In the words of Emilie Buchwald, children are made readers on the laps of their parents. It can be difficult, however, to select a book that is age appropriate and entertaining for your child. Many children within a specific age group tend to favor similar books though. Here I have listed the top book selection for the following age groups: six months, one year, two years, three years, and four years in age. Choosing an engaging book to read with your child is the cornerstone of a successful story time.
Top book for baby age six months
At the age of six months, a baby is ready to be introduced to books. “Shiny, Touchy, Smelly Colors” by Dawn North is a fantastic introductory board book that highlights senses that babies find extremely appealing in a book-sight, touch, and smell.
“Shiny, Touchy, Smelly Colors” is filled with images rather than words, allowing you to engage your baby with a dynamic dialog tailored to your specific reading experience. Each page in North’s book is themed based on a color and filled with a wide variety of images. A six month old can be introduced to new vocabulary words, textures, and colors with a single board book.
Top book for baby age one year
Sandra Boynton has several board books that have lasted through the generations, but “Moo, Baa, La La La!” is a perfect selection for a one year old. In the sturdy board book style, this colorful book introduces baby to several animal sounds through a well-crafted, rhyming plot.
Boynton’s book is simple and silly. Animals range from a cow to a rhinoceros and include several real and funny sounds. This is an ideal book for introducing a baby to rhyme and rhythm, which most 1-year-olds find fascinating.
Top book for toddler age two years
P.D. Eastman’s classic book “Go, Dog. Go!” is an unbeatable selection for a two year old. The use of simple sentences, clear images, and primary colors instantly appeal to toddlers who feel they have mastered board books, but are still unable to follow a detailed plot. Although this book is a little lengthy, you will likely find that your two year old wants to read it again and again. The simplicity and repetition of the text lends itself to being easily memorized by a toddler. “Go, Dog. Go!” ends with a superb climax which answers the obvious question, where are the dogs going?
Top book for Preschooler age three years
Preschoolers possess a wide vocabulary, longer attention span, and thirst for imagination. Lois Ehlert’s “Pie in the Sky” encompasses everything a three year old desires in a book-a grasping plot, details, amazing art, and the ability to make the book come to life!
“Pie in the Sky” has a tightly knit plot that seems abstract on page one and slowly comes into focus throughout the first half of the book. Your preschooler will love figuring out the meaning of the statement, “Dad says it’s a pie tree.” The book includes a recipe for cherry pie that you and your child can make together as well.
The art work in this children’s book takes hold of you while the author’s dialog engages you in the fine details of the pages. Made from acrylic and watercolor paints along with various materials like corrugated cardboard, origami papers, wax paper, and real cherry tree branches, “Pie in the Sky” is a perfect book for your imaginative three year old.
Top book for preschooler age four years
A relatively new book, “The Curious Garden” by Peter Brown makes a wonderful reading choice for a four year old. Although the plot is simple in nature, the theme of the story adds depth to this book. The main character, Liam, is a young boy who exhibits curiosity, dedication, and thinking ahead-an excellent role model for a preschooler.
“The Curious Garden” is about a city that has no greenery of any kind, except for a tiny patch of wildflowers growing on an abandoned railroad track. The young boy cares for the plants and watches the garden grow. As the garden spreads through the city, everyone begins to participate in caring for it. This is an excellent book for introducing a 4-year-old to the idea of environment, preservation, and an individual’s role within that. The illustrations visually demonstrate to the child how the environment and people within it change with the addition of the garden. It quite literally adds life to the city.
Selecting a great book to read with your child from age six months through four years is an important part of fostering their education and future interest in reading. Try one of these top selections for your next quiet story time with your child.
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