How to choose good books for your toddlers

There are hundreds of children's books out there, how do you determine what is best for your child? Here are a few things to consider when searching for good books that both you and your toddler will adore.

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  • As a little girl, I fell absolutely, head-over-heels in love with stories. I would check stacks of stories out from the library and pour over their pages the second I got home. This love of books has only grown stronger over the years, and as a mother of two, one of my very favorite things to do with my children is snuggle up together with a giant pile of stories.



  • It's always wonderful when you find a story that both you and your child enjoy. Here are a few things to consider when searching for good books that your toddler will love:


  • Interest

  • My son (like just about every other boy) is fascinated with trucks, trains, car transporters, motorcycles, etc. When we stumbled upon Shark vs. Train,I knew it would be an instant hit. What currently interests your child? Animals, princesses, pirates, dinosaurs —_you can find it at your local library.

  • Rhyme

  • Mother Goose had it right; kids love a good rhyme! My husband only likes stories that rhyme and he has been successful at finding many great ones! Try Bear Snores On, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
, and Rubia and the Three Osos. (I promise there are rhyming books out there that aren't about bears!)

  • Repetition

  • It always amazes me how quickly children can memorize certain things! Stories that have an element of repetition always seem to captivate my kids. Some personal favorites: We're going on a bear hunt, Rattletrap Car, and The Napping House.

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  • Word Count

  • Word Count.Depending on the age and nature of your child, their attention span may vary. My son (age 3) loves stories. If I sit and read to him, he will listen, no matter the length of the story. My daughter (19 months) is much different. She prefers short stories that allow her to interact in some way such as stories with texture (things to feel) or sing-song stories.

  • Awards

  • During my college experience, I had the privilege of taking a children's literature class. It was one of my favorite classes. Because of that class, I learned about awards that are given, across the globe, for outstanding books. Some of our most treasured stories were found through these awards. Goodreads.com has a wonderful comprehensive list!

  • 
If you're anything like me, you are itching to get to your local library to track down some real winners. Good luck and have fun making valuable memories with your child!

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Jessie McKinley is a city girl living in a small town. A graduate in Home and Family Living, she now puts her knowledge to use daily as she teaches and raises her two young children, whom she adores.

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