Books to read with your little ones in the new year

Discovery Place Kids Rockingham

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Like many parents, you probably have resolved to be more patient with your kids in 2019 or perhaps more present or more active in their lives. A great way to keep your promise to yourself and your children is with books. Reading to your children provides the opportunity to connect with them and help them learn along the way. Here are a few great reads worth picking up at the bookstore or local library this year:

For children ages 0-2

Blue Hat, Green Hat by Sandra Boynton

This short board book is fun to read aloud with even the littlest child and takes less than a minute to get through it from start to finish. Kids get such a kick out of the silly animals – the turkey in particular – dressing up in various colored articles of clothing that they barely notice they are learning their colors along the way. The book also provides plenty of space for imaginations to run wild and additional learning to take place. Ask your child what sound a particular animal makes, for example. Also try Boynton’s Moo, Baa, La La La! for little ones to learn fundamental sounds of speech.

Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy Shaw

Beautiful colors, silly antics and rhyming words make this a popular read aloud with little kids. Ride along with some silly sheep as they get into all sorts of jams that require help from their farm animal friends. Not only to tiny tikes like this one, but it’s a great choice for beginner readers as well! Continue the sheep shenanigans at bedtime with Shaw’s Sheep Go to Sleep and check out others in the sheep series, too.

Where is Baby’s Belly Button? by Karen Katz

This lift-the-flap book is a great way for kids to do a little hands-on reading while also doing some basic learning. In this particular book, little ones learn to locate different parts of the body by finding them under flaps of the board book. The baby’s eyes are hidden under her hat, for example, and another baby’s mouth is behind a cup. It’s one of several by Katz. Others that make great reads include Where is Baby’s Puppy? and Where is Baby’s Birthday Cake?

The Wonderful Things You Will Be by Emily Winfield Martin

More for the parents, this book tugs on the heartstrings of moms and dads as it rhythmically delves into all of the future possibilities that lie ahead for a brand new baby. With a loving message and beautiful illustrations, it makes a great read (and a great gift for baby showers).

For children ages 3-4

Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker

A bedtime story that brings construction vehicles to life, this one is a real crowd pleaser, especially with the rough-and-tumble kind of kid. Learn to differentiate between types of construction vehicles and their roles on a site while getting your kids ready for bedtime with the cadence provided by the rhyming text. Others in this fun series include Mighty, Mighty Construction Site and Construction Site on Christmas Night.

The Monster at the End of This Book Starring Lovable, Furry Old Grover, by Jon Stone

This one is a real Sesame Street classic. Dust off your acting skills and build the suspense as you turn from one silly page to the next, building up to an ending everyone is sure to love. If you like this one, try Another Monster at The End of This Book, which features the ever-loveable Elmo.

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, by Michael Rosen

A family’s adventures into the deep, dark wood get suspenseful when their bear hunt turns up a real bear. Journey with the family through various landscapes and high drama as they race to escape the very thing they set out to find. A sing-song rendition is always popular with the little ones, and a quick search of the Internet should even help you add in some hand motions to create a more interactive experience for you and the kids.

Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae

Gerald the Giraffe wants to dance but he isn’t a great dancer. He’s a giraffe, after all. In a thoughtful tale that teaches kids about encouragement and acceptance, Gerald discovers he can dance – he just needs the right tune. The message in this book is great for preschool-aged children!

For children ages 5-7

The Mitten by Jan Brett

Adapted from a Ukranian folktale, The Mitten captures the imaginations of kids as they picture animal after animal fitting inside a young boy’s lost white mitten that lay in the snow-covered forest floor. The heartwarming tale comes full circle with the mitten – albeit, a bit stretched out – just in time.

How to Babysit a Grandpa by Jean Reagan

In terms of “how-to” books, this one is a hoot. A hilarious storyline accompanied by colorful imagery, the book is narrated by a child spending time with – er, babysitting – his grandfather. He covers all of the important tips to babysitting grandpa, from what to feed him (anything dipped in ketchup) to how to play with him (put on a scary play) and everything in between. Read aloud to your child or have new readers attempt to read it to you. Also try How to Babysit a Grandma, How to Surprise a Dad and How to Raise a Mom.

Delores Bakes a Fortune by Pam Rapoza

A lesson is baked right into this adorable book featuring two birds, Delores and Merv. Together, the witty birds teach youngsters how to believe in themselves and live their best lives.

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

A classic children’s novel, Charlotte’s Web is a great book to delve into chapter by chapter with your kids. Introduce them to the beloved pig Wilber and all his farm friends as you read a chapter to your kids each night before bed. Make it a conversation starter by sharing your own childhood memories of reading Charlotte’s Web.

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