Miss Spider’s Tea Party, by David Kirk. Whenever my daughter lets me choose bedtime books, I reach for this lovely book. The art is gorgeous, and the verse flows off the tongue with rhymes like:
Her friends were glad to watch her feast
Upon the floral centerpiece.
It was a great relief to see
She ate just flowers and drank just tea.
Fox in Socks, by Dr. Seuss. Unlike the quiet poetry of Miss Spider’s Tea Party, Fox in Socks is a fun read-aloud because of its many tongue twisters. Dr. Seuss’s silly rhymes demand to be read aloud for maximum enjoyment.
Barnyard Dance!, by Sandra Boynton. Honestly, all Sandra Boynton books belong on this list for their hilarious rhymes and adorable illustrations. Boynton’s books are guaranteed to be a hit with the toddler set.
Go Away, Big Green Monster!, by Ed Emberley. This book empowers little listeners to make the title monster disappear. The first half of the book is filled with die-cuts that make a monster face appear piece by piece. In the second half of the book, kids can shout “Go away!” as they turn the pages to remove the monster’s features one by one until the entire monster is gone.
Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, by Mo Willems. Much like Go Away, Big Green Monster!, this book lets kids take control. The pigeon remains persistent in his goal of driving the bus, while kids get to tell him, “No!”
The Louds Move In, by Carolyn Crimi, illustrated by Regan Dunnick. All is quiet on Earmuffle Avenue until the Loud family moves in. This is a great book for reading aloud simply because of the loud voices you can make while reading it.
“STOP PUTTING OATMEAL IN THE BABY’S HAIR!” Ma Loud yelled.
“WHERE’S MY CLEAN UNDERWEAR, FOR PETE’S SAKE?” Pa Loud bellowed. “THE BABY’S EATING OUT OF THE GARBAGE!” Barney Loud shouted.
“WAAAAH!” Baby Loud cried.
Pumpkin Soup, by Helen Cooper. This one is a favorite in our house. Cat, Duck, and Squirrel live together in a cabin in the woods. Duck tries to shake them out of their usual soup-making routine, and ends up running off. This tale of friendship and teamwork is paired with gorgeous illustrations that can be discussed endlessly as you read.
Goodnight Moon, by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Clement Hurd. When I first read this book to my infant daughter, I didn’t see what the big deal was. Then I read it to her the next night, and the night after that, and pretty soon it became part of our nightly bedtime ritual. Saying good-night to everything in the little bunny’s room is the perfect end to the day.