As a father of two, I realize the importance of finding good books and toys. My daughter is too young still, but my 27 month old son absolutely LOVES books and I absolutely LOVE buying him new and interesting books. I recently came across two children’s books while perusing amazon.
The first is I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean by Kevin Sherry. This is the tale of an arrogant giant squid who points out to everything in the ocean that it is the biggest thing evah! Well, that might not necessarily be true… (you have to read it to find out!) Kevin Sherry put together a fun book with good artwork. My son loves all the different animals and he doesn’t seem to get distracted or overstimulated by alot of busy imagery. Sherry uses large, simple shapes and objects and primary colors, great for holding a toddler attention. It is recommended for baby to preschool. I agree. I think beyond 3-4 they might not be interested so much, but may still like to sit down with it to peruse the large print drawings (I do!). After having read it to him for about a week now, he can say the names of most everything in the book. He has a bit of trouble distinguishing all the different types of fish. The first time he’ll only say fish, then by the end of the book he’ll say swordfish for instance. He also can’t get over that dolphins and whales are not fish.
The second book is Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea by Jan Peck, illustrated by Valeria Petrone. This is another book that is well illustrated and the pictures are vivid, use primary colors, shapes are well-outlined, and most importantly its not too busy or distracting. The story is set to verse. The first couple times I read it, I had a hard time finding the cadence, its not intuitive I think. But you should get after a while. Peck repeats the sea creatures names in several sentences which encourages learning to associate the image with the name. My son knows all the critters in the book already! I love the way he says octopus. We both really like this book, its fun to read and he has taken to opening it himself and thumbing through it. It is also an age appropriate book. I have a feeling my son will be into this book longer than the Sherry book above because it is slightly more involved.
Both of these books get 5 squid from us (out of 5). If you have 1-3 year olds, go out and buy these books. You will all love them!