June 21, 2017

Family Favorite Books for Squirmy Little Girls

I love books and I love to read. I assumed that my girls would be the same. They're NOT. When my girls were very little, we would go to the library and watch as other kids sat quietly and listened during story time. I spent that time wrestling my girls and stifling their whining just so we could sit through a few pages.

Research indicates that brain development from birth to age 3 is the most significant, sets the stage for all of life, and reading plays an integral part of their development. When you share those stats with moms, especially first-time moms, I think it's super easy for us to freak out. Eventually I grew tired of the pressure and worrying about the "what-ifs."

I started reading at my girls' pace, and didn't stress if we only got 3 pages into a book before we had to call it quits. I also began reading aloud. Even if the girls weren't interested at first, they would quickly sit down and listen to what I was reading.

Soon after, we moved to child-led reading. I'm not sure if that's an actual "thing," but I let the girls look at pictures and asked them what was happening in the book. Over a period of several months, our girls transitioned from squirmy worms that wouldn't sit through even a few pages to little girls who LOVE to read.

Below is a round up of our family favorite books that really engage our girls.

1. The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli. It helps that Alex looooooves watermelon, but both girls cackle when crocodile is convinced that his skin will turn pink and there's a watermelon growing in his guts!

2. Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans. Audrey adores the twelve little girls in two straight lines and can quote this book word-for-word. Even Alex can say a few of the rhymes! This book receives my Mom stamp of approval because Madeline is brave and a problem solver, and it's such a good lesson for little girls! **BONUS: If you're a Hulu subscriber, you can access the Madeline cartoon series based on Bemelmans' books. Watching the cartoons is always a special treat for the girls!

3. Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner. Yes, the title references snowmen, but we read this book year round. YEAR ROUND. The girls love to see all the silly things the snowmen do. And the fact that the snowmen sneak off and play snowmen games after people are asleep is just magical.

4. Too Many Carrots by Katy Hudson. This is a really sweet book that emphasizes the importance of friends helping each other and sharing. We read this book a lot when the girls started sharing a room, and it seemed to help ease some of the toddler tension. It also kept the girls attention because they were constantly guessing who rabbit would meet next and what was going to happen.

5. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. To be honest, I have no idea why my girls love this book so much. But they LOVE it. It's a fan favorite and the girls ask me to read it over and over and over again. They also like Peter's Chair and Whistle for Willie. **BONUS: Amazon Prime created an original The Snowy Day movie based on the book. The girls like to watch the movie after dinner and then read the book at bedtime.

6. Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña. This book is wonderfully written, has an unexpected and very touching ending, and illustrated by Christian Robinson. It's basically the Triple Crown Winner of children's literature! My girls love the pictures, I love the diversity, and we all love the "goodness" of the story. If you haven't read this yet, put it at the top of your list! I promise you won't regret it.

And there you have our family favorite book list for squirmy little girls. I hope this list grabs the attention of your squirmy little readers as much as it did mine!

Below is an additional list of books our girls also enjoy:
  1. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr and John Archambault
  2. From Head to Toe by Eric Carle
  3. The Tale of Three Trees by Angela Elwell Hunt
  4. Gaston by Kelly DiPucchio
  5. The Napping House by Audrey Wood
  6. Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas by Natasha Yim

*While this post uses referral links, all opinions are entirely my own. Thank you for supporting Humble Hardy Happenings!

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