Books for the smallest readers are great ways to both reflect and extend their vocabulary about the world around them. These two are perfectly pitched for toddlers.

picutre my day.jpgPicture My Day
by Severine Cordier and Cynthia Lacroix
OwlKids
ISBN: 978 1 92698 330 2

This is essentially a book of words. Words bout things around a small person, from the start of their day to their finish, each illustrated to connect the word to the thing. There are actions and phrases as well as items, being acted out by drawings of little kids at work and play, and there is a very clear sense of really getting what the day of a child is like, with one child watching the washing machine spin, and another sulking about getting her hair combed. There is a gentle humour in this understanding, too, like the author is sharing that she is really a kid, or at least remembers being one, just like the reader.

The style of the illustrations reminds me of another French import, Barroux, in the simplicity and line, but these are more colourful and childish, and the books’ smaller format makes is resemble a board book at first glance. It’s not a board, in fact, so it might be a good one to look at together, which I’d also recommend because there is much to look at and talk about and relate to your child’s own life, but I will say, the pages are thicker than average, and should stand up okay to most toddlers who are used to handling books. It’s certainly much larger and more thorough than many of the books of this type that are around, and quite a fun one to browse through together, and see how many of those things and activities are part of your own day!

small bunny blue blanket.jpgSmall Bunny’s Blue Blanket
by Tatyana Feeney

Alfred A Knopf
ISBN: 978 0 375 87087 3

We are introduced here to Small Bunny and his Blue Blanket, who he needs to help him do things like paint and read better than he could on his own. They are always together, and Small Bunny loves his blanket, and he thinks it is perfect. His mom, though? She think it needs a wash. Small Bunny waits for the entire 107 minutes that this takes, and then sets about resoting blue blanket to its former glory through swinging, reading, playing…

It’s a simple story, and not a new premise, but there is a sweetness and simplicity to this take on the beloved blankie tale that I found quite charming. The illustrations are very spare, and the text matches that, letting the reader sill in half of the understanding on their own – a nice trick that too few books employ. There is a touch of humour in the situations that children and parents are both likely to recognize, and on the whole, it’s a very nice book for sharing with a child who has a lovey of their own.

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