Reading to your child(ren) is important. We all know that. Reading to you baby is also important. But, let’s be honest, there are only so many times you can read Goodnight, Moon without wanting to throw it out the window… (Bowl of mush? Who eats mush? In their bedroom?!) Plus, my son is 9 months old. We read every night, but he’s NINE MONTHS OLD. I could read The Grapes of Wrath nightly, and he wouldn’t really know the difference (minus the lack of photos).
Enter, Dragons Love Tacos. This book was gifted to us at my baby shower and it, and the other books I’m about to mention, have saved our nightly story time. These books were written for children but clearly kept in mind the adults that are reading them. They’re cute, rhyme-y, and have great illustrations—but they’re also pretty funny/interesting/amusing to us as parents. These books are easy to understand, but they don’t pander to kids. They’re kid-friendly but also adult-friendly. And most of all, my husband and I thoroughly enjoy them—probably even more so than our kid does.
Here’s a few of our favorites:
Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin & Daniel Salmieri
This one is seriously my husband’s favorite. Any book that uses the word “pantloads” as in “pantloads of tacos” is top on his list. But watch out for the spicy salsa—it gives dragons the tummy troubles, and when dragons get the tummy troubles…it’s always best to watch out!
Iggy Peck, Architect by Andrea Beaty & David Roberts
“Iggy Peck is an architect, and has been since he was 2.” Another favorite of the hubs (who is an architectural designer). Such a good you-can-do-it book! It has so many good messages: never give up, work together, think outside the box. All things that resonate with we grown-ups as much as (ahem, more than) our kiddos!
Rosie Revere, Engineer also by Andrea Beaty & David Roberts
A modern-day Rosie the Riveter with an AMAZING girl-power message. Rosie learns that even failures can be a success when her Great-Great-Aunt Rose (of the Riveter variety) explains that you can only truly fail if you quit.
Young Frank, Architect by Frank Viva
Young Frank is an architect (anyone sensing a theme here?), and so is his grandfather, Old Frank, but they have opposing opinions on what an architect actually is. A trip to the Modern Museum of Art in New York shows them that an architect can do many things, and that maybe their opinions aren’t so different after all.
The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt & Oliver Jeffers
Crayons can get overworked, mamas. They also get their feelings hurt when they’re not used enough, and in this book, they let poor Duncan know it. In handwritten letters, written with themselves, of course.
The Book with No Pictures by BJ Novak
What?! A kids book with no pictures?! It probably seems boring, but, “here’s how books work: Everything the words say, the person reading the book has to say. No matter what.” Filled with words that aren’t words, sentences that don’t make sense, and just all around funny sounds, this book is hilarious. Be warned: it’s not the best to read before bed when you’re trying to calm the kids down because, inevitably, you’ll end up in hysterics.
Hopefully when the babe understands books a little more, he’ll love these as much as we do. In the meantime, we’ll chuckle to ourselves as he helps turn the pages and waves at the pictures.