Putting Books in Your Nanny’s Hands:
Favorite Board Books for Your Nanny To Read to Babies and Toddlers
Looking for a fresh list of books for the nanny to check out for your toddlers from the Toronto Public Library? Or perhaps, you wish to send a special gift to your cousin who’s expecting her first baby in Halifax? Maybe you are creating a wishlist to take to Kidsbooks, the great children’s bookstore in Vancouver (no worries if you live in Calgary or Edmonton – you can also check out their online stock). Maybe you are simply trying to motivate your nanny to engage your toddlers in text.
Whatever the case, if you are in the market for some some terrific board books with the dual durability of spine and story, here are some of the tried-and-true favorites. At my house, we have a special basket of books for the nanny, and I am glad to share some of our favorites with her. Your kids (ages 1-3)will want her to read them over and over (and over) again.
To begin with, anything by Sandra Boynton. My kids loved (nearly) all of them, but especially:
It’s a refreshing spin on the “A cow says MOO” genre. Sure, there’s teaching happening, but there’s also kid-friendly humor as well as lovely, simple rhyming. I have an extra copy of this that I keep tucked into the nanny’s diaper bag. The little ones love to hear it, and the older ones can use her simple illustration style to try and draw their own comedic animals.
Kids like the repeated pattern “…but not the hippopotamus” as well as the surprise ending. I personally love how the illustrations also gently depict the awkwardness of exclusion and the joy of inclusion.
Again, Boynton has a knack of taking basic teaching elements (the naming of colors, the identification of clothing) and spinning them into something fun. Kids particularly love the “Oops” factor of this book.
This is a lovely book, noted for its ginormous-sized lift-the- flaps and its fun premise. Kids can guess the animal before the “big reveal.” Also in this series: “Peek-a-Moo.”
Karen Katz knows how to make a cute, interactive board book to engage little ones. You can’t go wrong with one of her books, although this classic remained a favorite.
In 2014, this classic celebrated its 20th birthday. The story remains enduring to a new generation of readers. Nearly every child’s favorite page is the smorgasbord page, detailing how much the little caterpillar can eat. For the nanny, parent, or grandparent reading the book, it’s fascinating to notice the beauty and intricacy of Eric Carle’s designs – created with handpainted papers, cut and placed to create colorful collages. It’s a gem, worth reading over and over again.
*If you are looking for books for older kids, here’s a great place to browse: Top 100 Canadian Kids Books. The books are either set in Canada or have a Canadian author and/or illustrator.