1. Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Eric Carle: I love using this book to introduce and teach animals, colors, sequencing, and rhyming.
2. The Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown: This is a wonderful farm themed book. It talks about numerous animals of varying sizes, their sounds, where they live, what they do. It has wonderful rhymes and rhythms.
3. Boo, Ma, La, La, La and/or The Going to Bed Book, both by Sandra Boynton: I LOVE all of her books! She has a great sense of what is auditorally and visually pleasing to very young children. Great rhyming and rhythm and cute illustrations.
4. 5 Little Monkeys (Pumkins, Ducklings, etc.) (all by various authors): Any of these early counting books are so great for early math concepts. They are catchy and fun to add some finger plays with them and are repetitive. (picture courtesy of: www.centerusd.k12.ca.us)
5. My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss: I LOVE this book so, so much because in is a great early language book that talks about emotions and associates colors with emotions! Its a great way to visually introduce feelings to young children.
6.Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb by Dr. Seuss: This book has GREAT rhyming and a wonderful rhythm. This is a great early phonological awareness book and the illustrations are entertaining and fun...and super fun to act out with musical instruments (homemade or real). P.S. It was one of my favorites as a child too!!! :)
7. I Spy Toddler Book Series!: I have a post coming about why I LOVE these books so much but I still have to add them to my list of top 10 b/c I use them so often and love them so much! Want to know why I love this series so much? Keep your eyes peeled for my upcoming post on the "I spy" books!!!
8. Picture books: Any picture books are GREAT for facilitating a language sample, assessing child's ability to use picture cues to narrate a story, make inferences and predictions and retell a story!
9. My first words books: There are many different kinds of these books published by different companies. But they are so great for early vocabulary development. Many times these books are organized by categories of objects (so you have a page of "foods, clothing, transportation, farm animals, jungle animals", etc.) and is a GREAT way to facilitate semantic organization (i.e. organization of vocabulary words) by categories.
10. The Very Hungry Caterpillar: I know I already have an Eric Carle book on this list but I had to add this one as well because I using this book many times as a child's first science book! Science? Yes, I said science! This book is so great in that it is repetitive, has tons of pictures to label, introduces days of the week...BUT the BEST part of this book is the last few pages that explain the cocoon the caterpillar makes and stays in for 2 weeks before he pops out as....you guessed it...a butterfly!
Honorable Mention: Pete the Cat (book series): I love the Pete the Cat book series. Every book has a song that goes with it and they focus on early concepts (colors, numbers, going to school, etc.). It also has a nice element to teach coping strategies in each book (Pete's feathers never get ruffled when things go wrong; rather he loves to say "It's all good!" and he keeps moving forward). This is my honorable mention, NOT because I like these books any less but b/c these books are really appropriate for those PK age kiddos rather than the Birth-3 years that we've been focusing on BUT they are just so so good that your younger kids will love to listen the you reading and singing their songs too! (picture courtsey: iwema.edublogs.org )
So that's it for my list! What are your favorite books for early language learning? I bet those of you that are parents and teachers out there have a TON of favorites! Please share!
And as always, happy talking!