The process of choosing a book for a child at a bookstore or an online shopping site can be an overwhelming experience. It can be hard for a simple book board book to compete with phone and tablet apps or videos designed for children. In the ParentChild+ program, we select our books to foster a lifelong love of reading and learning. The following is a list of our top three books and a brief description of what makes each book special.
- The Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown
This book has been a classic farm-themed book for years for many reasons. The story introduces the farm animals through beautiful illustrations, taking you from dawn to dusk in the life of the animals on a farm. In addition to learning the names of the animals and the sounds they make, there are many opportunities for a child to learn to focus their attention, which is an important school-readiness skill. For example, most pages have an illustration of a yellow butterfly; when your child looks for this butterfly on each page and has success in finding it, they are learning how to focus their attention on a single task until they have completed it.
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
There are so many things to learn about when you read this book to a child. They can learn about the life cycle of the butterfly (science). They can learn about the days of the week as the little hungry caterpillar eats various items each day (mathematics: sequencing and numeracy). They learn about eating healthy foods while counting the fruit the caterpillar eats each day (nutrition). There are many opportunities to label what you see on each page to increase your child’s vocabulary (literacy).
- Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle
This is a story about a Little Blue Truck that makes his way through the countryside making friends and being cheerful. During the story a big, mean dump truck is not like Little Blue Truck at all and yells and honks his loud horn saying, “I haven’t got time to pass the day with every duck along the way!” When the dump truck gets stuck in the mud, no one comes to help him except Little Blue Truck. When Little Blue Truck also gets stuck, all the animals in the countryside come to help him out. In the end, Dump Truck learns that it is important to be kind. This book helps teach a child about emotions and how to handle your feelings and why it is important to treat each other kindly.