For the last ten months, I have had the pleasure of nannying for my sweet baby cousin (A.K.A. Grandchild #20, or G20 for short). Now that he’s going on 18-months-old, he’s getting ready to start daycare as I prepare to start a more corporate job. Before my tenure as his nanny ends, however, I wanted to share with you all some of our favorite board books. We read each of these upwards of six or seven times a day, often over and over again in a row. I know what you’re going to say, “Amanda! You’ve created a monster!” and I, of course, will reply to that by saying YES, I HAVE! A READING MONSTER! MUAHHAHA!!! Because I am so proud of the little reading monster he has already become such a very young age. On that note and in no particular order, here are the top 10 board books that I read every day as a nanny.
#1 – Are You My Mother by P.D. Eastman
A baby bird hatches and cannot find his mother anywhere, so he leaves the nest to search for her.
This was one of my favorites growing up, so I bought it for G20 when he was born. It has quickly become a fan favorite, and I like to think that is t least partially due to my rendition of animal and machine noises to accompany the story.
#2 – Jamberry by Bruce Degen
A boy and a bear go berry picking and end up in a land made of food.
Another childhood favorite, my mom sent this one for G20. His favorite part? Pretending to eat all of the berries!
#3 – The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
A caterpillar is born and eats everything in sight until he becomes so tired that he builds a little house and wakes up to a miracle!
G20’s favorite part of this one is all the foods the caterpillar eats every day. Good for counting, and the foods all have little holes in them where the caterpillar eats through. Great for little fingers!
#4 – Little Blue Truck – by Alice Schertle
Little Blue Truck makes friends with all of the farm animals, and doesn’t hold a grudge against the big dump truck that runs him off the road and then gets stuck in a mud puddle.
An old neighbor sent this because their own boys were loving it. G20 is obsessed with all of the noises we make to go along with this one (especially the dump truck horn)!
#5 – Chicka Chicka Boom Boom – By Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault
The lowercase letters dare each other to climb a coconut tree, but will it hold all of them?
Anyone have this one memorized? *raises hand*
#6 – Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
A little bunny says goodnight to all of the objects in his room.
This story always turns into a game of find the mouse.
#7 – The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper
A little blue engine volunteers to drive toys over a mountain when another train is unable to do so.
Teaching kids they can do anything they put their minds to, no matter their size, since 1930. Props to Piper for first realizing that ‘I think I can, I think I can’ actually sounds like a train going ‘chugga-chugga, chugga-chugga’ and thereby convincing the world’s children that trains are always giving themselves a pep-talk.
#8 – Good Night, Sammy by Cyndy Szekeres
Sammy the fox can’t get to sleep, so his parents sing to his twitchy tail and rocking chair until everything falls asleep, including them!
A good bedtime book, bringing everything down a notch so your child can get off the hyper train and go to sleep.
#9 – Little Hoot – by Am Krouse Rosenthal
Little Hoot just wants to go to bed, but as an owl he must stay up late, late, late! How ever will he manage?
A bit of reverse psychology never hurts. You may recognize the author from being touted on various celebrity Instagram accounts, as her books are loved far and wide. Although Rosenthal passed very recently, she was in the news this past year for setting up an online dating profile for her husband. You can read her essay about it here, but be sure to have a box of tissues nearby, because I just re-read it sitting in the library and now I’m a mess.
#10 – Guess How Much I Love You – Sam McBratney
A father puts his son to bed, but first the baby bunny tries to convince his father that he loves him more.
This book is just adorable. Our grandparents sent it to G20 for his first birthday, and we read it frequently.
What books do your little ones love? Share them below!
Until next time,