Ask Design Mom: Books for Toddler Boys

October 25, 2006

Amy writes: I wanted to start my Christmas shopping and was thinking about which books I could purchase for my boys, age 1 and 2 1/2. I’m at a loss. They are into all things boy. . .trucks and animals and fire engines, etc. I saw your Caldecott winner list, and purchased The Ox-Cart Man, but was wondering if you could make a Top Ten Books for Toddler Boys list or something like that. Thanks for your help!

So many excellent questions have been coming in lately. I love it! Just for you, Amy, I went through my library then called on two friends, Juliane and Rebecca (both mothers of 4 boys), for more recommendations. And here it is, in no particular order:

Design Mom’s List of Picture Books for Toddler Boys

1 Where the Wild Things Are
2 Curious George
3 Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel
4 Little Bear
5 We’re Going on a Bear Hunt
6 Big Red Barn
7 Make Way for Ducklings
8 Eric Carle’s From Head to Toe
9 Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb
10 Joseph Had a Little Overcoat
11 Richard Scarry’s Things that Go
12 Goodnight Gorilla
13 The Napping House
14 Kitten’s First Full Moon
15 Are You My Mother?

Of course, there are others I’ve already recommended and dozens more that are awesome that didn’t make my list, but I thought 15 was a good starting place. I know my readers will have many great ideas to add to these. Please do so!

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Erin October 25, 2006 at 8:01 am

Such a great list. Both my boys have also loved Duck on A Bike by David Shannon. Lots of animals riding bikes, what could be sillier?


2 Factotum October 25, 2006 at 10:23 am

Those are all awesome books! One of my favorite picture books is “Good Dog Carl” about a Rottweiler that takes care of a baby–very cute and funny.


3 Lizzy October 25, 2006 at 12:04 pm

I love Clap Your Hands by Lorinda Bryan Cauley. It’s a leser known book but should be wildly popular for its rhymes that tell kids to “find something big, find something small, spin in a circle…but try not to fall!” I just love movement books.

Also love ZIn Zin Zin A Violin by Lloyd Moss (a caldecott honor book)


4 liz October 25, 2006 at 2:51 pm

great list- this is great for me!


5 Juliane October 26, 2006 at 1:23 pm

I have to second the motion on Good Dog Carl and Zin, Zin, Zin. Fabulous books!


6 Tania October 26, 2006 at 7:44 pm

I agree – Good Dog Carl & also Zin, Zin, Zin. Erin just read us Clap Your Hands in singing time this week – first time I’d seen it and really loved it too. We also really love The Little Red Lighthouse, about the building of the George Washington Bridge (which just celebrated it’s 75th birthday this week.)


7 Anonymous October 26, 2006 at 9:12 pm

Love David Shannon. Duck on a Bike is a fantastic suggestion. Plus, lots more of his books are great for toddler boys. See the Diaper David series (board books) and the preschool-age David (starting with No, David!–hilarious illustrations). Also beautiful: The Rain Came Down.


8 Anonymous November 15, 2006 at 1:12 am

A little late here. I remember reading this and thinking, I know there are lots of books I loved growing up.
I found two of them on Amazon.
Leo the Late Bloomer was one of them.
The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear was another one. Enjoy!


9 Design Mom November 15, 2006 at 8:37 pm

Great picks, Heather. I love the Big Hungry Bear!


10 Janebabes November 23, 2009 at 2:53 pm

My boys all love "Green Eggs and Ham", and "What a Party!" by Sandy Asher.


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