The little lady loves her bedtime stories. She has some that we’ve been reading to her for a long time now (or at least it feels like it) on a regular basis. I’m always looking for new books that I think she’ll like, and I thought some of you might be looking for book ideas too. So I thought I’d share these ones since they are her absolute favourites.
I did write this a little while ago but clearly didn’t post it. These were our favourite books to read with a 2 year old, and her absolute favourites that we read very regularly. I’ll need to do an updated one now that she’s just turned 3!
Don’t Call Me Sweet!
By Smriti Prasadam-Halls & Angie Rozelaar
Everyone seems to think that little monsters are cute and cuddly. However this little monster is grumpy, grouchy, sticky and yucky. She’s a brave little monster too. Not scared of anything at all. Not even big, hairy ogres. Until she comes across an OGRE!…
This is such a cute story. The little lady loves it because it’s quite funny, and she is a fan of monsters. I like that too, but I also like that even though everyone tells the little monster in the book that she is cute and sweet, she knows that she’s lots of other things too. And she’s quite tenacious when she meets the ogre!
Bringing Down the Moon
By Jonathan Emmett and Vanessa Cabban
Hot-diggerty! Whatever’s that?” exclaims Mole as he burrows out of the ground one night and catches sight of the moon. He thinks it’s the most beautiful thing he’s ever seen. And he wants it. So he sets about trying to pull it down, know it down, climb up to reach it, all unsuccessfully. Poor Mole is very upset, but he soon learns that the moon is not as near as it looks!
This has been a firm favourite of the little lady’s for at least a year. We go through phases of reading it every night at least once. Whenever we’re outside and the moon is out (which isn’t too often) she repeats phrases from the book and has all of us trying to reach the moon, throw something at it to knock it out of the sky. But every time, just like Mole, we fail. Because (we all have to say it together) “it’s not as near as it looks!”
A Squash and a Squeeze
By Julia Donaldson & Nick Sharratt
“Wise old man, won’t you help me, please? My house is a squash and squeeze.” Well, living with toddlers we probably all know what it feels like when your house is too small. But what can you do about it? The wise old man knows: you bring in a flappy, noisy crowd of farm animals. Then when you put them all back outside again, you’ll be amazed at how big your house feels!
This is one of our newer Julia Donaldson books. It has a very relatable moral behind it, which right now I feel is very applicable to me and my family! I think the little lady loves it because it’s full of fun and farm animals. And those are two of her favourite things!
One Mole Digging a Hole
By Julia Donaldson & Nick Sharratt
This lively numbers book has lots of animals busy lending a hand in the garden. The mole is digging a hole (obviously), the snakes are using the garden rakes, the bears are picking pears and the foxes are filling boxes.
There are lots of animals and other bits to count on each page. And at the very end of the book theres a double page with all the animals enjoying the sunshine. We count every single animal on the page, every time. She loves this book, and has done for a very long time! I can’t see it coming off our regulars list for a while yet.
Peter Rabbit Let’s Cuddle
By Beatrix Potter
“You stroke my ears, I’ll stroke yours.” Let’s Cuddle is a big board book with a big, friendly Peter Rabbit hand puppet to play with! The book itself is a really simple but quite heart-warming rhyme with actions to follow for your little one and the Peter Rabbit puppet.
Both the little lady and I love this book. She giggles the entire way through it as Peter Rabbit does the actions we read and then she copies him. Amongst other things, Peter Rabbit tickles her chin and scratches her nose and she does the same back to him, all the while absolutely laughing her head off. Then at the end Peter Rabbit gets a big kiss and a hug. This is a genuinely lovely book that gives kids a chance to really play with Peter Rabbit as they listen to the story and join in with the actions.
Wriggle and Roar!
By Julia Donaldson & Nick Sharratt
“Whenever I’m tired of being me, I swing around like a chimpanzee.” If you are tired of being you this is a whole bookful of things you can do. There are rhymes to make you wriggle, snap like a crocodile and slither like a snake.
