From Reading with Babies to Reading with My Own Baby by a Brooklyn Librarian
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Learning to separate at bedtime and say "goodnight" is a universal experience all children have. He also loved Trainstop, a lesser-known, wordless picture book about a young girl taking a magical trip on a train. This book spoke to his daily commute on the NYC subway. Here are some classics (new and old) and my take on why these books have the staying power they do:
- Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin, Jr., illustrated by Eric Carle.
Simple, clear illustrations of animals, perfect for kids learning to label the world.
- Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems.
As they stop a pushy pigeon from driving the bus, little ones get the chance to say "No!"
- I Ain't Gonna Paint No More by Karen Beaumont, illustrated by David Catrow.
A mischievous kid paints every inch of his body. Youngsters get to enjoy the naughty messiness vicariously and learn the names of their body parts to boot.
- The Napping House by Audrey and Don Wood.
A granny, a child, and a motley crew of animals pile on the same bed for a nap. kids love this story which, like much of life, it is both predictable and surprising.
- Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak.
Who doesn’t want to join in a “wild rumpus” every so often? But it is important to know you can always come home again and your supper will still be hot.
Rachel Payne is the coordinator of Early Childhood Services at Brooklyn Public Library. She has reviewed children’s books for School Library Journal and Kirkus, served on the Caldecott Award Committee, and presented at national and international conferences. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and young son.
She is an author with Susan Straub, founder and director of the Read to Me program, and New York Times lead blogger and editor for the Motherlode blog KJ Dell'Antonia of "Reading with Babies, Toddlers & Twos: A Guide to Laughing, Learning & Growing Together Through Books."