Read. Read. Read. Repeat. | East Texas Moms

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As many parents know, their kiddos love to be read the same books over and over.  Sometimes four to five times a night, and if you’re lucky… maybe more. I have compiled a list of Jackson’s (our 3-year-old’s) favorite books.

I am in no way a professional, but I think that kids love books that rhyme and have a sing-song rhythm. The books on this list are all easy to read and have a rhyming flow.

So let’s get this book party started.

Holiday Themed books:

  1. The Spooky Express Texas – Written by Eric James, this book is fun and exciting. It rhymes and can almost be sung, if you’re feeling wild.  It’s the story of two children who hop aboard a train, which to their surprise has ghouls, goblins, witches, bats and more on it. It flies through cities in Texas kids may recognize, and it’s a good way to teach about cities throughout Texas.  On their adventure the kids and passengers encounter problems that keep them from Halloween festivities, but they find ways to work together and overcome these obstacles and save Halloween.  The book is also filled with ways to be theatrical, making noises and gestures. It’s filled with great graphics and its age range is 4 – 10 years.
  2. Little Blue Truck’s Halloween – The Little Blue Truck series is by Alice Schertle.  The series is amazing and we love it; it has a book for every holiday and more.  The Halloween one is our favorite by far.  It’s about a little blue truck going to a Halloween party and all his animal friends he invites along the way.  This book rhymes so it can be sung.  It teaches sounds the animals make and you and your child can make the noises together.  It’s also a lift-a-flap book so your child can lift the flap and see the animal.  It’s a fun, interactive book for you and your child and its age range is baby – 3 years.
  3. Construction Site on Christmas Night– This book is by Sherry Duskey Rinker.  This book is about all the work being done on a big city construction site on Christmas Eve. Each piece of equipment has a job to do in order to get the new fire station built for the new fire crew to be housed.  It focuses on each piece of equipment, like the crane, the excavator, the bulldozer, and more.  Our son loves it because after each section it says “Merry Christmas, excavator… crane… truck… Goodnight!” and he repeats each one with us.  This book is visually pleasing and the drawings are pretty and eye catching.  The book has onomatopoeia, too, so you can ‘vroom and roaaarr’ with your kiddo.  This book’s age range is 3 – 5.

Non-holiday themed books:

  1. Said the Kitty to the Cat– This book is by Vincent Spada and Steve Whitlow.  This is one of Jackson’s absolute favorites.  My mom bought it for him at the Dollar Store when my husband was inpatient at MD Anderson.  It’s special for us because it brought smiles and sense of joy during a difficult time.  It’s about kitten and a cat (a mother and her kitten) that find a box of candies from their owner.  There is only one problem… they can’t open the box.  They go through a few different friends to try and get the box open but their friends can’t help due to various problems.  Finally the owner comes home and helps them out.  It’s a sweet and cutesy book.  The drawings are in soft, pretty colors.  You can read it in an upbeat tempo, a singsong tempo or a soft slow tempo.
  2. How Do Dinosaurs Go to School? – This book is by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague.  It’s about a dinosaur going to school and the book asks how the dinosaur goes to school and while there, how does he act? Your kiddo can answer.  It rhymes and has an upbeat tempo. My mom actually rapped this book to our 3-year-old and he loved it.  We discovered this one at our little community library.  The age range on this book is 5 – 6 years.
  3. Steggie Makes a Friend – This book is by Guy Gilchrist.  Jackson loves this book.  It was mine when I was a child.  The inside cover has my name inscribed by my mom.  It’s about a shy little dinosaur who has trouble making friends.  He encounters a LOUD and boisterous Plateo and because Steggie is so shy, he doesn’t know how to talk to Plateo and Steggie shyly says nothing.  Feeling rejected, Plateo gets angry and destroys Steggie’s sand castle.  But, the two soon talk it out. Steggie says it was shyness and Plateo says it was his anger, and they make friends, come together, and build a new, bigger sand castle.  It’s a good lesson in having different personalities and that it’s good to talk about the problems you’re having.  Jackson loves it and he will shout “STEGGIE!”  You can read it in a slow tempo or you can speed it up, make noises and big fun gestures.  The age range is 4 – 7.

I hope this will help you when selecting books for you and your tot.  There are so many children’s books out there it can get overwhelming seeing them all.  Hopefully this list will help! Happy Reading to you and yours!


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Marie Murphy was raised in East Texas. She got her degree in Family and Child Development and Psychology from Stephen F. Austin State University in 2006. Marie worked for the Adult Protective Services as an investigator and then at Community Healthcore as a caseworker. She met her amazingly wonderful husband, Frank, in 2013. She is now a stay at home mama to their beautiful 3-year-old, Jackson; he loves exploring, climbing, being outside and entertaining…to say the least and she has two bonus kids; Ben studying psychology in college and Elliot playing varsity tennis in high school. Marie also takes care of 2 cats, 2 dogs and a fish. She loves being with her family, hosting dinners, laughing, talking with friends, working out, being outdoors, cooking and writing.

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