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Lottie was born into a family of readers. We devour books. We watch the movies just to tear them to shreds, and we debate story endings and argue the merits of the protagonist’s growth. When we put down a book, we pick up our pens and start writing a new one. Hell, I love books so much, I mastered in them, and I am so excited to share that love of books with my daughter.
Since month one, picture books have mesmerized Lottie. The colors and spreads awe her, and a big grin splits her lips every time I turn a page. Now Lottie is beginning to enjoy the stories, too. She likes the rhythms of the words, the rhymes and the singsong feel. And while her shelves are stocked to the brim, she always seems to come back to the same few.
Looking to share stories with your little one? Here are the books Lottie just can’t seem to put down.
Flip Flap Fly by Phyllis Root
Phyllis Root’s Flip Flap Fly is hands down Lottie’s favorite book. She’s obsessed. Three days after bringing this treasure home, I had the text memorized. The pictures are whimsical and bright, but it’s the rhythm Lottie loves best. It’s impossible to read this book without being swept up in it.
My favorite feature? When Lottie fusses, I don’t even have to open the book. I simply sit down beside her and recite. “‘Fly!” cheaped the baby bird, ‘Way up high.'” In ten seconds flat Lottie will be in my lap, smiling ear to ear. If you could only ever bring one picture book home for your child’s library, this would be it.
Love by Matt de la Pena
I purchased Matt de la Pena’s Love for Valentine’s Day, and it did not disappoint. The purest sort of love is woven into every phrase of this book. The pictures are beautiful, but it’s the feelings the text evokes that make it one of my favorites. The author envelopes the reader in warmth as he brings her face to face with fear, loss, and confusion. Through so much pain, love remains constant, a guiding light of hope in the dark.
Love has none of the singsong of Root’s Flip Flap Fly, but I like to think Lottie can feel the comfort in de la Pena’s words even if she can’t understand them. What ever the reason, one thing is certain–not once has Love lost Lottie’s attention.
Worm Loves Worm by J. J. Austrian
Looking for a quick, fun read? Worm Loves Worm is simplicity at its finest. J. J. Austrian invites you to the wedding of Worm and Worm, but who will be the bride and who will be the groom? Lottie loves the bright and vivid illustrations, and I love the heart hidden in the lines. For you see, Worm and Worm make one notion very clear: love is love is love.
I Love You As Big as the World by David Van Buren
We called David Van Buren’s I Love You as Big as the World Lottie’s tummy time book. Hubby and I struggled for a long time to convince Lottie to spend any time at all on her tummy. She hated it and would scream and cry until we turned her back over. This problem only got worse when Lottie learned how to roll front to back–now there was no keeping her on her belly.
One day, in a desperate attempt to keep Lottie belly-down, I grabbed the nearest book and laid it down mere inches from her forehead. Suddenly, tummy time became a whole new ball game. With the help of I Love You as Big as the World, we finally coaxed Lottie to spend 5, 10, even 15 minutes on her belly at a time.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
It’s hard to beat a classic, and Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar is classic through and through. While the story itself is wonderful enough, what Lottie loves is the little holes in the board book version. During the progression of foods the caterpillar eats, the pages start short and grow in length. Additionally, each page has a little hole where the caterpillar has chewed through. This makes it easy for Lottie to grab the pages and turn them as she pleases. Harder to read aloud? Decidedly. But Lottie’s happy giggles make the extra effort worth it.
The Itsy-Bitsy Spider from Melissa and Doug
Melissa and Doug’s It’s-Bitsy Spider Soft Activity Book made from soft, snuggly fabric. Each page has interactive, tactile elements to keep baby’s fingers busy as she listens to the story. Lottie loves playing with the pages, and I love not having to stress over chewed corners. This little book lives in Lottie’s toy basket, and is an easy one to slip into her diaper bag for a long car ride.
The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson
Okay, I admit. Susan Marie Swanson’s The House in the Night is my favorite picture book, not Lottie’s. But it’s just so beautiful, I couldn’t help but share it with you. The reader begins with a key to a house and travels to the stars and home again to find herself drifting asleep, surrounded in the comfort and safety of home.
The House in the Night is lullaby on paper. An added bonus? The gorgeous drawings are in stark, contrasting black, white, and gold–colors that fascinate babies while their vision is still developing. I’ll never forget the first time I read this book to Lottie. When I reached ta page that was nothing but a brilliant bird, flying through the night, Lottie reached out her hand to stroke the picture. She didn’t want me to turn the page.
Watching Lottie experience the magic of this book will always be one of my favorite memories.
I Am Bat by Morag Hood
I’ll be honest. I Am Bat by Morag Hood is not my favorite story. It’s cute. It has a bat. The bat likes cherries. It’s one of those books where the reader is a participant story. I really don’t like those kinds of books, but Lottie loves them.
This book was gifted to me, and I was skeptical at first. But Lottie was drawn to the bright colors and bold illustrations. For days, she drug it around the living room, happily sitting on the floor turning the pages one after the other. I Am Bat is the first book Lottie would rather read than eat and has been so well loved that not a single one of the pages is without damage. I pulled it from the toy bin to try and extend the poor things life, but if Lottie spots it from across the room, she’ll stretch out her hands and grunt until Mama fetches it for her. So I Am Bat is not favorite, but for Lottie it’s definitely tops.
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