or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Parenting the Gifted Child › Great books for "advanced" young toddlers?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Great books for "advanced" young toddlers?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

Hello all,

 

I actually don't necessarily think my DS is "gifted" but he is "advanced" when compared to other LOs I know his age. I guess I'm just not sure where else to post this (the regular toddler board didn't seem appropriate... and you all seem to have great collective knowledge for not just gifted kids but developmental stuff generally!...).

 

OK, so here it goes. DS seems to me & DH to be quite advanced in his language skills. He's almost 2. It's pretty clear that his brain moves 100 miles a minute & his ability to share through language is quickly catching up to his thoughts. He grasps pretty complex concepts (for example, the other day without any prompting he asked me if "people" pump air in his bouncing balls... I think he put it together from our air pump that we use to pump our bicycle tires). His imagination is also extremely vivid (he will sit on his toy airplane & tell me he's going on a trip... or he insists on being carried like an airplane so he can see the clouds & imagine himself flying through them).

 

My problem is that I'm woefully disappointed in most children's books. We have a couple of wordless picture books that are delightful for coming up with stories in imaginative ways (e.g. Richard Scarry). But the library's pickings of age-appropriate books are extremely dull & his grandparents (as much as we love them) send him awful books (about manners or counting or stories that are half-written). So I admit that this is my problem just as it is his (as in, I recognize that I am bored with & critical of the books while DS may be perfectly happy with them). But I really want to foster his curiosity & imagination with interesting, creative books. I'm really not interested in "teaching" him things with picture books or alphabet or counting books... I think I can do all those things with other books.

 

Any suggestions for books or authors or publishers to check out? Other creative activities to pursue? Thanks!

post #2 of 23

Personally, I adore children's books. We probably had a thousand when the kids were little but we've been slowly weeding them down. We still have hundreds and even my 14-year-old gets excited when she is entertaining a little one and gets to pull out a picture book to read.

 

Some favorites that come to my mind

 

Elizabeti's Doll (Elizabeti has a whole series)

My Lucky Day

Edward the Emu

Edwina the Emu

Tikki, Tikki Tembo

The Empty Pot

Parts

More Parts

Alexander and the Horrible, Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (The whole series is fun)

The "Froggy" series by Jonathan London (always good for a laugh)

Horace and Morris but Mostly Dolores

Click, Clack, Moo Cows that type (as well as the subsequant book Giggle, Giggle Quack.)

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (and sequals)

Underwear!

Where the Wild Things Are

Inside a House that is Haunted

Monster Mama

I Love You Stinky Face

Mama, do you love me

Dr. Seuss is always fun.

Sandra Boyton books particularly when the kids were little.

The kids really loved Curious George though he wasn't my particular favorite.

 

I could go on and on but I'll spare you lol.

 

Gosh, there are SO many fantastic kids books. I'm really surprised you are having trouble. When you say "age-appropriate" what do you mean? Pretty much any standard picture book is appropriate for a 2-year-old. Don't limit yourself to toddler board books or "early readers." Don't assume that because the story has more than 5 words on a page it'll be beyond his comprehension. My kids were hearing Dr. Seuss and Rainbow Fish as infants. By 3, my kids loved listening to chapter books like "Dr. Doolittle."

 

post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 

Thank you! Yes, you're right that I've been limiting myself a bit... DS's imagination is growing by leaps & bounds but his attention span is just puttering along (i.e. it is what you'd expect for an active 23 month-old), so I've been "afraid" of books with too many words, LOL! But I'm definitely going to branch out. Thanks!

post #4 of 23

my dd at 16 mos really likes books with a bunch of pictures-- in addition to regular picture books, she likes to look at those 'first dictionary' and 'big animal book' type things.  i name, she points, or she tries to say the words.  i spy books, too, are fun for that reason.

for imagination... harold and the purple crayon? 

westlandia

the salamander room

outside over there

books by chris van allsburg (the sweetest fig, etc.)  though some of them can be wordy

