Reading is magical. It may be cheesy to say so but it’s true, and it’s wonderful. What’s better than curling up with a book? Actually, we have an answer to that - it’s curling up with a book and your kids at the end of a busy day.
Not only is it a great way to unwind before bed, studies have shown that reading aloud to kids helps them develop stronger language skills, improves their social and emotional development, and even decreases hyperactivity and aggression in young kids. Essentially, reading helps give us the words we need to sort out our feelings - an incredible tool at every age!As a mom, I’ve gotten to fall in love with children's books all over again. My own childhood favourites have found their way onto my kids’ bookshelves: Madeline and Eric Carle are required reading in our house and Sandra Boynton will never not be a good time. As my kids have gotten older, they’ve also introduced me to their own favourites: Pete the Cat, Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive the Bus, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, the Chester series and now, a plethora of early reader chapter books. No matter what they’ll be reading tomorrow or even years from now, it all began with those early preschool favourites.
Your family probably has their own set of classics and favourites, but if you’re looking for something new to read aloud to your toddler or preschooler, here are some great options. Enjoy!
The Gruffalo (Julia Donaldson)
All of Julia Donaldson’s books are pretty great, in my opinion, but The Gruffalo is one that never gets old. The brave and tricky mouse, the wild animals cowering in fear, the loathsome yet charming Gruffalo who turns out to be pretty harmless...it’s all perfectly lovely (and perfectly rhymed). My kids are 6 and 8 now, and this book is still a go-to in our house. Check out the sequel and this cute spin off, too!
Ada Twist, Scientist (Andrea Beaty)
If you’ve got a little scientist at home, this book is a must-have. The rhythm is great, the story is sweet and the illustrations are a ton of fun. Plus, it encourage kids to get into STEM activities - always a great idea. Just be prepared for some real life science experiments to pop up in your house after reading this one - it’s inspiring, to say the least!
Grumpy Bird (Jeremy Tankard)
When Bird woke up, he was grumpy. What parent can’t relate to that opening line? (Just me? Sorry, kids.) This colourful, engaging board book has a great message. It’s short and sweet, but will quickly become a favourite. If your kids love it, check out Boo Hoo Bird as well!
The Book With No Pictures (BJ Novak)
A children’s book with no pictures? Yup. One your kids will actually WANT to read? YUP. This hilarious book was written by actor BJ Novak (Ryan, if you’re a fan of The Office). It’s quirky and out of the ordinary in all the best ways, and the sillier you’re willing to get, the more fun it is for kids. Trust me on this one!
The Friendly Fables series (Alexis Alexander)
You might know the Friendly Fables series for their sweet board books like Myrtle’s Big Race and The Little Gnome...or maybe you know their popular book-turned-rap-song, FARTS! Either way, your kids will love family-friendly stories like How to Get Rid of Monsters. This series is written by a Canadian dad who was inspired by life with his two young kids. The stories are sweet and the illustrations are bright and cheerful - your kids will want to read them again and again! The series is even available as a monthly book subscription - a great gift for the tiny bookworm on your list.
Happy reading, friends!