Puck & Pearl: Exploring Childhood & Parenting

Puck & Pearl

Puck’s Top Five Books for his first 18 Months- Toddler Favorite Books

I was trying to figure out which of Puck and Pearl’s books are their favorites at ages 1 and 2.  It wasn’t that hard to figure out. Kids love repetition!  It’s the ones I end up reading to them over and over again.  Some are bed time stories, others are just fun!  I realize that there are two common threads for the top five: one is that I enjoy reading those books more than the other books, and two is that most of them rhyme.

1)ALL THE WORLD

Rock, stone, pebble, sand
Body, shoulder, arm, hand
A moat to dig, a shell to keep,
All the world is wide and deep.

I love this book for All Ages….

My firstborn loved it, and gazed at its pages for the first year of his life. It was the focal point of his bed-time routine.

My second born is lulled by it as I recite the rhymes to her every night.

My husband and I both know it by heart and we take turns reciting line after line, as though playing ping-pong with the lyrics.

It speaks to me too…to the part that is touched by existence. It starts with a rock, and ends with “all of us”. Moms and dads and papas are all in this book. Gardens, and cars, birds, flowers, and flour. There is buzzing and there is stillness.

Our copy of this book is tattered- our love for it shows clearly for all the wear and tear.

I need to remember to buy another copy. But, really, who am I kidding? The poetry of this book has jumped off the pages, and become part of the fabric of our being.

I recommend All THE WORLD to parents and their babies.

2)GOOD NIGHT MOON

The mood of this classic bedtime story is perfect for night time’s winding down. The room is green, and the characters are getting ready for bed. Each page is darker than the one before, signifying that it is getting later and later into the night. In the first part of the book, you become acquainted with the different objects and figures in the room . Some of them are weird ( like a “cow jumping over the moon”, some are haunting or surreal ( like the “little old lady who whispered hush”- mind you she’s a bunny, of course. In the second part, it is time to say goodnight to each separate item: “good night comb, good night brush, good night nobody, good night mush…and good night to the little old lady who whispered hush”.

We’ve stolen this concept of saying goodbye item by item when it is hard to stop an activity (swinging in the playground) or ending the day (especially after a particularly exciting day like the one we had out in Cape Cod over summer):

“Bye bye boats and bye bye sand, bye bye beach, and bye bye sea, bye bye swing, bye bye slide….” Yes, we go through a very long list.

is a classic , and no wonder. I would recommend it for any lucky baby’s night time ritual. Also, if your child, like mine has difficulty transitioning from one activity to another, try the exercise of saying good-bye to each object in their world.

Good night cow jumping over the mooooooooon;)

3)  LITTLE BLUE TRUCK

Awesome rhymes for this one. Lots of “beep, beep, beep”, and animal sounds to get your toddler excited.

Also, there’s a moral to the story at the end: it’s important to have friends and to treat them well: “Now I see, a lot depends, on a helping hand from a few good friends.” It’s like a modern day Aesop ‘a fable, but the heroes are vehicles rather than animals.

I love the part when the dump truck (the antagonist) makes an appearance. Unlike little blue truck, he’s not interested in any of the animals that cross his path. What a meanie. But he gets his due when he becomes stuck in the mud and needs the others to save him. That’s when he learns his lesson about the importance of friends.

Such a fun RIDE, I mean READ!

4) GOOD NIGHT GOOD NIGHT CONSTRUCTION SITE

Again, great rhymes. I thought I would hate it due to my complete lack of interest in construction sites and trucks, but no wonder it’s a best seller. I’m totally hooked and it’s brought all of the different trucks to life as the reader puts each of them to bed, one by one. I also know this one by heart. It’s so catchy that my husband has turned this one into a song, and sometimes we sing it together. Puck loves it and asks us to read it throughout the day, not just at night.

5) BROWN BEAR, BROWN BEAR WHAT DO YOU SEE by Eric Carle

Pearl likes this one, and Puck chimes in reciting each verse- it’s so simple that he can do it, even at 20 months. At first, I thought this book was too simple, and boring. But now I see how it comes to life for an infant. Each image is bold and captivating, colorful with high contrast. You can add in the animal sounds for extra punch and watch which ones become your child ‘s favorite pictures. Pearl likes the teacher, since she wears glasses like mamma does in the morning (maybe?).

And, guess what?  This one has also acquired its own melody, so that we can occasionally sing the words rather than read them.  That keeps me interested.

I hope your little ones enjoy these books.

Love,

Mom

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