Jammy Dance

Jammy Dance is turning out to be the book of the month in our house. If you saw a bit of yourself and your best dog inside a book, you’d love it, too.

sunny3

jammygirl

Reading a lively book like Jammy Dance to B is an experience– and it’s so fun to see her study the pages and figure out all of the ways she can relate to the children as we read.

“Bubbles! Lotsa bubbles. Big towel. Brush your hair. Brush your teeth!” All through the book, she finds similarities to her life. The kids dancing, jumping on the bed, on the couch, but definitely not the part where “Sunny Dog drink toilet… EW.”

With the rhythm of the words, you can’t help but want to do the Jammy Dance with the family in this book. You’ll be wiggling with your little one as you read.

“Snappin’ fingers, stompin’ feet.

Tappin’ toes to keep the beat.

Tossin’ Teddy in the air;

Try to catch him if you dare.”

As the story goes on, you’ll notice the words magically guiding you to s-l-o-o-o-w down as you read…

“Touching hands in sweet ballet,

Holding all the hopes we pray,

Snuggled close inside our beds,

Quiet hearts and sleepy heads.”

As you read that part, I suggest faking a yawn– it might get your little one to realize it might be time for bed, too… unless, of course, they want to do the Jammy Dance one more time. 🙂

Jammy Dance
Rebecca Janni/Illus. Tracy Dockray
Farrar Straus Giroux

Pig Takes A Bath

Last week, I received my weekly BabyCenter email “Your 27 month old.” The emails are filled with things that typical toddlers or babies are up to, about to be doing, or have been doing.

Normally skimmed and deleted, I paused at this one because it was about reading books to your kid. Here are some highlights–

“Five Little Monkeys Sitting in a Tree again?! Oh yes. Reading the same book over and over provides a measure of comfort to preschoolers, who see the familiar characters and plot as an oasis in a world full of unknowns.”

“Re-reading helps your 2-year-old connect the words he hears with the pictures he sees.”

“Hearing the same sentences again and again helps him decode grammar. Your child also gets a rush of confidence when you turn the page and he sees the expected next part of the story…”

And some advice…

“Let your child choose which book to read.” YES. They’re not going to sit still if they’re not interested in that adorable book that you like to read.

“Mask your boredom and read it once again.” Using the same enthusiastic voices over and over can be… challenging.

“He may well want to hear the same story several times in a sitting.”

I thought to myself, “Um… B? Sitting still long enough to do that? Mmm…I doubt it.”

So, the next day we went to Story Time at the library. I grabbed a few books that I thought she’d like (because I don’t exist when a train table is nearby,) and once she saw this little fella, the information from the BabyCenter email practically CAME TO LIFE.

pig takes a bath

I kid you not, we’ve read this SO MANY times… and I’m a little freaked out that the email was so perfectly timed, and pleased that she is precisely in line with something a typical 27 month old does.

In Pig Takes a Bath, little ones learn about the steps that are involved for bath time– all thanks to one muddy, clever pig. It’s time for a bath, but where is the little pig? In the mud, of course! When he’s told it’s bath time, he tries to avoid being captured, but quickly finds himself at the bathtub, going through the steps to get himself all clean.

“Little Pig, here’s the washcloth.

Little Pig, wash between your toes!

Little Pig, it’s time to rinse.”

A board book with an ending that will make your pal laugh, this one is a great read for your toddler to memorize, thanks to a little repetition and big, expressive illustrations of things that are very familiar.

Pig Takes a Bath
Michael Dahl/Illus. Oriol Vidal
Picture Window Books

When your toddler picks out a book that has 192 pages…

…and she sits on the floor and starts flipping through, you go with it. Right?

She whisked this gem off of the bottom shelf this morning at Target. Our Daniel Tiger super fan just had to have it.

192 pages of 12 of her favorite (side note: they’re all her favorite) stories, written so that each one only lasts 5 minutes… catered to busy, busy kiddos?

“Okay, Mug. You can read it in the cart.”

And she did, for the rest of our shopping trip. Win!

(Yeah, I call her Mug. A long line of lovey nicknames warped into that *cough* affectionate, lovingly picked word.)

Usborne Very First Words: Animals

The older B gets, the more fun it is to test her and see what she knows the names of (anything and everything really, and she recently surprised me with “ephalent.”) Like elephants, her love for animals is large– and she loves making the sounds they make. My favorite is her impression of a cat.

