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12 Best Books for One Year Olds (as determined by a one-year-old)

If what makes a children’s book truly great is the love of reading it inspires in little ones, then these 12 books are the finest examples around. As you can see from the worn covers and torn spines, these books were my daughter’s absolute FAVES at that age. I would have chosen a different set, but a grown-ups’ love for a book isn’t really what’s important is it? Find out the 12 Best Books for One Year Olds as Determined By a One Year Old after the jump…

12 Best Books for One-Year-Olds

1.Saffy
Just looking at this book makes my eyes well up. Scarlet adored this book from just a few months up until around age 1. It’s just a little giraffe who wants to reach her own leaf on a tree. So sweet.

2. That’s Not My Pony and That’s Not My Dragon and That’s Not My etc etc etc.
These “touchy feely” books were addictive to Scarlet – she couldn’t get enough and when asked “is that my pony?” she would shout “NOOO!” and when the pony in question would appear she’d let out a satisfied “MINE!”.  She also loved the little mouse making appearances throughout.

3. Where is Baby’s Mommy and other Karen Katz lift-the-flap books
She loved these beyond compare. They kept her quiet on airplanes. They put her to sleep on my chest while reading. They made her giggle. She tore the flaps off and we bought replacements of the same books.

4. Corduroy’s Halloween
To this day, still one of her favorite books.  OMG, it’s a lift-the-flap book about a bear trick-or-treating. We read it every day of the year.

5.Micawber
This book was written by John Lithgow and contains insane phrases that kids should hate like “He completed his peregrination” but alas this was, and remains, Scarlet’s most favorite book in the history of books. I think it originally came with a CD of John Lithgow reciting it but I am so thankful we can’t find it because I know it would be on 24-7. This is a cute story about a squirrel in central park who falls in love with art and secretly paints with his tail at night then opens an art gallery (did i spoil the ending, whoops). I have no idea why she liked this book so much, but she did, so there you go.

6.One Gorilla: A Counting Book
Here is one Scarlet and I agree on. I LOVE THIS BOOK. The illustrations are beyond gorgeous, and it’s about one person’s love affair with their gorilla. On each page an increasing number of animals waits to be counted and becomes more camouflaged in the gorgeous scenery, along with one gorilla. Before she could really talk she would just say “DERE!” to point to the animals. One of her first words was “gorilla” or actually “rilla”, i mean c’mon could that be any cuter? I also like that having the One Gorilla on each page reveals a bit about the relationship between numbers – helped her understand how One was different from Five in a concrete way. Five pandas is my favorite, but 10 “fishies” is Scarlet’s.

7. Hippos Go Berserk!
“9 Hippos go to work. ALL THE HIPPOS GO BERSERK!” This counting book is about a bunch of hippos having a house party. What could be more awesome?

8. First the Egg
What came first, the chicken or the egg? It’s the little holes from page to page that Scarlet was fascinated by. This is a Caldecott Honor Book and Theodore Seuss Giesel Honor book for a reason, it has such charm.

9. Pancakes, Pancakes!
I have to be honest, I hate this book. My husband and I try to hide it and cringe when she pulls it out, but we don’t toss it because of her undying love for it. I love Eric Carle books as much as anyone else, but this is a long, torturous detailing of everything that goes into making a pancake. The poor child has to thresh wheat, and grind it at the mill, and milk a cow, and churn butter, and assemble 50,000 cooking instruments, and like 200 other steps so he can have a pancake. I respect that lesson but the book bores me to tears. But Scarlet loved it at age 1 so here it is!

10. John Deere Farm ABC
A gift from John-Deere collecting Papa, this ABC book features lots of farm words and little doo-dads to pull and play with. Scarlet adores it, and we can’twait to take her back to the family dairy farm in Pennsylvania to see a real live “S for Silo”!

11. Where’s My Sweetie Pie?
This book is too cute. It has flaps, cute animals, and a mirror. ’nuff said.

12. Peek-A Who?
A little book, perfect for carrying in the diaper bag. It’s been used and abused and re-read 50 million times but she loved this book at age one and still loves it now. Peek-a-zoo, Peek-a-choo-choo, PEEK A YOU!!!!

What books do/did your one-year-olds adore?

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