Animal books are always loved by kids. I mean who could resist the cute and cuddly, right? I've collected here the ones that Chloe and I read over and over all the time. For the tiniest members of the animal world, Bugs! Bugs! Bugs! by Bob Barner (published by Chronicle Books) started it all. It's is a classic now in our household. I love the paper collage illustrations so much and Chloe loves reading about all the bugs, especially the roly-polies. The "actual size" chart is a fun way to show just how small these little creatures are too. It was because of Bugs! Bugs! Bugs! that I moved on to Bears! Bears! Bears!, Barner's recent follow up to his great series of kids books (published by Chronicle Books). I love that kids learn all about different kids of bears all over the world and what they do – from fishing to eating honey. I def
Just One Bite by Lola M. Schaefer and illustrated by Geoff Waring (published by Chronicle Books) is one of those books that is so fun to read as a parent. The book goes through what animals eat starting from a simple worm all the way up to a giant sperm whale. As you get closer to the end, pages fold how to show you just how big some of these animals are and what they are eating. But throughout the book, no small detail is over looked. From tiny beetles hanging out near a frog to an ant carrying a sliver of a leaf near a giraffe, I love being able to point them out as we go through the book.
Kids love "lift the flap" books so why not have a big book full of little flaps? Out of Sight by Pittau & Gervais (published by Chronicle Books) captures our little readers with "boxes" of patterns from foot prints, animal prints, all the way to silhouettes. Chloe loves lifting each flap especially the really big ones and finding out what animal is behind it. The variety of animals and the realistic illustration style goes beyond what typical kids books do. Even for my young toddler who is 2, she loves knowing that there are different kinds of mice and monkeys. I can really see her understanding it all much better thanks to this wonderful book. And I'll be honest here, this one is a nice one when you want to take a break from typical book reading. It's a big book so you can lay it out on the floor and it's almost like a game. The kid is the book driver here and it's nice to enjoy the ride with them on this one!
A great book for babies and young toddlers is Who's Baby Am I? by John Butler (published by Penguin Group). Every child and adult will not be able to resist the wonderful illustration style of John Butler. They really do come to life. In fact, Chloe always hugs the page when we get to the mama polar bear with baby and goes "awww!", which is not easy thing to do with a hardcover book! She can't help it! I love the page at the end showing all the baby animals and their names as well as the fun mama + baby matching game. It's one of our favorite books to unwind with at night. You can even play the Whose Baby Am I? online game on the Jon Butler site. We started reading this book at 18 months but I wish I knew about it earlier.