Monday, January 04, 2010

Smiley's Top 10 Books of 2009

For 2008 I blogged about Smiley's ten favorite toys.

For 2009 I'll do two lists. First, his ten favorite books this past year.

1. My First Truck Book

This truck book is by far his favorite book. It now lives in our car, since while it is in the house he seldom wants any other book.

I have no idea why he loves this book so much. He has never seen many of these trucks, even though I made sure to take him to some construction projects after the book already became a favorite. Sure, he can make truck noises while looking at it, but all the trucks make pretty much the same noises.

2. Good Night, Gorilla

This is a great book. I already blogged about its virtues. I'm quite happy that it is his favorite bedtime story.

3. The Going to Bed Book

This is my wife's favorite bedtime board book. She has read it so much that she composed some extra lines for the poem. Her lines are in green below, prefaced by the text they follow.
The sun has set not long ago. Can you see the golden glow? The pig is already below. The lion's on the roof, oh no!
Now everybody goes below. The rabbit's fast. The rhino's slow...
And when the moon is on the rise, they all go up to exercise!
They run and skip and lift and prance, and somebody begins to dance.
And down once more, but not so fast. The bear is first. The rabbit's last...
4. A to Z

Our favorite alphabet book. Smiley likes it mostly because we sing while we read it to him. I already blogged about our variations on the alphabet song.

5. Doggies, A Counting and Barking Book

I think when Smiley is old enough to go on dates, I'll recommend he and the girl read this book to each other. A teenage romance must have potential if it can survive ten different kinds of dog bark noises.

6. Daddy Kisses

Kisses are the next best thing to singing or silly noises. Because of this book, for a while Smiley confused "hand" and "paw".

Smiley never learned to appreciate cold on his bumps. We still do "a kiss on your paw" to comfort him when he gets a bump.

7. My First Words Book (small board book)

Toddlers have this phase in which "reading" is "I point at things randomly and the adult says their name." This book is small and has a wide assortment of photographs to point at. (It is easier to recognize photographs that drawings.)

8. My First Words (large board book with tabs)

A bigger and better version of the previous book.

After several months the pointing at things game bifurcates. There becomes an additional game of "the adult names things and I identify them by pointing." With more things on bigger pages there is more challenge to finding the object that the adult has named.

9. Curious George and the Puppies

Eventually the toddler learns to care about plot. The best early picture books have a picture of the main character on every page and make it really clear that the story is a series of events that happen to one protagonist.

This is Smiley's favorite book that tells a real story. It was the first picture book he wanted us to read repeatedly. It was also the first story he learned well enough to enjoy hearing without the book: he likes me to retell this story when he is bored in the car.

10. Whose Baby am I?

Earlier in 2009 this book was a bedtime favorite. Perhaps its main virtue is that it is a dollar less expensive than most board books, so it is a good choice for those early months when board books get chewed upon.

Honorable Mentions

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star is a book he likes because it involves singing. I already blogged about his love for that song. The book would probably be on the top ten list except that he was introduced to it so late in 2009.

DK Publishers have many other board books of photographs for pointing. Smiley also owns and enjoys the colors and body/clothing board books, just not as much as the "truck" and "words" books from that series.

Scholastic publishes a bunch of I Spy... board books. They are also great for pointing. We check out these from the local library.

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