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Challenge: Reading Together

Beyond Goodnight Moon: Favorite Unique Toddler Book Recommendations

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Snuggling with our children before bed and reading stories can be some of the best quality time spent with our littles, especially on busy weeknights. Not only is this time great for bonding, but by reading to our children, we are increasing their vocabulary, teaching and providing confidence for their own reading abilities, and helping their imaginations soar. Your child may love hearing the same story over and over, but sometimes it’s not a bad thing to introduce a new soon-to-be favorite as well. Below are some of our team’s favorite unique toddler books your little is sure to love as much as ours do!

  1. Princesses Wear Pants by Allison Oppenheim and Savannah Guthrie – A book that fights the stereotype that girls are made up of “sugar and spice, and everything nice” by telling a story of a strong Princess that exercises, holds science fairs and at the end saves the day. Favorite Line: “’But I wear pants,’ she said, ‘’cause I’ve got things to do.’”
  2. Good Night Our World series by Adam Gamble – Each book is centered on a location, animal, thing or idea and begins with “Good Morning” and ends with “Good Night”. The book focuses on all things related to that topic. Lilladu Favorite: Good Night Maine, of course!
  3. LMNO Peas by Keith Baker – This is a fun interactive book that takes you through the alphabet while associating words with the letter. It’s a great flow that you can turn into song (or even rap if you’re feeling adventurous!) Lilladu Tip: There’s a ladybug hidden on each page so have your little one find it before moving on to the next one!
  4. Hug Time by Patrick McDonnell – This is a cute little story about a cat making his way through the world one hug at a time. The best part about this book is you might get to sneak a few extra hugs from your little one.
  5. I Love You Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt – Besides the heartwarming message that moms love their children unconditionally, the best part of this book are the creative creatures the child imagines from one page to the next. Lilladu Tip: This book is great for playing around with funny voices! Your kids will love it!
  6. Pajama Time by Sandra Boynton – Perfect length nighttime read that tells the story of going to bed in a fun, rhyming, catchy way. Lilladu Tip: Have your kids recite the line “it’s pajama time” though out the story and lower your voice as you say “pajama time” at the end of the story.
  7. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault – A popular and catchy alphabet book that toddlers just love. It’s great for learning letters, capital and lowercase. Plus kids love saying the “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom” part. Favorite Line: “Dare double dare you can’t catch me, I’ll beat you to the top of the coconut tree.”
  8. Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion - Classic story about a dog who runs away to have fun and get dirty but realizes he would much rather be at home, even if it means getting clean in the tub. Great for teaching kids why doing things they may not want to ultimately is a good thing.
  9. The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson - Amusing story about a mouse who overcomes sticky situations by outsmarting his opponents. Lilladu Tip - They made a movie out of this book that is currently on Netflix the kids can enjoy in conjunction with reading for a fun-filled Gruffalo day!
  10. Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton – A modern classic book that will surely satisfy your little’s thirst for construction vehicles. This story teaches the importance of true friendship, courage and positive results when not giving up. Lilladu Tip: Originally written in the 1930s, save this one to read with grandparents as it surely was part of their childhood as well!


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