Given my love of lists, I was insanely excited when I came across this one published in 1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up. I have been working on the adult version of the this crazy task, and now I have decided that my poor 19 month old must also accompany me on this journy of lists. When he was first born we would spend hours rocking while I read him whatever was on my personal list. By the time he was two weeks old he'd read The Story of Edgar Sawtelle (maybe it was the hormones, but this was one of the most amazing and beautifully written books I've ever read). After struggling to read a few more novels out loud, we switched to Roald Dahl, who appears on the list several times. I have started a few of the young adult picks from the list on my own, but the younger categories give us a lot of options that are more on his level.
Now that he has a million times my energy and can only stay entertained by the same book for a few minutes, this list has actually been really amazing at giving me good ideas that keep his attention for as long as possible. We are working our way through the 0-3 year old category. I can't really say what makes a children's book geared toward such small children good, but we have come across a few that we have really enjoyed, and some that have kind of weirded me out.
Owl Babies - Martin Waddell - This story is incredibly short, but immensly sweet. Who wouldn't smile every time an owl baby says "I want my mommy."
Thomas the Tank Engine - Reverend Awdry - So unless you've been living under a rock, if you have kids you know who Thomas the Tank Engine is, but you may not know him as well as you think. Did you know that Thomas started as a hyperactive and poorly behaved tank engine that everyone hated? Read this one to find out how he came around. If nothing else, it will give you insight into those crazy cartoons your kids are watching.
Bedtime for Frances - Russell Hoban - I just don't get this book. The repetitive prose isn't enough to keep up with my kid, and I was totally freaked out when Frances' dad started talking about spanking her and the moth hitting the window reminded her of the sound of being spanked. hmm...... If you use corporal punishment, maybe this book is a great way to get your kids to go to sleep. If you don't, it's just kind of creepy.
Hope this gives some good ideas to enjoy with the little ones.