September 7, 2015

Little Monkey Reads: Bedtime Favorites

Our night time routine is as much the same as it was when Little Monkey was just itty bitty. Sadly the bedtime reading has only recently become more consistent. Even now our little guy doesn't sleep through the night, and weaning hasn't magically cured him of not waking up at least once at night. This coupled with work meant I was always more tired then not and getting M to sleep, more often than not, wouldn't include a bedtime story.

Over the last three or four months bedtime reading has returned as apart of our routine, and I'm loving seeing how M reacts to the books. He's just three months away from turning two, and he's showing attachment and understanding when prompted during story time.

Little Owl Lost by Chris Haughton (Amazon)

One day Little Owl falls out of his tree while he's sleeping! A squirrel decides to help Little Owl find his Mama Owl in the best way he knows how, through trial and error. The minimalist illustrations and silly misunderstandings between Squirrel and Little Owl make this book Monkey's first pick for bedtime reading. The very first page is Monkey's favorite since he gets to flip it back and forth to see Little Owl accidentally fall from his cosy nest. The first page says, 'Uh oh!' and it's his absolute favorite part. He'll say "Uh! Oh!" and flip the page back and forth over and over before he'll let me continue. On every page he'll point to Little Owl and say "Owl!" When I ask him which characters are which (considering I've read the book to him 100,000 times) he's to the point where he'll say "Bear!" or "Mama!" He absolutely loves this book, and every night I'll tell M, "Let's read the owl story." He gets so happy and will repeatedly say "Owl! Owl!" I plan on buying him Haughton's two other books Shhh! and Oh No, George! just because M likes Little Owl Lost so much. (Shhh! is the winner of the Irma S and James H Black Honor for Excellence in Children's Literature Award.)

Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney (Amazon)

In this sweetly illustrated story Llama Llama becomes worried just as soon as his Mama Llama walks out his bedroom door after their goodnight story. He calls out to her, and she says she'll be up soon. But soon is just not soon enough for Llama Llama! Obviously Llama Llama is already a pretty beloved character with many more books about him. I started introducing Llama Llama books to M pretty early on. This story is just one he seems to enjoy the most. When the book says that Llama Llama gets a kiss from his Llama Mama, M leans over and waits for me to give HIM a kiss! (We've also added that Llama Llama gets a kiss from Dada so Daddy can get in on the goodnight kisses, too. M always waits for me to say "And the Dada." before crawling over to his Dada for a goodnight kiss!) This is another book I can tell he loves because he can't wait to turn the pages, and knows exactly when they should be turned based on where we are in the story. He also always knows just when to lean in a get his baby kisses! I love it! I had to give this book a little break though so M doesn't get too tired of hearing it over and over. 

Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle and illustrator Jill McElmurry (Amazon)

In is very cute story a little truck's loving sweet friendliness causes even a big and 'important' truck to recognize and appreciate the 'small' people in his life. This was one of the books that Little Monkey didn't originally have much interest in. I don't know if it's because it was a little too long for his attention span. But, one day I read it with him and he suddenly enjoyed it. He started pointing to the little blue truck and saying, "Blue", in the most adorable way possible. Really it was one of the first books he started to point and interact with even though it was not one of his favorites.

Bedtime reading is so good for children's development, but honestly I get so much out of just seeing M's reactions to the stories. I love seeing more of his personality shining through in what he likes and doesn't like. I'm sometimes very surprised what catches his attention.

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