 

post #5 of 23
My April boy will be two in a few weeks and sounds similar to yours with regard to language, imagination and attention span. Whereas my two older children (one tested as gifted and the other not tested, but grade-skipped in kindergarten) did sit for wordy books long before they turned two, not this little guy! While I don't have specific book suggestions for you (I tend to go for the old Golden Books, traditional stories like The Three Bears, and anything focused on the child's particular interests) perhaps my newly-discovered technique for helping your son become focused on longer stories might be of help. A few months ago, frustrated with ds' unwillingness to relax and share in "book time" with me (former teacher...need to relate with me kids over text!!!) I started making use of my captive audience in the car. I began telling various stories aloud, over and over again. I kind of approached it more like having a conversation with him- we always chat on our car rides- but we just happened to be talking about a little puppy who kept leaving his house despite his mom's wishes (or whatever). After my oral telling of a story several times over a week, I found him to be much, much more receptive to sitting and looking at pictures while I read that story in a book. Not sure if this method randomly worked for us, or whether there's something more universal to it, but...if you choose a few books that interest you, learn them sufficiently to retell when he's willing to listen, and eventually introduce the book, maybe you'll have the kind of luck I did. (Which, btw, seems to have translated to an overall increased patience for books in general).
post #6 of 23



Consider that your DS doesn't need to be sitting next to you when you read. My youngest I swear didn't sit for a whole book until around 3. He had a big sister though so while I was reading with her, he'd be building with blocks or doing a puzzle on the floor. Sometimes he'd come look at a picture or two and then wander to find something in his toy box. I continued to read as long as he was in the room. I was always surprised at how he could later rattle off the whole story when it seemed he wasn't listening at all.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by t2009 View Post

Thank you! Yes, you're right that I've been limiting myself a bit... DS's imagination is growing by leaps & bounds but his attention span is just puttering along (i.e. it is what you'd expect for an active 23 month-old), so I've been "afraid" of books with too many words, LOL! But I'm definitely going to branch out. Thanks!



 

post #7 of 23

DD's the same in that she likes lots of pictures and not as much text.  That being said she'll sit for story time for quite a bit as long as there are a lot of cool pictures.  We also do a lot of oral story telling and many time DD likes to direct the story (or at least pick the subject of the stories). 

 

As for children's books, well, we normally have the opposite problem!  DD's constantly asking for new books (seriously, whose idea was it to put a picture on the back of each book with all the other books in the series? banghead.gif).  Unfortunately, we don't have access to any libraries with children's books in English so we have to keep our own personal library well stocked. DD gets really interested in books in a series so we tend to buy books buy the same authors. 

 

Some of her favorites:

 

The Gruffalo/The Gruffalo's Child

Dr. Seuss: The Cat in the Hat/The Cat in the Hat comes Back/Wocket in my Pocket/Red Fish Blue Fish/Green Eggs and Ham/Hop on Pop

Llama Llama (mad at mama, red pajama)

Fancy Nancy

Pinkalicious

It's the Best Day Ever Dad!

Madeline

Curious George

Where the Wild Things Are

Maisy (any of those books really)

Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day

No T-Rex in the Library

If you give a mouse a cookie

 

She also loves any books from her favorite TV shows (like Dora/Diego/Kai Lan).  With the exception of some of the Dr. Suess books all of these have actual stories in them. Obviously, a child's attention span isn't huge so it's no going to be that intricate but she really enjoy them.  Her current favorites are the Llama Llama books, we tend to read those multiple times per day, and they are really relatable to a toddle (especially DD who has a lot of separation anxiety and fears). 

 

post #8 of 23

Have you thought of books on CD? Our library has a fabulous selection. They are all illustrated picture books with accompanying audio CD. They vary from 2 or 3 minutes long to over 30 minutes long.

 

CD that involving movement/songs/stories are great for imagination at that age. We got some from Hap Palmer, Fingers, Nose, & Toes, Fred Penner, Raffi, and more that are stories and somgs to music. Often they involve imagination, musicality, body movement, rhyme, and more....really music is a GREAT literacy skill. It builds rhythm, rhyme, vocabulary, and (if you get  a good CD) is interactive- which is great for little minds.

 

I agree with picture books.

 

How about magazines: A that age my DDs loved BabyBug and Animal Baby. Small, durable, and geared toward little kids. But each had fingerplays, pictures, songs, rhymes, short stories, and more.

 

Also some great books for that age are:

 

non word books (great for exploring and for making up stories) -- Good Dog Carl, When I went to the Zoo, Wow City and others

 

I Spy Books (Scholastic has the harder ones and the easy readers, both are fun for short periods of time and are great for vocabulary!)