For us, this book always tended to be a during the day book rather than a bedtime story book because it is quite lively and there are lots of actions to copy. However the little lady has now decided that it’s a bedtime story book too, and so we read it a lot. It has lots of different rhymes inside and as such, I tend to flick through a few pages at a time (as long as she doesn’t notice that I’ve missed a page). The little lady absolutely loves it. Honestly, I like it a bit less than she does!
Five Little Fiends
By Sarah Dyer
Five little fiends live in their own little statues on top of a hill. Every day they come out to marvel at the world. Each fiend covets and takes home a different thing: the moon, sea, earth, land and wind are all taken home. However, the fiends soon realise that one thing is nothing without the whole, and they put it all back again, learning about sharing on the way.
This is a book about sharing and I really like that about it. But it’s also about ecology too. It feels like it’s an old native American story, teaching that the land can’t survive without the water and the moon won’t shine without light from the sun. I adore this book. I love what it teaches and I love the way it’s written. It’s one of my favourites, so I’m really glad that the little lady likes it a lot too and lets me read it quite a lot!
I Dare You Not to Yawn
By Helene Boudreau & Serge Bloch
This is a book about the perils of yawning (yawns can lead to bedtime), so cautions against listening to lullabies or bedtime stories, or catching others in the process of yawning. All comically portrayed with the deceptively childlike drawings of Serge Bloch.
I Dare You Not To Yawn makes me yawn at least 20 times when reading. The little lady has a good yawn reading it too. Due to her aversion to getting to sleep at night I would’ve thought that would put her off this book, but it hasn’t at all. She listens intently every time we read it and specifically asks for it quite a lot. It’s been a firm favourite for a while.
By Fiona Phillipson & Jo Garden
This sturdy little board book has giant fold-out flaps. In it we find out who is yellow and black and buzzes through the air. And who has stripes and slithers along the ground.
I bought this book for about 25p at one of the Jack & Jill markets when the little lady was maybe 8 months old. We still read it. This book is one that comes out with her in her little bag of trinkets we have to take everywhere and we sometimes read it at bedtime too. She absolutely loves this book!
By Jez Alborough
Bobo the baby chimp is upset because everyone else in the jungle seems to be taller than he is. So he climbs on top of a lizard, a lion cub, an elephant and even a giraffe in his attempt to be tallest until he wobbles and slips. Thankfully his mummy is there to rescue him. But Bobo realises that sometimes the size you are is the size you’re meant to be.
This is a really sweet book. I bought it online without realising that it has no words in it except tall, small and fall. But the story is clear from just these few words and the illustrations that go along with it. So I just make the story up as we go along and sometimes the little lady joins in. I always get an extra big hug at the end when Bobo falls and mummy catches him.
The Paper Dolls
By Julia Donaldson & Rebecca Cobb
A string of paper dolls go on a fantastical adventure through the house and out into the garden. They escape a slipper tiger, a toy dinosaur and an oven-glove crocodile, but then a boy with a very real pair of scissors gets hold of them.
This is another Julia Donaldson and is probably one of the most beautiful stories I have ever read to the little lady. It’s a story about the power of imagination, about childhood and about memories. It makes me long for the days of being a child, and really takes my mind back to playing as a child in the garden. The little lady really enjoys The Paper Dolls. The story also talks about the little girl growing up, becoming a mummy and making paper dolls for her own child, and I feel like it’s a very powerful bonding story for the little lady and I.
By Ros Asquith & Sam Williams
“There are big babies and little babies, do-lots and do-little babies. Happy babies, cross babies and I’ll show you who’s boss babies.”
This is a very descriptive little board book that talks about all the different types of babies there might be out there. It was one from our first Bookbug Bag that we got from our health visitor and has been a steady staple of the bedtime routine since then. It rhymes, it’s cute and she has always had a giggle at the tickly bit near the end. Also, it’s full of babies. And she loves babies.