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Toddler Reading Program - Early Literacy for Young Children

Reading is a foundation for all learning. The statement “Reading is fundamental” is essential to every child’s success. Early literacy is so important to us because toddlers who are read to develop a larger vocabulary, learn to read quicker and have better success in school. In addition to being fun, daily reading also expands your toddler’s imagination, helps them learn about the world around them and encourages empathy.

Read It Again....Sound familiar? ....to us too. Did you know that reading the same book over and over again to your child helps them recognize and understand new words, encourages them to anticipate what happens next and repetition helps them identify patterns? Don’t be discouraged or loathe reading the same book over and over again.

Join us as we journey through some of our favorite Read, Read and Reread toddler books 

Found a nook, ready to journey through some good books,

Llama Llama Time to Share by Anna Dewdney:


When the Gnu family comes for a visit Llama Llama is faced with a circumstance he’s not quite prepared for. Sharing! What happens when Nelly Gnu plays with fuzzy Llama, his favorite toy? Join us for this read along as we learn important life lessons and social skills.

We recommend the Llama Llama series for parents that need a visual and words for sharing, caring, friendship, and taking turns. 


Extended Lessons:


Your little one may have a difficult time in this area. The author perfectly identifies childhood emotion. Making it the perfect opportunity to demonstrate and explain feelings.

Goodnight Grizzle Grump by Aaron Blecha


This is a perfect choice for toddlers. With bold and creative illustrations that will surely catch your child’s attention. It is a lively read aloud about a grizzly that only wants to sleep. Will he ever find the rest he needs? What makes this a fun read aloud are the funny sounds the woodland creatures make. It will surely bring a smile to your toddlers face. This book is perfect for age 1 to grade 2. Child Reading level 4-8.


Extended lesson:


  • Lessons about the seasons
  • B is for bear
  • Bears and hibernation
  • Difference between noisy and quiet  
  • The importance of rest. 

Clip Clop by Nicola Smee


Do you have an animal lover? Clip Clop is a nice simple book your toddler will want to hear again and again. It’s use of repetitive words allows the child to become an active participant during read along time. 


Extended lessons: 


•Allow child to fill in the words
•Identifying simple text
(I.e. dog, cat, pig, horse, duck)
•identify animals and animal sounds

Toad on the Road Mama and Me
by Stephen Shaskan


This beautifully illustrated book appeals to the child that loves animals and/or vehicles. This book is perfect for toddlers as it teaches about helping others. Join toad and his mama as they help their friends around the bend. As the two of them offer roadside assistance and make friends along the way. It provides predictive text, and repetition of phrases which allows children to participate in the reading experience. 


Extended lesson:


Use the shadow illustration and allow the toddler to guess who will need help

Sheep in a Shop

By Nancy Shaw 


This book is a cute and simple read . Five adorable sheep going on a shopping trip for a gift and run out of funds . It’s a great book for not only it’s simple rhyming but also walking your toddler through beginning problem solving . It’s attention grabbing but simple enough to hold a toddlers attention .


Extended lessons: 


• Allow child to count the number of sheep on the page every so often.

•Do a music time or circle and let the child sing “Baa Baa Black Sheep “ .

•Allow children to discuss what the sheep need to do problem solve . (You may have to start them off and lead with suggestions).

Down on the Farm

By Merrily Kutner 


A colorful and simple book that hits the toddler reading trifecta rhythm, rhyme and repetition. It’s a great book for call and response which will amp up participation from your toddler . Great for a group of toddlers or just one on one reading sessions . 


Extended Lessons: 


•Allow child or children to participate in a music time or circle afterwards where they can sing “Old Macdonald had a farm “.
• Allow child to point and identify each animal as well as point out a favorite animal .



I Like Me

By Karen Beaumont 


This book is a great book to begin or work on affirmations with your toddlers . The main character is a bold and independent little one who’s excited to be herself! With bright pictures and fun rhymes its an attention grabbing read from beginning to end . 


Extended Lessons: 


•Allow child to repeat the phrase “I like myself at the end of each page .

•Allow the child to draw a self portrait of themselves and label what they like .



The Doghouse

By Jan Thomas


The Doghouse is a simple book that will surely keep your toddler engaged. Their favorite barnyard friends are playing ball and they’re suddenly faced with an unlikely issue. The ball rolls into the scary doghouse and they lose the ball. Since the ball has rolls into the doghouse. Oh no! Who is going to get it. It is a tale of friendship, support and being brave. 