 

Miss Spider Series

 

Eric Carle books

 

Dr.Suess books

 

Harold and the purple crayon

 

Good Night Moon and other Margaret Wise books 

 

Childrens Poetry books

 

Bad Kitty Series (great alphabet books)

 

Letter City (fabulous pictures)

 

Can You Hear It - Metropolitain Museum of Art (has a bunch of good kids books)

 

Bill Martin Books

 

Classic Little Golden Books

 

Mo Williems books (Knuffle Bunny)

 

 

Lots and Lots of good kids books out there for adults (and their kids) to enjoy!

post #9 of 23
Is your library very small? Or are you perhaps limiting yourself to board books, many of which are admittedly not that great? Because there are oodles of wonderful picture books for a bright 2yo! Here are just some favorites of mine for young twos (I keep a list):

Jamberry—Bruce Degen
Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus (and sequels)—Mo Willems
Charlie Parker Played Bebop—Chris Raschka
Dear Zoo—Rod Campbell
Feathers for Lunch—Lois Ehlert
Growing Vegetable Soup—Lois Ehlert
Cars and Trucks and Things That Go (and others)—Richard Scarry
In the Night Kitchen—Maurice Sendak*
More, More, More, Said the Baby: Three Love Stories—Vera B. Williams
Owl Babies—Martin Waddell and Patrick Benson
I Love You Because You're You—Liza Baker
Have You Seen My Duckling?—Nancy Tafuri*
No Bath for Boris—Diana White
I Am a Little Monkey (and MANY others)—Francois Crozat
Over in the Meadow—Ezra Jack Keats
The Snowy Day—Ezra Jack Keats*
The Owl and the Pussycat—Edward Lear and Jan Brett*
The Hat—Jan Brett*
Good Night, Gorilla—Peggy Rathman
Ten Minutes Till Bedtime—Peggy Rathman*
Are You My Mother?—P.D. Eastman
Put Me in the Zoo--Robert Lopshire
Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me—Eric Carle
Duck in The Truck—Jez Alborough
Duck's Key—Jez Alborough
Sheep in a Jeep (and more)—Nancy Shaw
Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?—Dr. Seuss
Is Your Mama a Llama?—Deborah Guarino and Steven Kellogg
The Little Train, The Little Fire Engine (and more)—Lois Lenski
Bunny Cakes, and Bunny Money, and others—Rosemary Wells (note: make sure you get the Max and Ruby books BY Rosemary Wells, as there are knock-off TV series ones)
Noisy Nora—Rosemary Wells
Knuffle Bunny, and Knuffle Bunny Too—Mo Willems
The Carrot Seed—Ruth Krauss
Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb—Al Perkins and Eric Gurney
One of Each—Mary Ann Hoberman and Marjorie Priceman
Zin Zin Zin, a Violin--Lloyd Moss, Marjorie Priceman
Mama, Do You Love Me?—Barbara M. Joosse
A Hole is to Dig—Ruth Krauss
How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? (and more)—Jane Yolen and Mark Teague
Pushkin Meets the Bundle—Harriet Ziefert
Pushkin Minds the Bundle—Harriet Ziefert
What Do Ducks Dream?—Harriet Ziefert
Animal Music—Harriet Ziefert
Train Song—Harriet Ziefert
Quick as a Cricket—Audrey Wood
The Big Red Barn—Margaret Wise Brown
The Important Book—Margaret Wise Brown
The Golden Egg Book—Margaret Wise Brown
Snow—Uri Shulevitz*
Sally Goes to the Beach—Stephen Huneck*
Come Along, Daisy (and more)—Jane Simmons
The Okay Book (and more)—Todd Parr
A Winter Walk—Lynne Barasch
Bear Snores On (and more)—Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman
Each Peach Pear Plum—Allan Ahlberg and Janet Ahlberg
Spoon—Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Chugga Chugga Choo Choo—Kevin Lewis
Kitten's First Full Moon—Kevin Henkes
About Birds (and others in series)—Cathryn Sill
The Midnight Farm—Reeve Lindbergh*
Caps for Sale--Esphyr Slobodkina
Dinosaur Vs. Bedtime—Bob Shea
My Family Plays Music—Judy Cox
The Seals on the Bus—Lenny Hort
Trains: Steaming! Pulling! Huffing!—Patricia Hubbell
When Moon Fell Down—Linda Smith*
No Bath for Boris—Diana White
Frederick, and Swimmy, and Little Blue and Little Yellow, and many others—Leo Lionni*
How Are You Peeling?—Saxton Freymann
If—Sarah Perry*
My Nose, Your Nose—Melanie Walsh
Would They Love a Lion?—Kady McDonald Denton
The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear—Audrey Wood
Mushroom in the Rain—Mirra Ginsburg
George Shrinks—William Joyce
Bear Day—Cynthia Rylant
The Boats on the River—Marjorie Flack
Construction Zone—Tana Hoban
The Red Lemon—Bob Staake
Three Ducks Went Wandering—Ron Roy
Toy Boat—Randall de Seve
What Do You Do With a Tail Like This?—Steve Jenkins
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (and more)—Laura Joffe Numeroff and Felicia Bond



These do include teaching elements, which you said you wanted to avoid, but they are good ones. I agree that there are some uninspired teachy-teachy books out there.

