Posts Tagged ‘kids books’

Required Reading for a 3-Year-Old

I need some new books for Alden.

He’s never been a big fan of reading, much preferring his cars, swords, and “punch whacking” to anything stationary. Before I had him I’d have told you that would break my heart. Now, though, I enjoy his go-go energy and I get a lot of joy from whatever it is that pleases him. Although I really could do with less punch whacking.

I now know I can enjoy my little ruffian with no sense of loss for the nerdy reader. So maybe we’re demonstrating that if you “just relax” you’ll get what you want (Holla fellow infertiles!). Whatever it is, things have shifted lately. In addition to our nightly bedtime-stalling books Alden has started, occasionally, pulling out his little library at other times. You better believe I’ll let that spaghetti overcook if he wants another round of Goodnight Gorilla. So maybe I still care a little bit.

Since this is new to us I don’t have a great sense of what kid lit gems are out there.

His favorites right now are the aforementioned Goodnight Gorilla, When a Monster Is Born, Courderoy, Thomas and the Something Something Mine, Monster Night at Grandma’s House, and 101 Dalmations. For the Thomas book I skip as much as he’ll let me get away with, because it is B-O-R-I-N-G. For the last two I make up the story and we just look at the pictures.

Which leads me to an important point: Nothing scary. Alden got the real 101 Dalmations once and was HORRIFIED at Cruella’s puppy coat scheme. He does not like anything that threatens or even implies real harm. Not even to bad guys. I am happy to protect his tender version of reality for as long as he prefers it that way. Heck, I prefer it that way.

Fake harm, though, is our sweet spot. Slapstick. Characters falling into swimming pools, bushes, mud puddles or any other mischief are fantastic. Clifford broke the barn? Awesome! In general, animals (and monsters) are more interesting than people. Isn’t that the truth?

Winnie the Pooh is a no-brainer, and he’s already in my Amazon cart. So is Where the Wild Things Are. The Disney oeuvre in general is too scary. Alden is, after all, still asking “Why that mommy would put her baby in a tree?” after they learned some simple songs one day in preschool.

What else? What are the best books for a 3-year-old?