Miss Monica’s favorite story time books for Toddlers


If you have read my “About” page you might know that during the day I am a Children’s Librarian. I’ve been doing this for 10 years and I love it. There are some days when I can’t believe I actually get paid for this because it is just so much fun.

One of the things that I do is story time for preschoolers, toddlers, and babies. I’ve been doing story time for many years and there are tried and true books that I use for each age group. One of my Twitter/Facebook friends asked if I could recommend some books he could read to his toddler so I thought my list of favorite story time books would make a good blog post.

Story time is so important. It’s more than just simply reading books to kids. When I plan story time I am including specific activities that will help the child learn the skills they need  in order to learn to read later.

If you are a parent and are interested in learning more about the activities you can do with your child to help them learn to read, check out this website. The activities are simple and easy and you are probably already doing them, but it is nice to know that what you are doing is going to help them later on. And if you have questions or want more resources please don’t hesitate to ask me in the comment section.

Toddlers like illustrations with bright colors and simple graphics. Something to look for in books for toddlers is less text and shorter stories (they have low attention spans, as I’m sure you already know).

OK! On to my favorite books.

Miss Monica’s Favorite Story Time Books For Toddlers

  • My Car by Byron Barton – I can recommend ANY book by Byron Barton. I love this book in particular because it has a funny twist at the end and it has a couple of big words that parents can point out to the child.
  • Meeow And The Little Chairs by Sebastien Braun
  • Hurry! Hurry! by Eve Bunting
  • Cat’s Colors By Jane Cabrera. I love everything written and illustrated by Cabrera. Her fun illustrations and bright colors really draw the little ones in.
  • From Head To Toe by Eric Carle
  • Maisy Dresses Up. By Lucy Cousins. This is a series and toddlers love them all!
  • Orange, Pear, Apple, Bear. By Emily Gravett
  • Kevin Henkes. I am kind of obsessed with Kevin Henkes’ illustrations in  a few of his picture books. Really wonderful, simple stories, too. These are three of my all-time favorite story time books:
  • Spot Goes To The Park. by Eric Hill. (those lift-the-flap books are a big hit. Make sure you are careful with them or they will be destroyed.)
  • Clip-Clop by Nicola Smee
  • Chicky Chicky Chook Chook by Cathy MacLennan. This one is just really fun to read – lots of fun rhymes.

Something else to consider: buy durable board books for your toddler and let them play with them. It is OK if they are destroyed. Allowing your child to handle books at this early age will help them later. Let them become familiar with them and comfortable with them.

Most importantly though: make your reading time FUN. Let every reading time be a happy experience for them so they will associate reading with positive feelings.

Enjoy! And if you have questions, please ask.

I will share my favorite Preschool books in another post.


the three little pigs

Books, Music, Art, Movies

The Three Little Pigs (Reading Railroad Books)This week my story time theme is wolves, and I am looking over some of the classic fairy tales. As I was searching around I found a lot of versions of The Three Little Pigs, so I thought it would be interesting to read the classic version and then read a couple of the retellings that have a little twist to them (like the one from Scieszka). But in all of the versions I read the first and the second little pigs get eaten by the wolf. I don’t know. I just can’t read a book to little children where the pigs get eaten. I mean, I am not against people reading these stories to children. I’m not going to go banning the books for goodness sakes. But, personally, I just can’t do it. Why is this? Is it because I was read these gory classics when I was a kid? Maybe I internalized it somehow. I don’t know. I just feel like I have a compulsion to protect the kids I read to. I mean, when you look at the story as it is told in Marshall’s classic it’s really awful! The three (anthropomorphized) pigs go out into the world to strike it on thier own. These are not pigs. Pigs don’t build houses for themselves. You know? And they are EATEN by a ravenous wolf. How scary is that?

All is not lost for me, though. I did find a non-gory version of the story here. I am telling this version of the story using a flannel board. And I think it does the job just fine. Moral intact. And there isn’t any eating of anybody.

“Gay” Penguin book

Books, Music, Art, Movies

Mandrake pointed me to this article:

A children’s book about two male penguins who raise a baby penguin has been moved to the nonfiction section of two public library branches after parents complained it had homosexual undertones.

You can read the article here: ‘Gay’ penguins book frozen out in Missouri libraries

This is kind of a typical dilemma that libraries have to face from time to time. Personally, I think that it should have stayed in the picture book section. But that’s just my opinion. At least they didn’t totally censor the book by taking it out of the collection. I think the difficulty of public libraries is that balance between keeping your patrons happy and censorship.

Interestingly, I just watched “March of the Penguins” last night. It was a really cute movie. And after watching it and seeing the way Penguins mate, I can totally see how this situation could happen. Like, maybe the mother died while out getting food? So the two males took care of the baby together, because it seems like it does take two parents to raise up the baby penguin. One of them goes out and seeks food while the other keeps the baby warm. I think it’s silly for Republicans to jump on this as a “gay” issue. On the other hand, I haven’t seen the book so I can’t say whether the writer was presenting the penguins as gay. But so what if they were? It’s kind of a nice analogy that shows that two members of the same sex, who love each other, can successfully raise a child. Why people think this is a bad thing is totally beyond me.