a few of our favorite books right now: samson edition

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i wanted to share a few of samson’s most favorite books today, incase anyone has babes around the same age and are looking for any new reads.  i always love hearing what books kids with similar ages are loving these days, too… so if you have any recommendations, please leave them below!  we try hard to keep our toys and stuffed animals and tiny clutter-y kid things to a minimum and on rotation, but books are something i just can’t pass up.  and i love adding to our collection.


1. chicka chicka boom boom, by bill martin jr. and john archambault.  i had actually never heard of this book until a few months ago when we read it for eleanor’s play school class.  now, samson actually requests it every night before bed.  i think he likes the “boom boom” part, and the rhythmic text is so fun to chant as all the letters race up the coconut tree. it’s very playful and a fun way to learn our letters together.


2. the little engine that could, by watty piper.  gosh, i love this one.  i don’t think there is a better message in a book, than to not be afraid to try, and look at what you can do when you do try! we recite the phrase, “i think i can! i think i can!” a lot at our house.  there are many things in life that are difficult or we don’t think we can do, but you never know until you try. and i sure hope my children always help others and try.  also, it’s unfortunate, but several pages are missing from our copy because samson is so obsessed with trains these days he has torn a few pages out here and there so he could carry them around with him.  that’s something else i hope i’m able to teach my children, to take care of books! kind of behind on that one, though.


3. my very first book of colors, by eric carle.  we have several of eric carle’s books and i love them just as much as my littles do.  this book of colors is fun because it’s all about matching the color on the top half with the fun picture on the bottom half.  there is even a red firetruck in there! and you better believe we somehow land on that firetruck more than 4 times when samson is turning the pages.  (ps. what did you do to teach your children colors? with eleanor, it came so easy. she seemed to pick it up as we’d recite “this grape is the color purple…. ” etc during our day.  it’s been a bit more tough to get colors to stick with samson. any suggestions?)

samsons4 4. charley harper 123s, by charley harper.  we love charley’s bright and colorful illustrations at our house, and there are some of the most beautiful wildlife images on each page to accompany the numbers, one through ten.  this page of creatures crawling, is samson’s favorite. maybe it’s because he can count to 5 really well! when we get to number six, we still sometimes get a little lost. ;)

ps. a few of our favorite interactive books here.

  1. Jessica

    I have an almost 2 year old and his favorites are anything from the Llama, Llama series, Go Dog Go, Is Your Mama a Llama?, and Little Blue Truck books. We love to read here too!

  2. andrea

    Giraffes Can’t Dance- Giles Andreae is a really sweet story about a giraffe that finally learns to dance.

    It’s Time to Sleep My Love- Nancy Tillman

    Chick N Pug- Jennifer Sattler.

    Just some of our current faves. We’re also really into the “”A Baby Lit’ right now for fun counting and a little exposure to the classics.

    The ones you mentioned are some of our faves too.

  3. Sara

    I love that Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is still a beloved book with kids! My brother and I loved that book when we were little! (Now we are 25 and 22!) How fun!

  4. i think books are always the exception. i don’t have children yet but i’ve been buying books for them since i got married. i have a full shelf dedicated ;)

    these look fun! i hope s & e are having a blast learnin with you, mama!

  5. Caryn

    Fun picks! Our oldest daughter is two and we have some of the same favorites here currently. Unfortunately, with the Little Engine That Could, her favorite phrase to repeat is the tired engine’s refrain, “I cannot. I cannot. I cannot.” Not sure how to reverse that!

    Some more of her current favorites are Taxi Dog (which is great for NYC kids!), The Great Day by Taro Gomi, and Up! by Kristine O’Connell George.

    P.S. We actually passed you in Central Park last weekend on Mother’s Day! I was so surprised to recognize your kids and then you. Next time I’ll try to be courageous enough to say hi. :)

  6. Ceniza

    Those are my kids faves too (except the last one, I never heard). Try look for Pete The Cat series, those are fun and they have songs for it (look at youtube), and The Dark by Lemony Snicket also nice (my almost 2 y.o lobe it so much)

  7. Kinsley

    My little brother is a couple of years older (4) but he loves Mo Willems “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!”. All the grown-ups love it too. Anything from that series usually has the whole house cracking up. Even my 16 year old sister who is often “too cool” these days to be seen with us can’t hide her smile.

