Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumbs - Aunt Becky sent Jilly this one. I hadn't heard of it before but it's perfect for Jilly. It combines repetition, rhythm, rhyming, and learning body parts. She asks for this one often.
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom - Another one from Aunt Becky (just call her the book fairy!). This is another I didn't know about- though I don't know how- it's great! It's too funny to watch all the little letters climb up the tree. Adorable. Again, repetitive and rhythmic, so it's easy for Jilly to get into it, plus the ABCs, which she knows now, so it's a fun reinforcement for her.
Jillian Jiggs - This is one my mom read me when I was little. I often heard the immortal line, "Jillian! Jillian! Jillian Jiggs! Your room looks like it's been lived in by pigs!" So when we announced we were naming our daughter Jillian, my mom immediately exclaimed "We can get her the Jillian Jiggs books!!!" And did. She bought all 5 books. Jilly likes hearing her name so much and it's a silly story we can repeat to her often. It's a bit long of a story (more for 5 years old), but the little lines in it are worth it.
Polar Bear Polar Bear, What Do Your Hear? - A follow up to Brown Bear. My Auntie Terry brought her this when they visited in October 2008, along with a stuffed polar bear. Jilly loves to look through this book and 'read' it to herself. It's a bit more exotic with it's animals (peacock, zebra, walrus, boa constrictor, etc) and sometimes the rhythm gets thrown off a little (hippopotamus has a LOT of syllables). But it's still very fun.
Olivia (by Ian Falconer)- The way this book was written sounds just like how I would write a book. My favorite page was "Sometime Ian just won't leave her alone, so Olivia had to be firm" with the accompanying picture of Olivia wearing a scary mask and little brother Ian running away. ;-) I love it. The illustrations are mostly gray scale, with touches of red, which are soothing and simple. Jilly asks for "O-wiv-a" at least 3 times away. We'll read it to her once or twice, then she'll 'read' it to herself over and over again.
And last but certainly not least, our very favorite Fox In Socks. Steve insisted on buying this one a few months ago, just because he wanted to read it. Jilly is now equally obsessed with it. Her favorite page is with Bim and Ben and the bands that BOOM. Seriously, she breaks out into giggles as soon as we turn to the page. I personally have a rocky relationship with this book, because sure enough my tongue was quite lame and went numb the first time I read it, even though I was going slow (my plea: heed the warning on the cover!!). So I decided that I wouldn't read it anymore, only Steve would. Alas, sometimes Jilly wants it read and Steve isn't around to do it, so I've had to fill in. I am warming up to it. I like listening to it, but the actual speaking part makes me nervous and I get annoyed when I mess up. But I digress. This book is definitely #1 in our hearts and ears.
Jilly loves books with a strong rhythm, especially with repetitive phrases and rhyming. She learns so much better through music (memorizes songs all the time), that I think the cadence of the poem-like stories really appeal to her. We'll hear her chanting phrases from the books often. Sometimes it's causes us to double take, like when she rushes saying Fox In Socks and it comes out Focking Socks. ;-) But I think one of the cutest things is when she sits on the couch and recites Polar Bear Polar Bear to herself, while turning the pages. "Hip-pah-mus, Hip-pa-mus, what da ya hear? I hear Ze-bwa yehping." It's cuter to hear, I promise. ;-)
We are so thrilled that our kids love reading just as much as their parents do!