I read A LOT of books – at least 20 a day. Mind you, they take on average between one to three minutes to complete. For the sake of my own sanity, I augment my toddler’s stockpile by visiting the Children’s Library pretty much every week. These books go to the book holder in the bathroom, where I do most of my reading to Josie now that we’ve gotten into potty training. Somehow I’ve gotten it into my head that reading new and exciting books will lubricate her GI tract, as if every time I picked up a bestseller at Barnes and Noble I suffered from an explosive case of diarrhea.
There are three types of children’s books:
1. Books neither of us likes
2. Books only one of us likes
3. Books we both like.
The latter are rare, not because a toddler is picky (they will sit with rapt attention as you turn the pages of Fruit by Sara Anderson, listing off different fruits as your brain slowly turns to pudding). They are rare because too few children’s book authors understand that their writing must concurrently reach the parent on their own level. Movie studios like Pixar have this down pat. They know that 8 year-olds don’t drive themselves to movie theaters. You can sell a book with a nice cover, but if your goal as an author is have that book be so beloved that it’s worn spine is held together with duct tape, an adult has to be willing to read it literally hundreds, if not thousands, of time.
So here is Josie and I’s top ten in no particular order. If you are looking for a birthday present for a little one you’ll soon learn shortly after stumbling into a bookstore that thereare a bajillion children’s books out there. Without recommendations, you are more likely to feel confident in your decision-making process in the wine aisle at the supermarket than you will in the children’s book section of a book store. So if you’re looking for a book for a toddler (and a parent) I can guarantee that they’ll both enjoy at least one of these, just as I can assure you that their parents probably already own it.
Naturally, if you have a go-to book that isn’t on this list, I would love to hear it. And if you’ve notice it possess any significant bowel-loosening properties, all the better.