Read to grow - Good reads for the tiny tots... Part I

We are all aware of the adage "You are what you read. "Just like, what is inbred in you at a young age makes you what you will be as an adult, it is what you read when you don't have to, that determines what you will be when you can't help it :) Reading 'right' for your young children therefore, is extremely important, and by reading right, we mean reading age-appropriate books for young children that help in their overall development.

As an avid reader, I find myself recommending books for others to read all the time. The feeling is all the more special when I recommend books for little children to read; as childhood is the best and the most formative and impressionable time in our lives. This is why it is absolutely important to read right and read right at the right age. This, however, is not as easy as it sounds.
"Which book do you think I should get my five year old to read?"
"Oh, the Enid Blyton books that I read growing up have been around forever!...Do you think my kids will still love them the way I did?"
"I found this wonderful series of children's books that all my friends' kids are reading....but my son just wont take to it!"
"I love the classics - Huckleberry Finn, Moby Dick, The Treasure Island - but the language is not something my son finds easy to read...what do I do?!"
I have met many parents who have these questions, and then some.
Children are by nature inquisitive and willing to get entertained all the time. The best way is to read them books that keep them engaged and also teach them something through the story. The best, therefore, is to read age appropriate books. However, in today's day and age, when it is difficult to find the time to visit a library or a local book store, let alone spend quality time there choosing the right book for your young one, it surely helps if you know before hand what to look for. This post is an attempt in this direction.
 To help parents who appreciate the importance of inculcating the habit of reading in their children from a very young age, but find it difficult to pick that perfect book for their child when it actually comes to it, I have set out to put together a list of books that are age appropriate and the most popular for each age. I have explored here a few books as research, insight and a little recommendation always comes handy :)

Let us start with toddlers. The age 0-2 is the best age and the perfect time to introduce picture books and board books that are colourful, engaging and at the same time attempt to teach good habits and values to your little ones. Take Yummy Yucky by Leslie Patricelli for example. This is a fun book to teach young toddlers what is good and what is bad for them in an amusing and entertaining way. In this books, a toddler learns things like 'apple pie' is 'yummy' while 'mud pie' is 'yucky' in a  colourful and engaging manner. With loads of colour and well thought-out opposites, Yummy Yucky by Leslie Patricelli  is one definite recommendation for toddlers.
Another all time favourite for toddlers is The Very Hungry Caterpillar Pop-Up Book by Eric Carle. This pop-up book is a huge favourite for children in the ages of 0-2. This book acts as an amazing developmental tool for toddlers as they follow the 'very hungry caterpillar' who eats his way through various different things through the days of the week, till he eventually transforms into a butterfly!
Yet another popular book and my personal favourite is One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss. This book is a classic Dr. Seuss rhyming book that is hilarious, fantastic and creative at the same time! Teaching counting and numbers to youngsters in an entertaining way, this is possibly one of the best books for beginning readers in the ages of 0-3.
Are You My Mother by P.D. Eastman is another illustrated story that your toddler will just adore. One of the best illustrated stories for children in the ages of 0-3, this book is about a bird that hatches when his mother has gone in search of food, and is the adventurous story of the baby bird's quest to find his mother. In its search, the baby comes across many different animals such as a dog, a cow and several things like even a plane! It keeps asking each "are you my mother?" and keeps moving ahead determined to find its mother till it reaches its nest and finds its mother there!
These are only a few of the many popular children's books.
In addition to the above, there is also a long list of fables and folklore that is handed down for generations such as the Tales from PanchatantraThe Jataka Tales; and also books such as The Bruno SeriesThe Pepper SeriesThe Bubbles Series as well as The Spot the Dog SeriesClifford the Big Red Dog Series and so on that are also good for young minds, not to mention the top ten most popular books listed below:
1) Where's Spot by Eric Hill
2) The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss
3) Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell
4) Counting Kisses by Karen Katz
5) Where is Baby's Belly Button by Karen Katz
6) Good Night Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
7) Dr. Seuss ABC by Dr. Seuss
8) Mr. Brown can Moo, Can You? by Dr. Seuss
9) The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton
10) Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt

I am sure there are many more books that are your personal favourites and that you would love to include in this list....so go ahead, feel free to add as many more in your comments as you wish....
Happy Reading!!

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