We spend a huge portion of play time reading. She has very strong opinions about which story she wants, using her pointing finger to indicate one on the floor—or trying to squirm out of my arms and leap to one on the end table.
Lately, she loves books that do something. If it has flaps, windows, cut-outs, silky fur—or even better, all of the above—she will probably love it.
That means we end up reading some of the same titles a million times in a row. (I’m looking at you, Dog.) I don’t mind, though. Watching her delight in a story gives me all the patience I need. And now that she concentrates hard enough to tug a pull tab and make a piece on the page move, story time is even better.
Here are our favorite interactive children’s books.
Cat, by Matthew Van Fleet. We just gave this to Peeper for her first birthday. As it was created by the same folks behind the runaway hit Dog, I knew it’d be a blast. Proof: Peeper has already torn several pieces, meaning she’s really into it. It includes humor adults will appreciate, too: When a feline tips over a vase, it’s a catastrophe, naturally!
The Robot Book, by Heather Brown. In this charming book, kids get to play with all the parts and pieces of a robot: They can twist a bolt and swing the robot’s arm, for example. I was impressed by how intricate it is: You turn a gear to rotate the robot’s mouth. I like to play with it as least as much as Peeper does.
Count 123. Peeper loves the simple knockout photos, which we practice naming. She also likes lifting the flaps and tracing the numbers, which are recessed into the page. She’s still too little to count, but this would be a terrific book for children learning their numbers. It was a sad day when we had to return this to the library.
Chomp Zoo, by Heather Brown. Ingeniously designed, the same pull tab makes the teeth of a half-dozen animals chomp up and down. Peeper loves moving the teeth and sticking her fingers in the mouths of the creatures. I also love how friendly the animals look. They seem to be barely containing their laughter.
Where’s Spot? by Eric Hill. I remember the many adventures of Spot from when I was little, and I’d go straight for these books whenever we visited the library. I’m so glad Peeper likes the tan doggy, too! She grins every time I say, “Peekaboo!” when she lifts a flap to find not a hiding Spot but another creature. (A snake in the clock and a lion under the stairs—it’s quite the menagerie in this house.)
On My Leaf, by Sara Gillingham. This book combines cut-out windows and a finger puppet in a sweet story about a ladybug and her family. Peeper grabs the soft felt ladybug and sticks her hands through the windows as she turns the page. There’s an entire series like it that features an owl in a tree, a dolphin in the ocean, a monkey in the jungle and more.
What are your favorite books for curious little ones?