1. Goodnight Gorilla by Peggy Rathman
Great pictures, almost no words.... I can read it to the toddler 5 times in a row and not cringe at the inevitable "Again."
2. Pajama Time by Sandra Boynton
I love the swinging rhythm, the sweet drawings, and the fact that even an 18-month old can mostly memorize it.
3. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
Always a favorite, the kids have it memorized, and I do too! (great for car trips where I can't actually bear to look at the page, but the kids want a story.)
4. Babybug Magazine
They're short, the variety of art and writing is refreshing, and my toddler ADORES Clara Vulliamy's "Kim and Carrots." It's like her own, personal, almost-two-year-old soap opera.
5. The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle (Board Book Edition)
The raised illustrations are great for little fingers, and both kids love the succession of barnyard creatures.
6. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you See? by Bill Martin and Eric Carle
Another classic. Another rhythmic, easy to memorize story. And it teaches colors, too! How can you go wrong?
7. This Is the Stable by Cynthia Cotten and Delana Bettoli
We got this one as a gift around Christmas time. I'd originally meant to put it away and only bring it out once a year, but the kids LOVE it.
The pictures are gorgeous. The text is both soothing and memorable.
My three year old, when asked where Jesus was born, now replies:
"In a stable, dusty and brown in a quiet corner of Bethlehem Town!"
And the toddler LOVES all the animals... and the baby, of course! =)
8. Where's the Puppy? by Cheryl Christian and Laura Dwight
This is the ultimate, almost indestructible, toddler lift-the-flap book.
Others in the series include "Where's the Kitten?" and "Where's the Baby?"
The photos are very appealing, the text is minimal, and the "Flaps" are actually board/book pages folded over on themselves---there's no glue and no flimsy flaps to rip!
9. Pat the Bunny by by Dorothy Kunhardt
I hate that this book is destroyed anew by every child. (No wonder it's never been out of print!)
On the other hand, the kids ADORE it, and it's so short I can read it 10 times straight without needing a glass of water!
10. Dora the Explorer Mass Market paperbacks (or bound into a single volume...)
Ok... Honestly, I HATE these. But they're short and the kids love them. Also, if I refuse to read them Dora, they demand that I make up NEW Dora stories for them, which is worse. So Dora makes it onto the list, if only because she's the darling of every American girl under the age of 8!