  8. My niece and nephew have an immerse book collection…and I actually enjoy reading them myself!! I love to read to them..at bedtime….when I see them,…my parents never read to me and my siblings..and they didn’t really place much importance on books…but I feel quite strongly that books are important for a childs development and creativity…and actually throughout your life!


  9. Megan

    Thank you so much for doing these! I’m always on the lookout for new books for my little guy (10 months). His library is rapidly expanding with all of your suggestions!

  10. Erin

    Our son is 16 months. Right now his favorites are The Jungle Book (BabyLit board book), The Little Blue Truck, and just this morning I caught him “reading” Moo Baa Lalala to himself. But yeah, that BabyLit Jungle Book is his absolutely favorite – he likes to go through the pages and make the animal noises. When he gets to Shere Khan and growls….so cute!

  11. Any of the Dr Seuss books for my 22 month old- with the cartoon that’s on now he’s obsessed with anything to do with “The Cat.”

  12. Mandi R

    I never made a big deal about colors or teaching them. I just include it in our daily conversation. “Do you like Momma’s purple shirt?” “Would you like a red plate or a yellow plate.””Can you hand me a purple grape?”. And… so on.
    In a similar way we count everything starting very early on. As I put things on their plate/tray starting around age 1 I count them out in groups of 5. Our 2.5 year old now likes to tell me she wants 5 of something by asking for “2 then 3” or “1 then 4”.
    It amazes me what they will just pick up on their own when you include it as part of daily life and make it something they need to learn.

  13. Kinsey

    I have an almost 2-year-old and 5-year-old and we read to them every night together so we like books that can be for both age groups (although we still like to challenge our oldest with more learning books). Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is one of our favorites for both kiddos!


  14. Hannah

    My almost 2 year old’s favorites are:

    Tumble Bumble ( I HIGHLY recommend) by Felicia Bond

    Go Dogs Go by P.D. Eastman

    Doggies by Sandra Boyton

    Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker & Tom Lichtenheld

    And anything and everything to do with trains. :)

  15. Sandy

    If you like Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, you should check out Poet’s House in Battery Park City’s story time on Thursday’s at 10am. The guy does that story something awesome.

  16. Allison

    So cute. I don’t have any kids yet, but I do know a couple of those books. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom was one of my favorites. My absolute favorite when I was young was Corduroy, espeically A Pocket for Corduroy,

    Allison over at Allison’s Eye

  17. Noelle

    The Little House- virginia lee burton (my all time favorite!)
    The boy who was raised by librarians- Carla Morris
    Books are just the best!


  18. Erin

    Thank you for the great recommendations! My son is turning two on Saturday so these are right up his alley. Like Samson, my Eddie loves the Chicka Chicka books and he’s obsessed trains.

    Have you ever read Owen by Kevin Henkes? Eddie asks for it before his nap and at bedtime. I’m frankly getting a little sick of it but he adores it. ;)


  19. Nicole

    Aw, I read Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and The Little Engine That Could to my nanny babes every.single.day. Lovely memories are made. Books are fantastic. Another one they love is Corduroy :)

  20. My son is 3 1/2 and my daughter will be two in July and they are in love with the Pout Pout Fish series by Deborah Diesen and the Olivia Pig books by Ian Falconer. I’m the same way, toys to minimum but books galore!

  21. marie

    Great books! Don’t Worry, Samson will learn the colors soon. It might not be of interest to him now, hence his reluctance in learning the colours.. But soon he’ll be able to recognize the different colors! ;)


  22. Alexandra

    what a wonderful mother you are! be sure that your kids will always help others because you teach them so well. not all mothers read books to their children nowadays, very often cartoons substitute books. i absolutely adore the way you repeat with your children all those words about trying. i am sure that you kids will grow up into creative, independent beings with personal opinion.

    with the best wishes from Ukraine!

