What better time than summer to clean out the bookshelves and get ready to work on some education through the dry spell.  Here are our top picks for little ones:

Press Here, by Herve Tullet

We read this with the kids and were commanded to not turn another page while they ran to the potty.  Interactive, exciting, and educational, ‘Press Here’ helps kids review colours, counting and actions in a super-fun way.  The kids are asked to press, rub, and shake the book to ‘move’ the dots.  What a way to develop a love of reading!

Good Morning, Toucan by Dwell Studio

Sometimes the ‘Good Night’ books come in hoardes.  We should be reading to our kids all day, right?  Not only that, but this book solves another of our pet peeves.  Enough of the giant, ferocious animals that kids can only see at a zoo already!  Bring on the chameleons, toucans, tree frogs and turtles.  Good morning, rainforest.

The Pigeon Wants a Puppy, by Mo Willems

I love Mo Willems.  Instructive and right to the heart of kids’ behavioural issues, these books are also super-fun to read.  Only a few words per page, and the pigeon is so expressive that the drama queen in you can really get into the emotion behind every page.  Unfortunately, by the end of the book, after whining about wanting a puppy in many different ways, the pigeon realizes that puppies have big teeth and would rather get a walrus.  My son?  “I want a puppy AND a walrus”.  I don’t think he got the point.  Love Willems?  Also check our review of Knuffle Bunny, Too.

All Aboard for Dreamland, by Melanie Harby, Illustrated by Geraldo Valerio

Well, first there’s the trains.  That always adds to a book.  But the illustrations are frame-able, the rhymes delicious, and the opportunity for leg-bouncing and giggles are endless.  Harby takes you on a ride on a train to dreamland where the excitement builds with musical precision, and slows gently as the train arrives to its destination, past the rainbow’s bend.  (This is one that you’ll remember and recite for eons).

Around the World with Mouk, by Marc Boutavant

This book – complete with reusable stickers (careful of choking) – is as fun for the parents as the kids.  Mouk goes to every continent, and the dialogue boxes can ensure a quick read, or lengthy explanations and discussion of Finnish lichen, bouganvillea in Greece, hedgehogs in the Sahara, and aardvarks in Burkino Fasso (yeah – get a map, Mom).  A total Montessori-friendly activity, there’s always something new to look at, read and learn about.  And your child will love to stick Mouk in all of the different countries.

To grab these picks?  Try Kidsbooks.ca, Indigo.ca or Amazon.ca.

– Jill Amery likes reading in crazy voices.  She just has to remember to use her normal voice at cocktail parties.