Planting a Rainbow—Lois Ehlert
Mouse Paint (and more)—Ellen Stoll Walsh
Ten, Nine, Eight—Molly Bang
Dr. Seuss's ABC—Dr. Seuss
The Color Kittens—Margaret Wise Brown
post #10 of 23

DD is still in the board-book stage, so all the books I'm listing come as board books

 

Dr. Seuss books

Jamberry

moo baa lalala

books by Eric Carl

is your mama a lama

the red ripe strawberry and the big hungry bear

 

these are her favorites right now

post #11 of 23
post #12 of 23

I just want to hop into this discussion to say how THRILLING it is for an author to see her book recommended! I'm the author of NO T. REX IN THE LIBRARY and the proud parent of a profoundly gifted child (IQ 184) who is now 28 and thriving. We spent years worth of days at the library when he was young (okay, I'll own up to the fact that I'm also a librarian :>) and I want to encourage you to just take home stacks of books (mine included, of course) and "try" them.  If you don't capture his interest with any particular book NOW, return to it in the future when he may be more ready for it.

 

I've written several books that are aimed at little guys your son's age and I hope you'll discover them all at your library!

post #13 of 23
Thread Starter 

These are all amazing recommendations! Thank you so much... & I can't wait to get back to the library to try out some new books & approaches!

post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonibuzzeo View Post

I just want to hop into this discussion to say how THRILLING it is for an author to see her book recommended! I'm the author of NO T. REX IN THE LIBRARY and the proud parent of a profoundly gifted child (IQ 184) who is now 28 and thriving. We spent years worth of days at the library when he was young (okay, I'll own up to the fact that I'm also a librarian :>) and I want to encourage you to just take home stacks of books (mine included, of course) and "try" them.  If you don't capture his interest with any particular book NOW, return to it in the future when he may be more ready for it.

 

I've written several books that are aimed at little guys your son's age and I hope you'll discover them all at your library!


Thanks for sharing!  I was the one who recommended your book and I have to share with you how we discovered it.  DD was going through a huge dinosaur kick (at the time T-Rex was her favorite) and so I was looking through the children's section trying to find a good book on dinosaurs.  Anyway, when I found yours I knew we had struck gold and we actually read through it a few times at the library.  A little girl who was a couple of years older than DD sat next to us and also sat through a couple of readings.  Her mom asked if we were going to check it and I said that we were but she wrote down the name for future reference because her daughter was about to throw a tantrum since she didn't want to leave the library without the book  (I actually offered that they could check it out this time but the mom insisted we take it since we had found it first).  I've actually recommended it a number of times on here and we ended up buying since we no longer live in an English speaking country, so we're very familiar with it now! orngbiggrin.gif DD does sometimes get concerned that T-Rex is going to come out of the book but we've made a back-up plan in case that happens.  DD will just tickle him until he can't stop laughing. winky.gif

 

post #15 of 23

My DD, almost 2.5, loves the Little Bear Books, the Frog and Toad books, and the original Adventures of Winnie the Pooh books.  These are also very entertaining for adults, which I consider a major bonus.  I also love reading the Francis books (a Birthday for Francis, Bread and Jam for Francis), but my DD does enjoy these quite as much.  When we check any of those first books out of the library, I end up reading them at least three times a day, every day until they are due back, and often a couple times in a row as well.  

post #16 of 23

Those of you with little ones are so lucky. Enjoy this time. Reading Lorax's list of books has me feeling really nostalgic for those days of snuggling up together with a good picture book.

post #17 of 23

Beatrix Potter?  Or Virginia Burton?  Or McCloskey?  A.A.Milne?

 

Also, check out the Five in a Row booklists, or amblesideonline.org (maybe .com?) for their booklists.

