story about a bunny finding a home and we learn about other animals’ homes along the way, and Carol Williams’ illustrations are beautiful. This was one she also started “reading” to me from the first page with “Spring, spring, spring.” Adorable.

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If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of viewing Sleeping Beauty 100 times, you’d better get started. My favorite Disney Princess movie has turned into one of my daughter’s favorite stories and songs to request, however she refers to this book and song as “I Know You.” (The song Princess Aurora sings in the forest, “Once Upon A Dream,” starts with “I know you, I walked with you once upon a dream.”) She will dance with her animals and ask Mama to dance as well, and it’s got to be one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen. Either way, this book is an abridged version so if you aren’t a fan, you can get through it pretty quickly. Or, choose another story from the expansive Golden Books library, like the one below.

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This is my husband’s favorite Disney movie, so of course we have this book as well, and it turns out our girl loves it! It’s a great way to expand word knowledge and give her a storyline that doesn’t include princesses and dresses. Even if that is all she wants to wear.

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Yes, this book was on another one of our lists, however Sandra Boynton is a magician with stories and it’s remained a favorite. It has become one of the books she knows how to “read.” She’s learned sounds and counting with this book and it’s still one she will pull out of the shelf or request by name.

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We started with this book many months ago, but she can essentially read the entire thing to me without any help (other than pointing to the animal). This teaches colors and clothing, as well as how to say “Oops!”

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Sandra does it again with a story even I find amusing. This is about one lonely hippo who calls two hippos to come over, and slowly but surely more and more hippos show up until, you guessed it, they go berserk! It’s a fun way to teach counting up to ten (and down from ten as the hippos leave the next morning) because the story and illustrations are so simple. There’s not much to be distracted by here.

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Sebastien Braun does a nice job of focusing on the main animal on each page spread while providing further imagery on the pages to give more vocabulary practice. My daughter got into this book all on her own, as it was one of the overflow books for a while, and now it’s a frequent read.

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Anna Dewdney is another story and illustration genius with her Llama Llama books. You’ll notice we have another on our list from a few months ago, but my daugther’s interest in “yamas” has also taken on a life of its own. I blame my husband for this, as he introduced her to The Emperor’s New Groove movie in which the emperor becomes a llama, and now everything is “yama!!” Good thing Anna wrote a bazillion Llama Llama books. These two are easy to read and memorize, and Hoppity-Hop provides simple activities for your child to do while reading. The best is at the end where it says “Llama Llama Red Pajama Big Hug Now!” and my little growing girl throws her arms open and comes at me for a hug. Swoon.

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Yup. Another Llama book. But this one is one of my personal favorites because it’s one that really showcases my daughter’s ability to remember the story. This is a longer book about a little “yama” who stays overnight with his grandparents and forgets his little llama in his mom’s car. So many vocabulary opportunities here, a fun simple storyline, and it’s great to get your little ones involved in reading it as they share in the surprise when they realize “Fuzzy Llama isn’t here!”

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Caroline Jayne Church writes simple stories with simple illustrations that my daughter seems to love. This is now known as the “new baby book” which we read together as we ready our daughter for the arrival of her little brother in a few months. It’s one of many “Big Sister” books out there but it’s a good one.

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