The longer we have been reading to Frances, the stronger her opinions have gotten. To the point that now, there are only some books that are on the Frances Approved list. She still loves to read and would like as many books at bedtime as possible, please, but books that do not meet her standards (those without vibrant or interesting illustrations or too many words) will be pushed away with a (let it be said, whiny) “No” and the demand of “Book. Book.” (as in, a different book please). Here are the books that she will consistently let us read from from start to finish these days.
Charlie the Ranch Dog by Ree Drummond. This book has a secret weapon – it is about a basset hound named Charlie! Now the thing you need to know is that right now all dogs are Charlie to Frances, but the fact that this Charlie dog also looks like her Charlie dog? Definite bonus!
Everyone Poops by Taro Gomi. We are on a Poop is Awesome kick at our house. We’ve had several friends whose toddlers went through a poop aversion phase where they would hold it until they made themselves sick, so we are trying to nip any poop negativity in the bud. This book is colorful and fun and a new favorite of Frankie’s. And it gives us plenty of chances to cheer on the awesomeness that is pooping.
The Great Gracie Chase: Stop that Dog! by Cynthia Rylant. If there is one thing that will guarantee a Frances hit, it is illustrations by Mark Teague. She really does have a favorite illustrator! His illustrations are bright and curvy and lush, and she has never yet pushed away a book he illustrated. This one is about a little dog who goes on a solo walk, that ends up with the whole town chasing her when noisy painters take over her house.
How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? by Jane Yolen. All the books in the “How Do Dinosaurs” series are hits in our house (not incidentally, they are all illustrated by Mark Teague), but this is my personal favorite. It goes through some bad bedtime behavior and then shows how dinosaurs do in fact go to bed very NICELY. Jami and I are very much in favor of little dinosaurs going to bed nicely.
Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney. All the Llama Llama books are also a hit in our house. They are geared for the toddler set and definitely hit all the right buttons – bright illustrations, rhyming words, not too much text per page and as a bonus – Toddler With Attitude.
Lola Loves Stories by Anna McQuinn. This is a really cute book about a toddler whose reading inspires her play. (A book about tigers, leads to Lola chasing her friend around the yard, pretending to be a tiger, etc.) I’m glad Frances likes this one, because how could I resist a book in which libraries and books play a prominent role?
Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? by Dr. Seuss. Frances got a small, board book version of this book in her stocking at Christmas and it was not a hit at the time. She was much more interested in walking then than in making fun noises. Now though – it’s in heavy rotation, and I really enjoy hearing Frances say the words. Moo, Hoo, Knock Knock, she’s got. She doesn’t say the Z in Buzz, and some of them she doesn’t even try. I’ll say, can you say “Splatt”? and she’ll say, Yeah. And then smile while not saying it. 🙂
Snip Snap!: What’s That? by Mara Bergman. I’ve written about this book before, but I definitely couldn’t do a list of Frances’ faves at 18 months and not include it. Of all the “acceptable” books, this is definitely her FAVORITE. It gets read multiple times a day in our house. Sometimes multiple times in a row. In brief an alligator sneaks into an apartment where 3 kids are staying alone and threatens to eat them. Perfect children’s book, right? 🙂 But it’s funny and bright, with appealing sounds and Frances just can’t get enough!