As a mother of two, I am constantly on the look out for great children’s books to read with the boys. I am especially interested in stories that will keep both of their attention, given the two and half plus age difference. And let’s be honest, I want a story I enjoy as well. It makes story time more pleasant for everyone.

Recently, we have been enjoying books that request some interaction. I love that this not only engages the boys, but also requires a level of listening and following instructions. This is a skill we all could use the practice, including me. Great illustrations and bright colors motivate us to turn the pages and often prompt an encore from the boys. Here are our favorites lately:

Rhymoceros

Rhymoceros by Janik Coat

The wonderfully illustrated rhinoceros walks the reader through pairs of rhyming words with much personality and charm. As you flip through this clever board book, he becomes a chameleon of sorts, with touchable textures from bumpy to furry to mossy. The gold foil rhino won me over and creative rhyming combinations had us all giggling.

I picked up our copy at Cotswold Marketplace in Charlotte, NC. If you are in town you should stop in this multi-vendor retail and design center, they have some great children’s items.

Press Here

Press Here by Herve Tullet

This book is truly an experience. It is simple, thoughtful, interactive and slightly genius. I have yet to find anything else like it and I know it will remain a favorite for sometime. The only challenge is trying to referee who gets to “press here” first between the boys.

The Jolly Postman

The Jolly Postman by Janet & Allan Ahlberg

This classic is a new addition to our library, thanks to the recommendation from Lynn-Anne Bruns, owner of Home with Heart. During our Noteworthy interview, she pulled it from the kids shop and recalled how her children loved the book. It has become an instant favorite with our oldest, who is four, who loved the familiar fairy tales and uniquely addressed letters waiting to be opened as we read through the book.

Bruno Munari's ABC

Bruno Munari’s ABC by Bruno Munari

This book reinvents the ABCs through beautiful illustrations and creative letter pairings. It feels artistic and slightly unconventional but the unfamiliar is entertaining and thought provoking. It has become a staple in our house.

The Day the Crayons Quit

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers

This story awakens one’s imagination (both young and old) through the use of one of the most commonly used and identifiable items from childhood, a crayon. The crayons find their voice and express to their owner their feelings, grievances, and comical feedback leaving the reader to never look at a crayon the same way again.

Wallpaper by Ralph Lauren; Acrylic Bookcart from the Land of Nod. 

Images by Candice Lanning, www.thebeautifulmess.com.