I’m back! Boy, I did not plan or expect to step back from blogging for so long. So much has been going on in our life here, as well as in the world, and honestly, I just haven’t been able to find the time/mental space to blog! I’m glad to be sitting down today to write (goodness, I even planned days in advance to make sure I’d have this brief time to blog this week!), and I’m excited to be sharing a post that’s been on my mind for a while!
You’ve likely heard this before, but my husband and I absolutely love reading. I would have to say that Bjorn reads way more than I do, though! (While both of us are the can’t-say-no-to-buying-books, read-in-bed-in-the-evening types of people, Bjorn takes it a step further and can be found listening to audio books, too – while farming in the tractor, while driving to work, while he does the dishes, and more!) Needless to say, we own hundreds(!) of books and our kids have their own awesome collection as well!
Sophie loves books, and we’re thrilled about that. She loves paging through them herself, anticipating the endings and pictures she remembers, and snuggling up for storytime with us. But becoming a reading family takes intention – not only for us as adults, but it’s taken intention to incorporate reading into Sophie’s daily life, too. It’s totally worth it and extremely important! (I’d love to share more about raising a reader later on, but for today, I wanted to focus specifically on the books Sophie currently loves!)
Sophie is a bright, busy girl with quite the spark! So much of our day is full of imagination and pretend play! But she still slows down enough to enjoy books. Aside from fun learning time, books also serve as a great way for us to “reset” our day, and it is so much fun for Bjorn and me to see Sophie narrate a book out loud for her baby brother Soren. She’s even picked up on the rhyme schemes in certain books we own, and sometimes she will even make up “nonsense words” that rhyme when she reads those out loud!
Sophie has her own personal favorites, of course – ones she reaches for all the time. So that’s what inspired today’s blog post!
Here are Sophie’s current book recommendations, if you will. I can’t believe she’s 2 and a half! While I personally love each of these books, I made an effort to select titles that are truly Sophie’s favorites. I think it gives you a fun look into the mind and world of this sweet girl of ours! Also, it’s a LONG list. We love to read! 🙂
The books listed below make wonderful gifts for any littles in your life, and they’re great titles to stock up on if you’re expecting or know someone who is…it’s never too early to begin building a child’s library! Plus, they’re great “just because” items for your own children, too!
PS – Remember that children’s literature can be wonderful for grown-ups, too! Of course, some board books are definitely created for little ones…but don’t skip over all children’s literature just because you yourself are no longer a child! Some of the greatest gems are books that live in the children’s genre section of the library!
Sophie’s Favorite Books at Age 2.5
** The links in this post are affiliate links, meaning that if you use the link to purchase, I earn a tiny commission. Thank you for that!! I am using Amazon affiliate links here because Amazon is my very favorite place to order books! Thanks for supporting Just Bee!
When The Wind Stops // I’m always so thrilled when Sophie requests this one. In this book, a little boy is being tucked in for bed. First, he recalls the beautiful, fun things he did that day. Then he starts a conversation with his mother for the rest of the book about what happens when the wind stops, where clouds go after the storm, where the sun goes at the end of the day…it’s a lovely read! The basic theme of the book is that everything cycles around the earth – the sun will come back another day, the waves will be sucked back into the sea to make new waves, etc. And the illustrations are a beautiful mix between abstract and pretty nature scenes.
Each Peach Pear Plum // We love this one! Sophie got it as a birthday gift, I think, from Bjorn’s sister. It’s a cute, simple board book that rhymes as it “gathers up” different characters from fairy tales to enjoy a plum pie all together at the end. The illustrations are so cute, and Sophie enjoys searching for the little hints and glimpses of each character!
Miss Rumphius // Before having Sophie and becoming introduced to even more children’s books, this book was my favorite children’s book of all time. It still may be my favorite! It tells the story of Miss Rumphius, an adventurous woman who leads a beautiful, full life, but eventually returns to her dream home and as an older woman looks for her own special way to improve the world and make it more beautiful. Barbara Cooney’s illustrations are stunning!
Mr. Putter & Tabby Paint the Porch // There are many “Mr. Putter & Tabby” books out there…and we seriously love each one we’ve read! (I plan to keep adding to our collection.) Cynthia Rylant is hilarious – but she also provides such a sweet description of each character in her books. In this one, Mr. Putter decides to paint the porch but the task keeps getting thwarted by mischievous creatures outdoors! It is such a good little story, and you’ll find that even the titles of each super short chapter add to the hilarity. At her age, Sophie totally gets why the situation is so funny, and I love that she can giggle with me about it as we read!
Corduroy // This is just the sweetest little book. There’s a good chance you already know this one, but Corduroy is a little toy bear at a department store, waiting for someone to come take him home. He has quite the adventure one night as he looks for his lost button. I love how innocent and childlike the author portrays this toy bear – such a precious story. Sophie loves his adventure but especially the fact that he got to go home to a family by the end!
The Honeybee // Such a lovely, sweet book! I love how it describes in detail (but with unique, fun language) how bees go about making honey! It really delves into the science of it and there are some nice internal rhyme schemes! The way the book is written surprised me, but in a good way.
Tiny, Perfect Things // I bought “Tiny, Perfect Things” quite some time ago, after loving another M.H. Clark book so much. In this book, a girl and her grandfather are out on a walk in the evening with just the goal of looking for tiny, perfect things along the way. They find items like beautiful leaves, animals, and other little objects on their walk. The way the book is written is so sweet – showing perfectly the slower pace of a thoughtful walk with your grandpa. And the illustrations are so gorgeous. They’re the kind of illustrations that you look at time and time again, and keep discovering more little things the illustrator placed in the picture! This book is a keeper! Sophie loves it so much, because it allows her to “explore” so many details that the girl and her grandfather find along the way! It really encourages you to have a child’s perspective on discovering the world around you.
