books + reading

Jonas’s Faves (Best Books for a 20-Month-Old)

It has been interesting to observe the differences in my boys when it comes to books.

Edgar loved books from a pretty young age. His two favorites while he was first crawling were The Itsy Bitsy Pumpkin and Five Little Pumpkins, which was just hilarious because why all the pumpkins?! He was content, at nine months of age, to curl up in my lap and listen to a story.

Jonas has been different. A big reason for that is his status as Kid # 2. We haven’t had the same capacity to cuddle up with Jonas and a book as frequently while managing life with two young kids. A possible second reason is his early mobility. At nine months old, when Edgar was all snuggly with a book, Jonas was walking. He didn’t have time for books! He had to run after his brother and see what else his little body was capable of doing.

By the time Jonas was about 15 months old, however, his enjoyment of sitting with a mom and listening to a book had grown. Now he definitely loves it. Sometimes, he just loves to sit and look at one of his books. In fact, I’ll come over and try to read it to him, and he’ll push my hand away. Then he’ll go get a different book and bring it to me – so that I can read THAT book, to myself, and leave him alone to examine the pages of Curious George Visits The Chocolate Factory. 

Here are a few of his faves:

Where Is Baby’s Valentine? This one is part of a series; it’s a lift-the-flap book by Karen Katz. The BEST part is when Baby opens a cupboard and her Valentine’s not there, but there’s a jar of cookies. The reason it’s the best is that this is when Jonas pretends to take the cookies out of the book and feed them to me, Tamara, Edgar, himself, and whoever else is in the room (or on video chat) at the moment. It’s one of his favorite bits.

Baby Present by Rachel Neumann. I love this book, Edgar loved it, and Jonas loves it. It’s basically a mini meditation. “Breathe in, baby. Breathe out. You are perfect just as you are, sitting in the here and now. The past is gone; it was pretty short to begin with. The future is tricky, and a long way off. Right now is just right.” ETC. Each page has an ADORABLE baby photo on it, and it’s just the sweetest. It’s also the perfect calm down book for Mommy when she could use a meditation break and can’t take one!

 Doggies by Sandra Boynton. I mean – I hate this book, but I get it. It’s all about counting and doggie sounds. Love the counting – hate having to read all the different kinds of barking. I delegate this to Tamara whenever I can.

Big Board First 100 Words by Roger Priddy. Jonas loves this large, bright, and shiny book of first words with clear and simple photos. Edgar loved them when he was little too.

Time For Bed by Mem Fox.

Frosty The Snowman. If the book is basically song lyrics on paper, I sing it as I read it, and Jonas loves this one. Definitely one of the first books he’d listen to in its entirety. And yes, we’re still reading it on an 80 degree day in May, for sure.

King Jack and the Dragon by Peter Bentley & Helen Oxenbury. OMG – this one’s the cutest. A hit with grown-ups, almost-four-year-olds, and toddlers. My highest recommendation.

Happy reading!

three wooden dinosaur
Photo by cottonbro on

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