Toddler Reading List – In the City

Every Friday I read stories and sing children to toddlers at the Cover to Cover bookstore in San Francisco. This week the theme is In the City:

Noisy City Night by Sara Anderson. There are lots of good noises in this excellent board book, the weeeeee you of firetrucks the rumble of underground trains and the old man muttering. It’s a delight to read aloud and always catches the toddler’s attention. The book is also made of cityscape cut outs and has a number of jokes for the grown ups, take a look at the wording on the billboards, my favourite is “you never did like peas”.

Block City by Robert Louis Stevenson and Daniel Kirk. That’s right, that Stevenson. It’s a great little poem about a boy building a city from blocks and then laying waste to it. Daniel Kirk is an expert illustrator and he really brings the poem and the city to life.

Corduroy by Don Freeman. There are many department stores in the city, just like the one that Corduroy the bear lives in. A charming children’s classic which stands the test of time. A small bear really wants someone to take him home, but he needs to find his missing button first, he has quite an adventure looking for the button. In the end though, he doesn’t need it for someone to love him and take him home.

The Adventures of Taxi Dog by Debra Barracca, Sal Barracca, and Mark Buehner. A stray dog is adopted by a taxi driver in New York and together they meet lots of new faces. Just like the other Barracca and Buehner books there are lots of things to see in the illustrations. I always skip the page with the pregnant woman thought, she’s not “sick”, she’s having a baby, a strange association to make in a modern book.

Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems. A fantastic little book about the perils of taking a beloved toy to the laundrette. I love it when the Dad is about to give up looking for Knuffle Bunny, takes one look at his daughter and decides to look harder.

We’ll be singing “The Wheels on the Bus”, “Train is a-Coming” and “My Dog” and the poem will be Julia Bird’s “Picture Book for Urban Babies”.

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