Ready, Steady, Read!

Ready, steady, read!

Fostering a love for language and reading is a huge part of parenting a toddler and/or preschooler. After all, language is how humans communicate with and understand each other.

Just like us, each child has a unique personality and will gravitate towards certain kinds of stories. BUT, there are a few books out there which will appeal to all TOTs, parents, and caregivers alike.

If your child is aged between 1 and 3, the books on this list will elicit delightful reactions, so get ready to smile, giggle, act out the story and read it “just one more time”…

  1. Sometimes I Like to Curl Up in a Ball, Vicki Churchill

This charming picture book goes through a day in the life of the main character, a delightful little wombat, who does various activities from jumping to pigeon stepping and ultimately ends up curled up in a ball at the end of the day. The rhythmic verse grabs your AristoTOT’s attention. Great for encouraging action during play time; also makes a wonderful bedtime story with the wombat settling down to sleep at the end of the story. The illustrations are colourful and varied which can encourage talking around the book as your child grows.

  1. Goodnight Moon, Margaret Wise Brown – a great book to read when introducing your TOTs own bedtime rituals and routine, serves as a classic bedtime story with the little rabbit bidding goodnight to the various objects in the big green room. If you have a TOT resistant to bedtime, use this book as a starting point for discussing the bedtime routine, get your TOT involved in preparing his or her own visual bedtime routine chart to hang on the wall. (Tip: Using photographs of your child doing the various things that lead up to bedtime e.g. putting on P.J.s, brushing teeth, will be most helpful as it makes the routine more relatable to a young child.)
  1. The Gruffalo, Julia Donaldson – Classic Donaldson, with its wonderful vocabulary and rhyming verse. The many characters will give parents the opportunity to introduce reading in character, put on your best teacher voice for the Owl and hiss when the Snake talks. Scheffler’s illustrations depict a colourful woodland, the Snake and Gruffalo are not scary looking. The moral of the story – you don’t have to be big to be brave or smart – is a great talking point as children grow. There is also now a wonderful sequel to look out for…The Gruffalo’s Child.
  1. It’s time to sleep, Eric Metaxas – This book gets my Montessori seal of approval with its beautiful yet natural and very real looking illustrations by the famous artist Nancy Tillman. What better way to ease bedtime battles with this serene lullaby which will get your TOT thinking about the land of nod and sweet dreams. The words roll of your tongue like sleek poetry, before you know it, your TOT will have memorized this sweet lullaby; and be reciting it along with you, between yawns.
  1. Dear Zoo, Rod Campbell – A great introduction to reading, this simple yet effective story is interactive which makes it an enticing read for your TOT. Once the book is familiar to your TOT, ask the curiosity question – “what could be inside the [basket]? as you read. Your TOT will revel in delight as he correctly identifies the animal hiding behind the flap. A great way to help your TOT begin building his memory! A classic storybook fit for any toddler library.
  1. The very hungry caterpillar, Eric Carle – Introducing a scientific concept can be so easy with this story. Metamorphosis beautifully explained on a young child’s level, with a relatable story (what preschooler can’t relate to eating too many treats and ending up with a stomach ache?!). As an added bonus this book also goes through the days of the week and numbers 1-5. The illustrations are incredibly appealing with a two – page spread colourful butterfly at the end of the story.

What are you waiting for…

Ready, steady, read!


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