I haven't done an installment of what my daughter is reading for quite a while, so I thought I'd give you a peek into what my soon to be two-year old is currently enjoying. Because she doesn't quite understand stories just yet, she's really into interactive, lift-the-flap books. If you're looking for a gift for a toddler, these three make good choices.
First up is ZOO! A Big Fold Out Counting Book: A Fold-Out Book About Counting by Readers Digest Children's Books.
Five different animals are featured in this book with huge fold outs of each one. Children learn a little about each animal and are asked to count the animals and other objects on the page. This a great book to practice counting and naming colors, animals, and other objects like flowers and trees. The fold-outs really keep my daughter engaged.
The Silly Book of Shapes by Todd Parr
This is an older lift-the-flap book, part of the ToddWorld series, that my daughter chose at the library. It's a large board book that has about fifty flaps with different colors and shapes underneath. It's a great way to introduce colors, shapes, and other vocabulary words. My daughter literally spends 20-30 minutes at a time lifting flaps, and I think I'm going to have to add this and a couple others from the series to her permanent library.
First the Egg by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
I bought this book when it won Caldecott and Geisel honor medals last year. Unfortunately, my not-so-gentle daughter ripped a couple of pages, so I stored it away and recently brought it back out now that she is more careful with books. To give you an idea of how much she loves this book, we read it five times just this evening before bedtime. The book presents the first/then pattern through a number of different scenarios, chicken/egg, tadpole/frog, seed/flower, etc. What makes it unique though are the die-cuts on every other page. For example, in the initial spread, the word "First" sits alone on a golden background. On the opposite page, you see the words, "the Egg" on a red background with an egg shaped die-cut in the middle showing a splash of white. When you turn the page, the die-cut now shows the yellow from the first page and becomes the body of a young chick hatching out of the egg. The white from the egg on the first page is a full-grown mother hen. I highly recommend it.