  23. Kayla

    My little one loves Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel as well as Lyle, Lyle Crocodile. Classics.

  24. Alexandra

    what a wonderful mother you are! be sure that your kids will always help others because you teach them so well. not all mothers read to their children nowadays, very often cartoons substitute books. and i absolutely adore the way you repeat with your children all those words about trying. i am sure that your kids will grow up into creative, independent beings with personal opinion.

    with the best wishes from Ukraine!

  25. Emily M

    My son turned 2 in February and his current faves include:
    – Don’t Push the Button
    – Harold and the Purple Crayon
    – Hop on Pop
    – Down to the Sea with Mr. Mageee
    – I Love You Daddy
    – Room on the Broom
    – Giraffes Can’t Dance

    We don’t have Chicka Chicka Boom Boom but I’m putting it on the must buy list :)

  26. Audrey

    Awe! How sweet! I just bought “My Very First Book of Colors” for a friend.

    I also think the Gossie& Friends Series is really good for young toddlers. It’s simple and fun.

    This is such a sweet post! :)


  27. Jordan

    Those are two of our favorite reads currently now as well! WE love that Charley Harper book. I was rather surprised she would like it so much (as my daughter is only 21 months old) but I think she loves the colors of the illustrations, so vibrant and colorful.

  28. Sara Owem

    Thanks for sharing Taza and other mommas! We bought Tap the Magic Tree after you suggested it, and we love it! My son is 2.5 (so kind of between E + S), but some of our faves are:

    •Each Peach Pear Plum by Allan Ahlberg
    • Little Pea by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
    •Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin
    •How Will We Get to the Beach/Brigitte Luciani

  29. Jasmine

    Hello, sweetie!
    I learned to read with the Dr. Seuss Beginners collection, they are still some of my favorite books today. I think it encourages flow/creativeness and you also get the rhyming words. With teaching Samson colors, maybe you could give him a button pin to wear everyday and the color of the pin will change either everyday, every few days or every week depending on what you think would be best and how quickly he catches on. (You could cut out some different color circles and attach a safety pin or buy some color pins).

    Love & Light!

  30. Kate

    I’m a speech-language pathologist and I can’t tell you how important reading to your little ones is. Teaching a love of books is one of the most powerful things you can do for a child.

    An understanding of colors is not expected until a child is 3-4, so don’t sweat it! :)

  31. Kristin, Ava, & Jack

    After reading your numerous posts you and the munchkins would love, “The Odd One Out” by Britta Teckentrup. It is an absolutely unique and whimsical book that encourages an appreciation for the animal art and invites little readers to find or spot very specific details on each page. for instance, “where is the shy little shrimp” or “which bird caught the worm?”. Enjoy!

  32. Ginger

    Freight Train by Donald Crews got my little man to learn his colors. He’s also a huge fan of The Little Blue Truck books

  33. Thank you for the great recommendation!

  34. Oh gosh, my little guy loves Eric Carle. Especially ‘Brown Bear, Brown Bear’. I love how it’s hardback and he can’t rip out the pages!

    Thanks for all the other recommendations! We’re always on the lookout for new reads.

    Maria xx

  35. Abbey

    I read this interesting article on how kids learn colors faster in languages where the adjective comes after the noun. I found this to be true with my own daughter too. She is just a week or two younger than Samson but she knows all her colors in spanish well but not as well in English. The article suggested trying to say things in English like “this is a bike and it’s red” to switch the order to help. We tried that in English and it did seem to make a difference. She’s got almost everything now but red and green which she constantly mixes up. :)

  36. Heidi

    I taught first grade for three years before I had my baby last May. I love children’s books!! She just turned one, so focusing for books is hit or miss right now, but these are some books I love and my first graders all loved.

    *The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and The Big Hungry Bear (Audrey and Don Wood)
    *Quick as A Cricket (Audrey Wood)
    *Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing (Judi Barrett)
    *Maybe A Bear Ate It (Robie Haris) [I used this when teaching about taking care of our books]

    You can also play the “find something yellow/red/etc” game to help with colors, or color a picture together and “color a yellow taxi” or “color a red fire truck” or “purple grape” etc.