It goes something like this… *scrunched face* *deep breath*…

“R—e—aowww!” She looks really sad when she does it, but at the same time she couldn’t be cuter.

What’s your favorite toddler-made animal sound?

animals

Take a second and admire the animals on the front cover of Usborne Very First Words: Animals. How. CUTE. In this board book, your little one will learn the names of many animals, where they live (from the farm to the ocean and around the world,) and even some of the sounds they make. Sprinkled throughout the book are words describing a certain part of the adorable animals– like whiskers, shell, trunk or fin.

Kiddos will love naming (and perhaps pretending to be) all 65 cuddly looking animals and learning the difference between a flipper and a tail. 🙂

Get ready to practice your dolphin noise…

Usborne Very First Words: Animals
Design by Laura Hammonds/Illus. Rosalinde Bonnet
Usborne Publishing

Knuffle Bunny

We’ve been so lucky not to lose B’s Duck. There have been a handful of times that we’ve left Duck at home because “She doesn’t need it,” or “She’s a big girl,” and paid the price…

Flashback to a couple weeks ago when Kyle & I decided it’d be nice to go out on the nearby lake with the fishing boat. We decided, (correction, I decided,) that it wasn’t worth going upstairs to find Duck after B was already in her car seat. (Note: I’m very close to hitting the mark of “third trimester” with Baby #2 and, after all, she’s a big girl… right?)

Oy.

That. was. a. terrible. decision.

Huge tears! “My Duckie! My Duckie!”

Screams! “Duck!” “Where Duck go?!”

Bigger, huger tears!

6-7ish miles later, she saw the lake and decided that she’d temporarily forget about her our betrayal, and focused on going to ride the boat. Phew.

Either this story makes you chuckle and remember a time when your own kids had a dear, stuffed friend, or you’re thinking, “Nah, we won’t do that to our kid.”

Just wait– it will happen to you.

knuffle bunny 2

Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems is so relatable. Sweet Trixie is off with her Dad through their neighborhood to do their laundry while Mom sits on their steps and waves goodbye. She has a good book in hand, and a big smile on her face (I totally understand, Trixie’s Mom.)

Dad & Trixie are having such a good ol’ time at the laundromat that Dad doesn’t notice he snags Knuffle Bunny and puts him in the washing machine (let’s face it, Knuffle Bunny could probably use a good washing anyway…)

*gulp*

Poor Dad.

After experiencing one gargantuan toddler tantrum, Dad & Trixie get home and Mom immediately notices that their friend Knuffle Bunny has gone missing.

Never fear, Mom, Dad AND Trixie end up having a better day– after a race through their neighborhood, of course.

See? Totally relatable.

This Caldecott Honor book is filled with photographs of Booklyn, New York, where Trixie’s funny cartoon family lives.

Knuffle Bunny
Mo Willems
Hyperion Books for Children
*Caldecott Honor

Where Is the Green Sheep?

To those of you who know me, I don’t know where B ever got the idea to hide from someone *cough*, but…

When Kyle gets home from work, she’ll shout, “Daddy home!” run to the window & wave, jump up and down, then urgently whisper…

HIDE.

So, then we hide. It might be in a closet, the laundry room, eyes covered, sitting obviously in the chair, or once (my favorite of her choices)– in the middle of the living room in her new (not fully assembled) wagon covered by a quilt.

b hiding

That Daddy of hers, he’s a good sport. 🙂 “Where could she possibly be?”

Where Is the Green Sheep? caught my eye at the library. I knew our happy hider B would be curious and willing to find someone who is missing– especially since we’ve been on many, many missions to find her beloved Duck.

greensheep

In this book, your little one will meet all kinds of sheep– scared sheep, brave sheep, sun sheep, and rain sheep. There are sheep playing with sand, sheep doing acrobatics, and even snorkeling sheep (think of all of that wet wool…) and still, your little one hasn’t yet seen the (*hint*) sleepy, green sheep!

Your little one will be entertained and so busy meeting the whimsical sheep through rhyme, that you’ll get a few reminders.

“Where is the green sheep?”

Oh yeah, where is that green sheep?

This engaging picture book (AND board book!) is geared towards ages 0-5.

Where Is the Green Sheep?
Mem Fox/Illus. Judy Horacek
Harcourt