Summer is a wonderful time for playing outdoors, taking vacations, and heading to the park to enjoy the nice, warm weather. It can also be a time that really wears us down with an overabundance of activities. Whether you’re seeking to wind your little one down before a nap, or to just have some quiet time together, reading is a great way to recharge your family and work in some verbal and visual learning for your children. The Billings Public Library is a wonderful world of literature just waiting to be discovered, for free! Check out some of our family’s favorites for toddlers / young children, described below and all available at the local library.
Adèle & Simon
Written & Illustrated by Barbara McClintock
This is a fun family read with something to find on almost every page. When older sister Adèle picks up her younger brother, Simon, from school, the book follows them to each stop along their venture home. And at each stop, irresponsible Simon loses one of his belongings. Your little ones will love searching the pages of famous Parisian locales for Simon’s things, and will learn a little about sibling love and keeping up with personal belongings.
An Extraordinary Egg
Written & Illustrated by Leo Lionni
Dive in to the unique illustrations of Leo Lionni with three frogs who make a new friend. Kids will get a kick out of the frogs’ assessment of what type of animal pops out of an egg, once thought to be a pebble. This lighthearted story shows the value of friendship, even among the most unlikely of friends.
A Rock is Lively
Written by Dianna Hutts Aston
Illustrated by Sylvia Long
This educational book is anything but boring. Exquisite illustrations paired with fun facts bring life to the pages and encourage exploration. Read to your little adventurer about the history of rocks, how they’re formed, how animals use them, and what humans make from them. If you love A Rock is Lively, check out other books in this series like A Butterfly is Patient, A Nest is Noisy, or A Seed is Sleepy. Be sure to head to the non-fiction section for this one!
Written by Isabell Monk
Illustrated by Janice Lee Porter
Don’t be surprised if this book draws a few tears (from Mom!). A comment during a visit to her great-aunt leaves young Hope feeling hurt and confused about her biracial heritage, but the story behind her name told by her loving Aunt Poogee brings restoration and confidence. This book is a reminder to us all of the importance to not equate human value with the color of skin, but to celebrate cultural differences and individual stories.
MANY: The Diversity of Life on Earth
Written by Nicola Davies
Illustrated by Emily Sutton
The most captivating aspect of this book is the way it’s illustrated, full of color and detail and plenty of animals to point out with your child. Alongside beautiful scenes of deserts, jungles, and under-the-sea habitats is an informative storyline. Choose to read only the large print to your toddler for a shorter, simpler story, or also read the smaller, italicized print that gives fun scientific details on “the diversity of life on earth.” Instead of stopping short at exploration, this book also addresses the role of mankind in taking care of our planet and preserving all the wonderful living things that exist, something that is important to instill in our children at a young age.
Find all of these books for free at the Billings Public Library: billingslibrary.org.
about the author…Anna Rogers is a transplant from the Carolinas with a background in marketing and graphic communications. She is a wife and mother who loves to garden, cook, and practice yoga. Anna is passionate about travel, which at its core is really a passion for people, as she believes people and community are what truly bring life and beauty into a place. www.piazzamktg.com