Alley Cat’s Meow // Sophie’s aunt (her godmother) gave Sophie this book at my baby shower, since it was her own favorite book as a child! Sophie loves it so much! (And I do, too.) It’s a sweet story of two classy cats who become lifelong dance partners. The illustrations are gorgeous and I love the rhymes throughout.
Flip Flap Farm // I’ll be perfectly honest here: sometimes I don’t totally love reading lift-the-flap books. But this one is amazing! And Sophie requests it often. We love talking about various aspects of farming, especially since my husband farms! There are so many little flaps in the book – even in unexpected places in the farm scenes, with such thoughtful details. So cute. This would be an awesome book to give a toddler as a gift.
Little Blue Truck // I love this one so much. The lilting rhymes, the sweet, helpful demeanor of Little Blue Truck… It’s a darling little tale. Sophie can practically recite it from memory! (We also have “Little Blue Truck Leads The Way,” and I was hesitant about that one since I loved the original so much, but it is so cute, too!)
Dance at Grandpa’s // All of these “My First Little House Books” are so great! The illustrations are lovely, and if you like anything Laura Ingalls Wilder related, you’ll enjoy these simple stories. The language is easy to understand, but the stories have the same sweet quality that Laura Ingalls Wilder books have!
Go to Sleep, Little Farm // This was a random find at a toy store, and boy, am I glad I picked it up. I always enjoy this kind of “go to sleep” book, because it creates such a peaceful atmosphere for your little one as you read it to them before bed! Much of this book has a rhyme scheme, and I can’t get over its perfectly poetic approach to everything on a farm going to sleep for the night. Various animals find their beds for the night outside, and even a “story goes to sleep in a book,” and the “minutes go to sleep inside the clocks.” I just love the slow, sleepy pace of this book! And the illustrations are so lovely, too! Definitely pick this book up if you’re in the market for a peaceful, poetic read. It is a board book – a padded board book, technically – but it’d honestly be good for a lot of ages – not too “babyish” in the least!
Dogs in Space // This is a fun one, and relatively new to us! It’s the true story of Belka and Strelka, two dogs who made it into space and back home again. Sophie loves space so much right now – and animals, too – so this book is the perfect fit for her!
Found: Psalm 23 // Have you heard of “The Jesus Storybook Bible?” This book is written by the same author. Sally Lloyd-Jones has such a beautiful way with words. I understand that it’s not a more traditional/exact Bible translation, but it definitely captures the heart of the 23rd Psalm. I love it so much – this book is like a healing balm to my soul every time I read it to Sophie. And Sophie gets so much out of it, too! “God is my Shepherd, and I am his little lamb. He feeds me. He guides me. He looks after me. He gives me everything I need. Inside, my heart is very quiet.” So beautiful! Sophie always sighs with happiness whenever the Good Shepherd rescues the baby lamb. It’s a great book to begin the conversation with your little ones about how God provides for us and takes care of us.
A Treasury of Curious George // Sophie really enjoys Curious George – both the stories and the TV show (it’s one of a few shows that we really like for her). Curious George is a cute, innocent (and very curious!) little monkey, and his problem solving skills always make for an interesting story! In this big hardcover collection, there are 8 different stories! Sophie often asks to read this one before nap time. 🙂
Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site // I’d heard about this one for a long time, but we didn’t own it until Soren was born, I think! (It was a sweet gift!) I love the rhymes throughout, and the pictures are interesting and cute. Sophie loves how each machine at the construction site wraps up its work for the day and heads to bed.
Moon’s First Friends: One Giant Leap for Friendship // I love this book. It’s the story of the moon, waiting and watching and hoping throughout history that someone would come visit her – and finally, humans do! The sweetest part is how the moon tears up at the end, when her new human friends must go back home to Earth. We’d gotten this book as a special deal at Barnes & Noble one day, and our whole family really enjoys it.
Eloise Wilkin Stories // This was a gift for Sophie, and it’s the sweetest little Golden Book treasury of stories and poems. We read it all the time! Sophie definitely has her favorite stories that she asks me to read again and again!
Press Here // Sophie gets such a kick out of this one! The book basically pretends like the reader is truly pressing the colored dots and making them move around the page each time! This is a great interactive book, and I could see it being a good one to really get a child interested in reading, even if they’re not normally a fan of books!
Fox in Socks // I don’t know if you’ve seen the videos, but there’s a guy on YouTube who raps Dr. Seuss books. It’s hilarious. We’ve loved the “Fox in Socks” video especially (and I have to say, my husband has gotten really good at rapping “Fox in Socks” himself!). Needless to say, with us enjoying those videos lately, Sophie asks to read “Fox in Socks” a lot more! It’s just a crazy tongue twister book! Hard to read, but gets lots of laughs!
All of Baby, Nose to Toes // Sophie loves this one because it shows loving family members tickling and hugging and cuddling and otherwise caring for a sweet little baby! The book is full of giggles and darling illustrations. I like the repetitive language, too.
Bears in the Bath // This is a cute story! The big bear is trying to get all of the little bears to take a bath. It takes a lot of work, but eventually everyone is all clean! 🙂
There you have it! These are Sophie’s current favorite books at age 2 and a half! I tried to include a dinosaur dictionary and a horse book that she also loves, but those two aren’t currently in print. Anyway, I hope this was a fun post for you to read – it’s a great snapshot into who Sophie is at this moment in time! The books in this post would make a wonderful gift for any toddlers you know!
Thanks for reading along. I hope to get back into blogging more frequently! I’m currently most active over on Instagram, so make sure you’re following along with me there!