Phoebe loves to read, and I try to actively curate her book collection. We are always looking for new suggestions and checking stacks of books out from the library. And some books stick with us for several renewals, while others get returned immediately. I try to balance books that are fun and fluffy with ones that are more challenging for her.
For example, Phoebe looooves any Maisy book we bring home (and we have at least half a dozen at any time). I like the Maisy books because they handle all tons of experiences that Phoebe is grappling with: cleaning up, the dentist, parties, etc. Plus Maisy and her friends are the kinds of role models I’d want for Phoebe: they aren’t stereotypical, they don’t whine, and they are kind and imaginative. “A Sick Day For Amos McGee.” I love this book because it is beautiful. The art and story are well crafted and elegant. It is not a “cutesy” book…it is a quality book, and the more quality books that go into Phoebe’s little head, the better she will understand the nuances and joys of literature. Also, this book is right at her attention level (meaning I can typically finish all the words on the page before she gets anxious).
“Extra Yarn” is a favorite of mine that she’s not overly fond of. So, once or twice a day, I ask her if I can read one of her favorites first, and then read my choice. “Extra Yarn” is at the same reading level as “Sick Day…,” and I love it because of the same reasons: gorgeous pictures, beautifully crafted story, and also because it has a good illustration of creativity and generosity. Even though Phoebe doesn’t like this book and I don’t push it on her, I think it’s important to try to entice her with excellent stories. “Bread And Jam For Frances” is one such book. Phoebe didn’t used to like it, but now requests it a lot. It is above her attention span; we typically read it over three sittings (picking up where we left off). I like this book because Frances models a toddler/kid conundrum, but it isn’t preachy or moralistic. It simply tells a story, and does it with lots of descriptive words and exploration of emotion. Also, I like it when books have tidbits of song in them so I can make up tunes willy nilly.
Finally: “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.” This book is wildly beyond Phoebe’s attention span, and I don’t try to read it with her every day. But I have always wanted to read this series with her throughout her childhood. So, when the moment is right, typically after a bath or nap when she’s snuggly and compliant, I’ll crack open a chapter and read to her.
^_^ There are so many more books we love and for so many more reasons. But one thing I think is important: I want to only keep books in our home that *I* find enjoyable, because no matter what we’re reading, Phoebe will pay the most attention to how I feel about the literature. And if I can instill a love and understanding of good literature and art in her from an early age, that is a seed that I would hope to blossom beautifully in years to come. POST SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE BOOKS!!! I’m always up for more suggestions. Haha! Our library always has a stack of inter-library-loan books waiting for me whenever we come in!!