Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Reading Starts Early: Books for Toddlers

Learning to share can be hard, and with good reason - giving a beloved object to another person with no guarantee that you’ll ever see it again can be a daunting prospect for anyone, let alone a two or three-year-old child!  Toddlers are just beginning to explore cooperative play, and sharing is a skill that takes years to develop and fully master.

Picture books about sharing can be a great way to start positive conversations with little ones, and can help make the learning process more enjoyable for toddlers and their grownups alike. Endearing characters can model positive behaviors, and their stories can help children work through their fears and emotions around sharing in supportive ways. With simple plots, adorable illustrations and limited, toddler-friendly text, these picture books might just help make mastering sharing a bit more fun for everyone involved!

I Can Share by Karen Katz
This simple lift-the-flap book is a perfect introduction to sharing for even the littlest readers. Bright, colourful and charming, and featuring Katz’s signature happy little toddlers, I Can Share is a lovely way to initiate conversations about sharing and playing collaboratively in a warm and positive way.

Blocks by Irene Dickson
Ruby plays with red blocks. Benji plays with blue blocks. But as Benji and Ruby discover, sharing and playing collaboratively can actually mean having twice the blocks and twice the fun! Not only is the story relatable and approachable, the illustrations are wonderfully diverse, too!

Pigs and a Blanket by James Burks 
Siblings Henry and Henrietta love their special blanket, but they don’t love to share. When they accidently rip their beloved blanket in two because they won’t share, Henry and Henrietta discover that playing collaboratively is actually much more fun than keeping something all to yourself! This is great story for little ones learning to share with siblings.

It’s Mine by Tracey Corderoy
Baby Bear doesn’t want to share his favourite toy with Lulu when she comes to visit! But with a little help from Mummy, Baby Bear learns that sharing can actually be a lot of fun. This absolutely adorable book not only has the sweetest, most toddler-friendly illustrations, it’s also softly textured, which adds another fun sensory element.

Jane Whittingham is a librarian, educator and life-long book lover who writes about books for all ages on her blog www.raincitylibrarian.ca

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