Everyday Parenting · Parenting

Little G’s Bookclub Series: One rad toddler shares her top five books

G reaches for book

Little G is an avid reader. She comes by it honestly, since her mom is an English Lit major who buys more books than she can read in a lifetime. G has books stored around the house so she can dive into a story whenever the mood strikes her. Our collection is vast and ever growing, but there are a few titles G comes back to again and again. These titles change every few weeks or so, so today we are sharing G’s current top five picks. They are all wonderful books for toddlers. We hope you’ll follow along with us, and discover new titles that you’ll enjoy as much as we do!

1. Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty

Ada Twist, Scientist

G loves: The cat; nose-picking; seeing Ada standing on a chair (because, yeah, my daughter is the rare combination of bookworm and thrill-seeker…).

I love: Seeing female characters enjoying science; the diversity of the students in Miss Greer’s grade two classroom; the nods to Ada Lovelace and Marie Curie.

This is a fantastic book. I’ve read it at least twice a day for the past month or so, and I’m not even bored of it yet. I think my favourite part of Andrea Beaty’s books (see also, Rosie Revere, Engineer below) is how she champions the process rather than the result. In this book, Ada Twist is trying to discover the source of a stink. She comes up with several hypotheses, but **spoiler alert** at the end of the story, she still hasn’t solved the problem. What’s important is Ada’s perseverance and love for the scientific method. It is exactly the sort of lesson I want to instill in my brilliant kid.

2. Canada ABC by Paul Covello

Canada ABC

G loves: Reading along and identifying the different animals and objects (especially the trains and the Inukshuk).

I love: The illustrations; the opportunity to talk to G about the different things that make our country unique (although there’s no way she understands the concept of Canada as a country at this point).

I have a hard time verbalizing why I love the images in this book so much. They are so quintessentially Canadian, and yet somehow resist looking too stereotypical. The bold colours and simple lines are perfect for holding the attention of a toddler, and G loves finding all the animals hiding in the pictures.

3. Moo by Matthew Van Fleet

Moo book

G loves: The animals (of course); the rubber duck.

I love: The fact that it can be a quick read if you’re in a rush to get your kid down to sleep, or a fun way to spend some time, playing with animal sounds and sensory fabrics.

When it comes to books for toddlers, you can’t go wrong with farm animals. For some reason, having your kid learn all the animal sounds is an important developmental milestone. Really, what is the benefit of knowing what the pig says? But I digress. . . This book is a favourite of our This Bumpy Adventure kiddos. The photographs are adorable, and the mixture of flaps, pull tabs, fabrics, and even a little squeaky rubber duck are a surefire way to delight toddlers.

4. Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty

Rosie Revere, Engineer

G loves: The airplanes; the cob of corn, tennis balls, and tools; the tiny owl inside a cup. (Side note: she is also strangely fascinated by the decapitated doll that appears on several of the pages. . .)

I love: Reading about the history of women in aviation; seeing my daughter get excited about drills and measuring tape; exploring the difference between turboprops and jets (yes, Rosie Revere allows for many teachable moments if you take the time to peruse).

The illustrations of this book are fantastic, and if your toddler’s as absorbed in tiny details as mine, he or she will love scanning Rosie’s collection of treasures in her engineer’s stash. Both Rosie Revere, Engineer and Ada Twist, Scientist (see above) are fairly long books, but my toddler doesn’t mind if I skip half the words while she’s counting the airplanes in Rosie’s room. Like Ada Twist, Rosie focuses on process and perseverance. When Rosie’s flying machine crashes, her great-great-aunt insists, “the only true failure can come if you quit.” All the fun is in imagining and creating–the end result is just a bonus. I can only hope my daughter will be drawn to more books like this as she gets older.

5. I’d Really Like to Eat a Child by Sylviane Donnino

I'd Really Like to Eat a Child

G loves: The bananas; the crocodiles; the part where the little girl picks up Achilles and says, “Coochie-coochie-coo!” and I promptly tickle G’s belly.

I love: The real talk.

Okay, I admit it. I bought this book for myself. The fact that G loves it is just an added bonus. I saw it on the shelf at The Swag Sisters’ Toy Store about a year ago, and I just had to buy it. Like many books for toddlers, this one teaches some important life lessons. Primarily, that crocodiles are dangerous and, when given the chance, they will try to eat small children. But the other takeaway is that eating a good breakfast will help you to grow big and strong so you can accomplish your goals. I think my favourite part of this book, though, is G chanting “eat a child, eat a child” over and over when she wants me to read it.

G reading

Want to find some more empowering reads for rad kiddos? Stay tuned for the next instalment of Little G’s Book Club! In the meantime, I always find a ton of great suggestions at the A Mighty Girl  website. Want to read more about Little G? Check out my previous post here!

Have you read any of Little G’s picks? Do you love them? Hate them? What are your kiddos reading right now? Share in the comments!

I live in a hundred-year-old East York semi with my daughter G and husband Geoff. My average day is spent chasing after my very active toddler in our perpetually-under-construction home while Geoff travels for work. I enjoy good food and good books, travelling, and writing. My passion for baking is constantly at war with my desire to eat nutritious food, and I hate to exercise but love to feel strong.

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