I think it's safe to say we all know books are incredibly important.
They help with language development, letter and word recognization and they are a really cool way to introduce interesting topics to young children.
In our house, we don't have a ton of space for book storage, so we use an over the door pantry rack as a toddler library. We attached it to the door with 4 small wood screws and it doesn't budge when we open the door. It holds tons of books! And the best thing about it is, we can keep the books out of reach of the one-year old. (She has yet to develop a love for books. She'd rather eat and rip them.)
Before the pandemic hit, we spent a lot of time at our local library. It was a great way for our 4-year old to discover books she liked without us having to spend a penny.
The books she has in her current library are a combination of classics and text that have main characters who are black and that share black stories. #RepresentationMatters
One of her favorite books is The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. She loves it so much that I sometimes hide it. (Am I the only one who does this?) She can literally read that book every single night. I love this book because it's filled with so much color. Kids also get to learn about how a caterpillar turns into a butterfly and the pictures make it easy for kids to read along.
We love Dr. Seuss in our house! (Although I'm not a fan of "The Cat in the Hat" , because duh - strangers.) A book we've read tons of times is One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish. This book is great for teaching rhyme and it's incredibly entertaining. It's also incredibly long to read in one sitting, so we always read it over a few days.
One of my favorites is Dream Big Little One by Vashti Harrison. It teaches little girls all about amazing women in history like Mae Jemison, Josephine Baker, Maya Angelou, Florence Joyner and more. The art work is amazing and the stories are totally accessible to kids. A fun way we interact with the book is I have my daughter look at the pictures and guess what incredible thing the woman did. This book was actually gifted to us. (Thanks.)
Remember when I mentioned we had some classics in our library, well nothing is more classic than Chicken Little! I actually got our copy from the Dollar Tree. (Don't sleep on the Dollar Tree book section ya'll!) My daughter loves the names of the characters: Foxy Loxy, Turkey Lurkey and Goosey Loosey are the most adorable names. There are also some great lessons to learn from this book and if you're starting to teach your kids about story order and retell, this is a great book to use.
The final book I want to talk about is When God Made You by Matthew Paul Turner. We believe in God in our house and this book is a great way to teach children about the uniqueness God has given to everyone. The illustration in this book is so beautiful! And the main character is a beautiful black girl with cornrows. There's also rhyme present in this book so it's a super fun read.
Building a love of reading early on is super important! I hope these book recommendations help to build your library and inspire your little ones.
Other books we LOVE:
There's a Wocket in my Pocket by Dr. Seuss
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr & John Archambault
Homemade Love by Bell Hooks
Bears in the Night by Stan & Jan Berenstain
Michelle Obama by Alison Oliver