 

I wouldn't insist on reading all the words right now. I tended to tell a shorter version of what I was reading to them, and slowly added more words.  Eventually, they were listening to longer and longer stories.  I also change the vocab and sentence structure to help them understand sometimes. 

post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by physmom View Post




Thanks for sharing!  I was the one who recommended your book and I have to share with you how we discovered it.  DD was going through a huge dinosaur kick (at the time T-Rex was her favorite) and so I was looking through the children's section trying to find a good book on dinosaurs.  Anyway, when I found yours I knew we had struck gold and we actually read through it a few times at the library.  A little girl who was a couple of years older than DD sat next to us and also sat through a couple of readings.  Her mom asked if we were going to check it and I said that we were but she wrote down the name for future reference because her daughter was about to throw a tantrum since she didn't want to leave the library without the book  (I actually offered that they could check it out this time but the mom insisted we take it since we had found it first).  I've actually recommended it a number of times on here and we ended up buying since we no longer live in an English speaking country, so we're very familiar with it now! orngbiggrin.gif DD does sometimes get concerned that T-Rex is going to come out of the book but we've made a back-up plan in case that happens.  DD will just tickle him until he can't stop laughing. winky.gif

 


This makes me so happy! I love the image of both of those little ones lusting after a BOOK.  As a mom, a librarian, and an author, it is my dream come true to have kids broadening their knowledge and experiences with the words and illustrations in a book.  And I am SO relieved that you have a back-up plan in case T. Rex does someday decide to come out of your copy of the book!
Toni

 

post #19 of 23
DS is 23m (almost). He loves the library- he's started calling it the "book museum" & asks to go everyday. He makes a mental list of books he wants; yesterday it was "a planet earth book, a rocket book and a space shuttle book." these are NOT things we can easily find even for slightly older kids, so we are pretty much stuck with stuff for much older kids. He likes the eyewitness books: lots of pictures, lots of description, no story line. It's like reading an encyclopedia. I do have some space books here that are a bit better in the story line department, but those are very wordy but at least describe the processes involved in space travel -definitely geared toward kids much older, like 7 or 8 year olds. But...he knows his rockets, rocket staging, more space shuttle stuff than I do and somehow all of his planets (including "poor Pluto" which is always followed by "NOT a planet").

Trying to find fictional silly stuff he'll sit for is hard. Dr. Suess works, curious George, click clack moo, where the wild things are, the little engine that could (my favorite as a kid - can't stand it now), we're going on a bearhunt, the mitten, stellaluna, the bear snores on, beany (which might be out of print now).... He does like the spot books too. I think he's trying to figure out reading. He "reads" spot to the dog.

We have hundreds of books. It's obscene. And very few are board books. We have no fewer than 10 out from the library at the moment. My mother was a librarian, and as soon as I was pregnant she started collecting books for him, mostly used books.

Have you asked a librarian for help? That's what they are there for. We are on a first name basis with ours - maybe we are THAT annoying :-). They keep asking if he's going to be an astronaut. It's awkward, but they mean well. And I have no doubt that if they come across a book that will "fit" him well, they'll be excited to show it to him unprompted. When I go in they are so excited to show me the new stuff they have. It's really a great relationship with them.
post #20 of 23


I can really relate to that.  DD asks a lot of question about anatomy (she wants to be a Dr she says) but the books out there that I've found are waaaayyy above her level.  She's just not a big fan of a lot of words per page so she gets overwhelmed by those books.  We picked up one on the planets once and she loved going through and naming them but that was about the extent that we got out of the book because there was just too much info per page. 

 

Oh, and DD always have a long list of book wishes but unfortunately we don't have any libraries that carry English books here and very few book stores for that matter too so her requests can only be fulfilled every six months or so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kai28 View Post

DS is 23m (almost). He loves the library- he's started calling it the "book museum" & asks to go everyday. He makes a mental list of books he wants; yesterday it was "a planet earth book, a rocket book and a space shuttle book." these are NOT things we can easily find even for slightly older kids, so we are pretty much stuck with stuff for much older kids. He likes the eyewitness books: lots of pictures, lots of description, no story line. It's like reading an encyclopedia. I do have some space books here that are a bit better in the story line department, but those are very wordy but at least describe the processes involved in space travel -definitely geared toward kids much older, like 7 or 8 year olds. But...he knows his rockets, rocket staging, more space shuttle stuff than I do and somehow all of his planets (including "poor Pluto" which is always followed by "NOT a planet").
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Parenting the Gifted Child
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Parenting the Gifted Child › Great books for "advanced" young toddlers?