Extended Lesson:


•Add expression and character when reading
•use for teaching facial expression
•After Reading, ask the child which animals were in the book.


How Do Dinosaurs Stay Safe?

By Jane Yolen and Mark Teague


What’s cooler than dinosaurs ? Dinosaurs who are serious about their safety . In this book, using an easy rhyming scheme, dinosaurs demonstrate the importance of safety . The attention grabbing illustrations and rhyme scheme makes this an easy read for all toddlers . 


Extended lessons: 


• Pick out a dinosaur and research few facts for a quick discussion with your toddler .

• Pretend Play - allow the child to pretend to be a dinosaur. Reenact some of the safety skills from the book .

Nighty-Night

By Leslie Patricelli


Follow this cheeky toddler through his daily routine. This is a simple read geared towards the youngest of toddlers . Also a great book for toddlers who are reading early or working on early reading. It is excellent for teaching prediction. With bright colors and funny pictures it’s an attention grabber for even the busiest of toddlers. 


Extended lessons: 


• Ask the child what the baby needs to do next and allow them to guess and wait to see what will happen next .

How To Babysit A Grandma
By Jean Reagan


Reverse psychology at its best. The little girl goes to Grandmas house for and overnight visit and the roles are reversed. The little girl babysits grandma. This is a cute fun story that is great for your 2-5 year old. 


Extended Lessons:


* This is a great opportunity to talk to your child about separation anxiety.
* Use the book as an example that mom and dad will come back and pick them up.


The Rain Came Down
By David Shannon 


This is a bright and vividly illustrated book. The chickens squawked, the dog barked, the baby cried, the traffic snarled, the groceries fell and still the rain came down! Oh my what a rain cloud brings. A huge rain storm sets off a chain of events that wreaks havoc on everyone’s day. This relatable story is a perfect way to discuss feelings. 


Extended Lessons:


• Allow child to guess what will happen once the rain begins and when it ends.

•Allow the child to have music time or a music circle and sing “RAIN RAIN GO AWAY “ .

• Plan ahead and read on a rainy day for a rainy day walk. It would help the child develop their own idea about weather.

•Discuss emotions


Bear Sees Colors
By Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman 


Children will enjoy exploring the forest with Bear and his friends looking for colors. The illustrations are vivid and eye catching. The repetition at the end of each color allows the young toddler to participate in repeating the one liner. 


Extended Lesson:


• Play “I Spy” and find all the objects of the same color on the page.
• Count the number of objects that are the same color on the page.


Tip Tip Dig Dig
By Emma Garcia 


This book is a parade of colorful construction vehicles . Filled with lots of rhythmic texts and bright pictures . Your toddler will be able to follow along easily. 


Extended Lessons:


• Allow the child to count the number of construction vehicles through out the book .
Also allow the child to identify the colors of each vehicle.


Twenty - Six Princesses

Dave Horowitz 


26 princesses and one frog all going to attend the royal ball . If your child is enamored with princesses or princes this is the book for them . Each representing a letter of the alphabet . Each different from the last . A fun and engaging read . 


Extended Lesson


* Allow the child to substitute the princess who matches with the corresponding first letter of their first name .

* Allow the child to dress up and spend some play time acting a out of princess or prince .



Ten Tiny Babies
By Karen Katz 


10 wiggly busy babies make their way through a busy day . This book is meant to be read aloud and filled with bright colorful expressions. Your babies and toddlers will see themselves in this book. This book is sure to hold your toddlers attention. 


Extended Lesson


•Allow the child to act out each portion of what the babies do in the book .

•If your child has features like a child in the book point out the similarities



Mimi and Bear in the Snow
By Janee Trasler


Does your toddler have a teddy bear or lovey they take everywhere . Wherever Mimi goes Bear is sure to follow. After playing in the snow, Mimi goes on a journey to find him after he is lost . Your toddler will enjoy and follow along easily from beginning to end.


Extended Lesson


•Allow the child to have a “Show and Tell “ and bring their favorite teddy bear or stuffed animal.

•Use as a teaching tool to look for items that are misplaced



Press Here
By Herve Tullet 


Words, circles and color! What more do we need? Press here is fun and rich in color. It is a hands on book with a simple concept that introduces primary colors and the art of mixing. Children ages 4 and up may have a greater appreciation for its reality. Simple and whimsy is the way to go. 


Extended Lesson:


•Have art time after reading allowing the child to practice mixing the colors as the book did .

•Allow the child to guess the new color aloud before turning each page.