Toddlers love books with lyrical stories and rich illustrations.
…almost as much as they love ripping paper.
There’s a stage between baby books and picture books, when they’ve lost interest in simple pictures but still need something sturdy.
Today I’m sharing our favorite board books, the ones that my toddler returns to time and time again… that don’t drive me crazy. These are the books that we both enjoy reading for the umpteenth time.
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Our all-time favorite is Mama’s Milk / Mamá me alimenta. Rye still nurses more than he eats, and he loves to see all of the baby animals drinking milk from their mamas.
One reviewer panned the translation, which is actually excellent. It’s not a word-for-word translation — more of a lyrical rewrite. If anything, it outshines the original English.
Cuddle, little baby, take a rest. Fall asleep on mama’s breast.
Ven aquí a mi lado, ven aquí mi amor. Quédate en mi pecho, duerme sin temor.
[Come here by my side, come here my love. Stay on my chest, sleep without fear.]
Plus, the animals have cute little buttholes! Is that a weird reason to like a book? It’s a welcome change from the weirdly sanitized drawings in most kids’ books. Moving on…
Counting on Community is a beautiful 1 – 10 counting book that features community gardens and peaceful protest. This next page is followed by “Eight picket signs showing that we care.”
Rye loves to find the duck on each page.
Another favorite is All the World. Marla Frazee’s illustrations speak for themselves.
She also illustrated the classic Everywhere Babies:
Frazee’s detailed illustrations stay interesting much longer than most board books. They’re filled with diverse families, animals, and everyday objects that toddlers love to find and name.
Next up is Time for Bed. We have the bilingual version of this book as well.
Rye loves naming each pair of animals.
Another favorite animal book is The Biggest Kiss:
He loves to search out all the different animals and find the penguin on each page.
Speaking of animals (are you sensing a theme here?) ABC Birds is another favorite.
It’s a 10×10 board book with beautiful pictures. It’s part of a series from the American Museum of Natural History, which also includes dinosaurs, insects, and rainforest animals.
Here’s another large board book that toddlers love:
There are plenty of 100 First Words books out there, but this one is the best I’ve seen.
And finally, what list of board books would be complete without at least one by Sandra Boynton?
There are so many wonderful children’s books out there. What are your favorites?