Our favorite children’s books: Books to say “no” to

Pretty much the day Peeper turned two, she rediscovered the word “no”—and all its power (to refuse, to state her opinion, to frustrate her parents…). Nowadays, one of her most used responses is the “no-yes,” an expression unique to toddlers who simultaneously refuse and demand things like popsicles and bunny crackers.

It makes sense, then, that Peeper delights in books that give voice to this milestone. Here, then, are some titles your little one can say “no” to again and again.

Favorite Children's Books to Say No To


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The 10 Best Unconventional Alphabet Books: What we’re reading

The 10 Best Unconventional ABC BooksI am so sick of “X is for xylophone.”

I get it. There aren’t many words that start with x. And “X is for xenopus” will likely garner blank stares from the preschool set.

But when you read books to kids nonstop, the tedium of alphabet books can become A is for aggravating.

So here is me being H is for helpful. Nab these unorthodox alphabet books the next time you’re at the library. You and your kids will love breaking free of the predictability of A to Z. Read more

Our favorite children’s books

Several times a day, Edie and I sit together in the rocking chair and snuggle up with a book. Sometimes she squirms and cries before we get even a few pages in; other times we go through a stack before she’s satisfied.

This time together is important, according to the Association for Library Service to Children: Not only does reading to very young babies teach them to love books, it makes them more prepared to start school than children who didn’t grow up reading.

Research aside, reading aloud to Peeper—both now and even before she was born—is fun. These are a few of our favorite books.

Baby FacesBaby Faces, by Margaret Miller. Peeper laughs out loud when we break out this board book. She giggles at the other babies; her favorite is a little boy sticking out his tongue. We talk about the kids’ expressions, imagine what might have prompted them (“Yum-yum, I love peas!”) and name the different parts of their faces. We usually read it three times in a row!

fox in soxFox in Sox, by Dr. Seuss. I’m with Mr. Knox, sir, on this one—the tongue twisters are tough! Peeper cranes her neck to look up at me and puzzle out the linguistic acrobatics. She gets an extra-big kick out of me trying to read the parts about the beetle battles, which are my favorite, too.

when i was bornWhen I Was Born, by Isabel Minhos Martins. This story imagines discovering the world from a child’s perspective: beginning to hear, smell, taste, see and touch the world outside the womb. “When I was born I did not know there was a sky or that the sky could change or that clouds were so beautiful. When I was born everything was new. Everything was about to start.” Vibrant illustrations by Madalena Matoso match the beauty and poetry of the words.

Hola JalapenoHola Jalapeño!, by Amy Wilson Sanger.  A book dedicated to Mexican cuisine? Yes, por favor! I know Edie is still chowing on pureed peas and squash, but it’s never too early to learn about tacos, burritos, guacamole and horchata. Am I right? Plus, the rhymes are so catchy I recite them to myself days after we read it.

What are your favorite children’s books?