Recommended Kids’ Books

Stephanie recommends that you read to your child everyday, a few times a day!

  • Reading will facilitate the improvement of language and cognitive skills (e.g., attention, listening comprehension, vocabulary, sequencing, rhyming, reading, etc.).
  • Choosing the right books (even wordless picture books) can help you target language skills you want to develop and bring different experiences right into your home.
  • Read face to face with your child so he or she can observe your facial expressions and your mouth to see how you produce sounds.
  • Bilabial sounds (sounds that use both your upper and lower lips, like /m/, /b/, and /p/) are usually the first sounds produced by children because it is easy to see how these sounds are made. (Sounds that are made in the back of the mouth like /k/ and /g/ usually come in a bit later).
  • Many of Stephanie’s recommended books are repetitive to encourage child participation and to improve their vocabulary. Stories that rhyme help children with word prediction, a crucial pre-reading skill.
  • Some books have very few words (e.g., “Wow! City!” by Robert Neubecker (see below) and “No, David!” by David Shannon). When reading a wordless picture book, or a book with just a few words, describe what you see or make up the storyline and encourage your child to do the same.For example, in “No, David,” when David is about to fall off the chair while reaching for a cookie, you can say something like: “Be careful David, you’re going to get hurt!” or “No cookies before dinner!!” (Instead of simply reading the “No, David!” text).

Selected Books Recommended by Stephanie and the Rationale:

Its Not Easy BunnyIt’s Not Easy Being A Bunny by Marilyn Sadler, Illustrated by Roger Bollen
P.J. Funnybunny becomes unhappy with being a bunny, so he decides to become a bear, but when he doesn’t want to sleep for the winter, he thinks he’d rather be a bird, or a beaver, or a pig, or a moose, and so it goes, until P.J. learns that bunnyhood is for him after all.This book uses a variety of bilabial sounds. Animal names (part of essential vocabulary for toddlers) are repeated throughout the story. Regular plurals are used consistently (e.g., P.J. says “I want to be a …possum!” And P.J. went to live with the possums.).
WOW CityWow! City! by Robert Neubecker
Say and Play recommends a number of New York City books. In “Wow! City!,” Izzy leaves her home in the mountains for a trip to the big city with her dad. Each page states “Wow! Park!” or “Wow! Museum!” allowing a great opportunity for your child to describe what is happening in each picture. 
Trashy-TownTrashy Town by Andrea Zimmerman and David Clemesha, Illustrated by Dan Yaccarino
Mr. Gilly is a garbage collector who picks up trash from places that are familiar to kids: school, park, pizza parlor, doctor’s office and the fire station. Each time he stops, the same, repetitive phrase, chock-full of prepositions is used: “Dump it in, smash it down, drive around the Trashy Town!” Trashy Town is also a great book to read aloud because it encourages verbal participation.
My DadMy Dad by Anthony Brown
This tribute to all dads is packed with figurative language. Figurative language allows us to use language in a creative way. “My dad can eat like a horse, and he can swim like a fish. He’s as strong as a gorilla, and as happy as a hippopotamus.” “My dad’s as big as a house, and as soft as my teddy. He’s as wise as an owl…” 
Down by the Cool of the PoolDown By The Cool Of The Pool by Tony Mitton, Illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees
Frog invites his animal friends (duck, pig, sheep, cat, dog, goat, pony, donkey, and cow) to a fun-filled day by his “pool.” Kids love to dance and chant along to the repetitive, rhythmic, rhyming beat. The action-words (verbs) the animals demonstrate can easily be imitated.