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Friday, March 13, 2015

Great Springtime Reads for Toddlers

(Alternate title for this post: "What to read when bedtime takes forever because your toddler still hasn't gotten used to Daylight Savings")

When there are lambs at every farm,
you know that spring is in the air!
I've really enjoyed writing my seasonal book posts the past few months (Christmas/Hanukkah/winter-themed books in December, Valentine's/love-themed books in February) and I've loved the great ideas my readers have shared (several of which we've added to our own library!), so I'm excited to carry the idea forward to this month, with the start of Spring. The fact that March is National Reading Month and Read Across America makes this post even more timely.

Spring is a wonderful season for toddlers -- things are growing, baby animals can be found at all the local farms, days are finally getting longer, and for many, there are holidays to celebrate. I'd much rather put books in Toddler X's Easter basket than candy, so I'm turning to my readers for some suggestions.

For March, let's create a list of all the Springtime-y books we can think of -- books about growth, new life, bunnies or chicks. Whatever makes you think of Spring will be a good addition to this list. I'll get started with my ideas, and then I'd love to have a section with your suggestions.

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. If you do plan to purchase these items or any others through Amazon, I'd be grateful if you'd use these links.




My Springtime Book List

Bunny Books

   

  • The Tale of Peter Rabbit: The most classic of all bunny tales. I love reading to Toddler X from my old copy, given to me by my mom for -- guess what? -- Easter in 1982.
  • The Runaway Bunny: Toddler X and I just read my childhood copy the other day at Grandma and Pops' house, and he loved watching the mama and baby bunnies take different shapes in the beautiful illustrations as the baby tried to escape and the mama followed. I love this book.
  • Guess How Much I Love You: Yep, another classic about a bunny. Big Nutbrown Hare loves Little Nutbrown Hare "right up to the moon...and back", which pretty much describes how all of us feel about our toddlers. Such a sweet book.
    
  • Curious George and the Bunny: Toddler X loved this book when he was younger -- this was one of the first books where he memorized sentences, and would declare "It was fun to hold a baby bunny!" A great board book for the younger toddlers out there.
  • Leo the Lop: This is one of my childhood favorites that has somehow migrated from my parents' house to Toddler X's nursery (shh...don't tell Grandma!). A sweet story of a lop who is mocked by all the bunnies with upright ears, until they all learn that "normal" is whatever you are. And the fact that Toddler X pronounces it "Weo the Wop" just makes it better.
  • That's Not My Bunny: Another great one for the younger toddlers. We had several "That's Not My..." books, and this was Toddler X's favorite -- I believe it was his Easter present in 2013. Lots to touch and see.
  
  • Wolfie the Bunny: I picked this up in Barnes & Noble the other day and really enjoyed it -- and so did Toddler X. It's a funny story of how a clever little bunny named Dot comes to terms with the fact that her parents have naively adopted a wolf pup who, she is sure, will eat them all. Very cute.
  • The Bunnies Are Not in Their Beds: A super cute story, similar in some ways to Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed (parents trying to get a litter of kids to sleep, kids resisting), but with better text and super cute illustrations. 
  • Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary TaleGreat book! The illustrations are really cool -- they're Willems' drawings superimposed over black and white photos of actual New York streets. Sweet story that we all can relate to. Don't worry -- everything works out in the end. :)

Easter Books

      
  • Here Comes the Easter Cat. We found this one at Barnes & Noble, and it's going to be in Toddler X's Easter basket for sure -- he thought it was HILARIOUS. It's about a charmingly mischievous cat's attempts to take over for the Easter Bunny, and it's told in the same style as The Little Mouse, the Big Hungry Bear, and the Red, Ripe Strawberry (the narrator talking to the main character). It's very clever and very cute.
  • Pete the Cat: Big Easter Adventure. Toddler X is a big Pete the Cat fan these days, so he really enjoyed Pete's adventure subbing for the Easter bunny. A cute book for Pete fans.
     
  • The Story of the Easter Bunny. I love this book! It's the sweetest story of how the Easter Bunny came into being -- I tear up at the end of it. If you're going to buy one Easter book, I think I'd recommend this one or the Easter Cat.
  • The Great Easter Egg Scramble. This is a cute, lighthearted book about what happens when the Easter Bunny doesn't put enough care into delivering the right eggs to the right animals. Toddler X found a few of the deliveries very amusing. Fun rhymes and bright colors.

Egg Hatching Books

   

  • Ollie (Gossie & Friends). We learned about the Gossie and Friends series of books from a SV Toddler reader, and Ollie was the first one we purchased. Toddler X loves it. It is a SUPER simple book about a little goose's reluctance to come out of his shell, and the efforts of two other goslings to force him to emerge. In board book form, this is a great springtime read for younger toddlers.
  • Click, Clack, Peep!. Toddler X and I love the Click, Clack, Moo series of books (one of our bedtime books tonight was Giggle, Giggle, Quack -- fantastic!), and Click, Clack, Peep fits right in. I think all parents will relate to Duck's efforts at the end of the book to finally get that chatty duckling to sleep. As with all of them, you'll leave this one thinking, "Poor Farmer Brown...".
  • What Will Hatch? This is a beautifully-illustrated book that explores all the different animals that hatch from eggs, with bits of trivia about each and very cool pages set up to let you take a peek at the next animal. The book doesn't really have a storyline, but is more a cool learning book for kids with a great spring theme.

Springtime Books

It's kind of funny reading about the exciting arrival of spring to children who have just survived some nasty, 65 degree "winter" days, but that's the reality of toddlerhood in Silicon Valley! These are a few of our favorite springtime stories:

      
  • Spring Is Here! (Bear and Mole Story): A SUPER cute book about a little mole trying hard to convince his bear buddy to wake up for the Spring. Toddler X really likes this one. 
  • And Then It's Spring: A lovely book about the transition from winter's brown earth to spring's green. The eager little boy waiting for his plants to grow and his animal friends helping him out form offer some very sweet illustrations on each page. 
     
  • Frog and Toad Storybook Treasury (I Can Read Book 2): While much of this treasury of Frog and Toad stories has nothing to do with Spring, the Spring-related stories that are included are some of Toddler X's favorites, period. Frog and Toad are great year-round, but it's fun to discuss how "Spring is just around the corner" when reading The Corner, or to watch Frog flip Toad's calendar forward to May to trick him into getting out of bed in Spring.
  • Bear Wants More: We discovered this Bear series (different than the Bear and Mole series, mentioned above, and also different from the Bear and Mouse series that we love) at Christmastime, with the wonderful book Bear Stays Up. After Christmas, we purchased Bear Wants More, and were happy to find the same sweet woodland friends, the pleasant rhymes and the toddler-friendly repetition. This is a very cute book about a hungry bear emerging from his winter hibernation -- a perfect story for spring!

So, those are my favorite Springtime reads -- now it's your turn! What Springtime-related books do you enjoy reading with your toddler? Please comment here or on the Facebook post, and I'll add your suggestions to the list, then bookmark it so that people can find it again next Spring!

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