Thursday, July 28, 2016

{15} Essential Preschool Books

We get a lot of books for Luke from the library and most are good (I work off lists, not just random shelf pulling) but some are great enough that we read and reread them many times before they are returned (or renewed, renewed, renewed, and then returned).  Then one day I was looking through the books we own and realized that while we are huge library users, we also have a pretty decent collection going of books I would consider absolute essentials.  Most of these started as library books that we couldn't return because Luke insisted on hearing them daily or multiple times a day.  We now own almost all and the ones we don't are on my "to buy" list for him. 

I wouldn't hesitate to buy any of these for those "bring a book instead of a card" baby shower requests (not knocking it, I've thrown one, attended and been the recipient of those!).  Yes, some of these are a little over baby age but babies aren't babies for long!  And my standard shower books are all buried in here.  So, if you are looking for a shower gift rec or just filling out your own personal library, these are the toddler-preschool books I'd most recommend!

(I realize the picture shows 20 books, I can count.)

1) Little Blue Truck & Little Blue Truck Leads the Way
The first book Luke fell in love with.  The first teaches a nice lesson about friends and the second about taking turns.  Some of our absolute favorites.

2) Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel
A classic for a good reason.  Mike Mulligan and Mary Ann had been digging together for years and years and proved they aren't obsolete.  We've read this so many times Luke practically has it memorized.  And how does Mike Mulligan go to the bathroom? (Please tell me someone else knows where that line is from...Matt didn't and I think of it every time we read this.)

3) The Day the Crayons Quit & The Day the Crayons Came Home
The first time I read this I was genuinely tickled and then had Matt reread them to Luke later that night because I thought he would enjoy them too.  Whose favorite crayon isn't Esteban after reading the second?

4) Pigeon books
Luke's favorite is shown above (Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!) but we enjoy all of these.  The Pigeon is just trying to have a little fun and rarely gets his way.  And, seriously, we all know pigeons shouldn't be driving buses, even if their cousin Herb does all the time.

5) I Love You So
This is such a sweet book and one of my favorites to read to Luke.  It talks about how Mom (or Dad) will always love the kid, even when they are a stinker.  Very sweet.  

6) Look Out for Pirates!
Probably Luke's current favorite book.  He loves reading about Captain Jim and his men.  I don't know what the lesson is here other than don't be a pirate?  Don't leave your pirate ship unattended?  Always travel with a diving suit?  It doesn't matter, Luke still loves it. 

7) Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
The first many times I read this one I thought the author was on something because it just didn't make sense to me.  I've now just accepted it and appreciate the rhymes and easy reading rhythm.   And it helps with ABCs so that's something.

8) Where Do Diggers Sleep at Night
A random library pull that quickly turned into a favorite.  Goes through a standard bedtime routine by talking about how different types of trucks get ready for bed.  (And strangely enough, we learned there was a sequel through another random library pull and then were so excited when we realized what it was.  But we just found that yesterday so it's not elevated to favorite level yet.)

9) Don't Push the Button
We don't yet own this book but we should since we almost always have our library's copy (but I feel like I should return once in a while so others can enjoy it too!).  This is another of Luke's current top 5s.  He loves pushing the button and recite half of this since we read it so much.  I always shut my eyes at the "Shake the book to get rid of all the extra Larrys!" part because Luke shakes so violently I'm sure to end up with a scratched cornea one of these times otherwise.  (And there is a sequel to this but our library still doesn't have it!)

10) If I Could Keep You Little
This book made me tear up the first time I read it to Luke (and the second and the third) and is a wonderful reminder of all the great things that come with kids growing up. 

11) Dr. Seuss
I mean, everyone owns some of these, right?  Luke's personal favorite is Green Eggs and Ham but they are all classics for a reason.  Even if they can be near impossible for parents to read! (Fox in Socks, anyone?)

12) LMNO Peas & 1-2-3 Peas & Little Green Peas
These teach letters, numbers, and colors, all with little green peas.  It's a cute and different way to learn about these and they are very easy to read.

13) Berenstain Bears
My favorite books from childhood.  They all teach some sort of a lesson but are probably a little long for toddlers (although I guess we've been forcing Luke to sit through them for years).  My personal favorites growing up were No Girls Allowed (the forts!) and Gets Stage Fright (the costumes!).  A recent favorite with Luke has been Go on Vacation.  That one rhymes and the locale seems similar to places we have visited (namely, the Outer Bank and Gulf Shores).  I think we bought that one specifically to take on our trip last year and it was perfect.

14) Elephant & Piggie
Some of our very favorites and we are (slowly) working on collecting them all.  Piggie and Gerald are best friends.  Gerald tends to worry a bit, Piggie not so much.  They learn various lessons through the books.  Luke's favorites are shown above: Let's Go for a Drive, Should I Share my Ice Cream?, and A Big Guy Took My Ball!.  But really, they are all fantastic.

15) The Little House
This one didn't make the graphic (oops!) but another classic I remember reading as a kid and that we now read to Luke.   The Little House starts out in the country and the city slowly grows around her (?) before she is moved out the country again and loved.  It's very sweet.

Honorable Mention: God Found Us You
We've read many adoption related stories and this one is my absolute favorite.  I still get choked up reading it to Luke.  If you know anyone adoption or that has adopted (besides us, we already own it!), definitely buy them this book.  It's fantastic. 

What did I leave off my list??  I almost stretched to 20 (and did stretch it a little in some places...) but tried to keep it lower.  There are so many good kid books out there; I love finding new favorites!

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