  37. ALICE

    LOVE IT!

    Kisses from Italy dear


  38. Samantha

    The Pout Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen is a huge hit with my 2 and a half year. Super fun!
    We are going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury
    I love you Stinkyface by Lisa McCourt
    Toy Boat by Randall de Seve and Loren Long
    These books are awesome and encourages interaction etc.
    PS we read chicka chicka every night, too!

  39. Courtney

    My son had a bit of trouble learning colors initially. I actually thought he might have color blindness (which is definitely a possibility in my family), but especially for boys in general. During that time I learned that boys can actually have color blindness while younger and eventually “grow out of it.” However, I will say that when we bought Candy Land he seemed to pick up on colors a lot more quickly!

    The main thing is to just remember that all littles are different, and just continue to teach him how you have been and he’ll catch on at some point.

  40. Taylor

    Chicka, Chicka, Boom, Boom is my favorite kid’s book! That colors book is also fabulous!


  41. marci

    it’s possible that samson is having a hard time learning colors because he’s color blind. it affects boys way more than girls. one of my friends didn’t find out he was colorblind until kindergarten – he would read the names of the colors on the crayons to figure out what color they were…and that’s how they knew. he wasn’t slow, just color blind! :)

  42. Madalaine

    My mum taught me and my brother colours using smarties (english m&ms). If we got the color right, we got to eat it! xx

  43. ciara

    :) new follower . I’m in love with all your book choices! I’m not sure how soon you can tell if your child is color blind but could this be a possibility? I don’t have children yet so i don’t know.

  44. Meagan

    My son is Eleanor’s age and he loves books. Some of our favorites that both of your littles would probably enjoy are …

    Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell

    Duck on a Bike by David Shannon

    Hey Mr. Choo Choo, Where are you going? by Susan Wickberg

    I’m Your Bus by Marilyn Singer

    The Monster at the End of this Book by Grover

    Night Light by Nicholas Blechman

    The Three Bears by Byron Barton (perfect for toddlers)

  45. Mark

    Where to buy this Book ?
    Can I buy it from Amazon ?

  46. eric carle was always a favourite of mine! when i look back to his books i remember why. what a talent he is!

  47. Maria

    Have just discovered your blog. Its beautiful :)
    Love the “my very first book of colours” and will have to find it at my local bookstore. I’m always on the hunt for new and interesting books for my son. We do read a lot but he is still very little, this book definitely looks like one he would love. Thanks for sharing :)


  48. Sarah S.

    My son is 2 and loves any and all Sandra Boynton books, especially “Hippos Go Berserk.” Added bonus: my 2 year old can now pronounce ‘hippopotamus’ perfectly! :) The books are so goofy and fun, my husband and I love them too!

    Also, you mentioned Eric Carle so I’m sure it’s in your library already, but “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” is also a great choice for this age.

  49. Melissa

    Pete the Cat–I love my white shoes!

    I worked at a childcare center for 2 years and this was my absolute FAVORITE book to read to the kids. we turned the main part of the book into a little song and the kids LOVED when the teachers and I would do Pete’s silly voice.

    the absolute best.

  50. hanna

    All of these seem great for a young boy –Hanna Lei

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  52. Rachel

    I think the Little Engine That Could is a favorite at one time or another for toddlers. My brother was obsessed with that book when he was little and usually when my son and I read books together, he always requests this one.


  53. Vanessa

    I don’t have any little ones (nor am I planning on it anytime soon) but these books definitely spark some memories from my childhood! Samson has some good taste! ;)

  54. Ashlee

    My son also loves chica chica boom boom. He wants to take it with him everywhere. But I have known about that book for a long time as I remember my mom reading it to me when I was a kid. I love getting to share it with my kids now :)

  55. Hannah

    You HAVE to get the day the crayons quit. Hands down one if the funniest childrens books!

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