Eric Carle is a household name in most homes with young children. His art captivates children, and many of his books are simple enough for the youngest child to enjoy while also introducing early academic concepts (time, color, shape, animals, letters, numbers, etc.). Our current favorite is From Head to Toe. Published in 1997, it’s had a solid decade on the market, but for some reason I was unfamiliar with it. It should be put right up there with The Very Hungry Caterpillar!
In FHtoT, children mimic different movements of animals (penguins turn their heads, gorillas thump their chests, cats arch their backs, and so forth). After every movement, the child on the page (and, presumably, the child hearing the story) says, “I can do it!” This invites so much participation from children! It’s a book to read when you have time and energy to be active, not a bedtime book. It captivates young children, gets them directly involved in the book, and is a lot of fun to share. I think the bigger book version is better (as opposed to a board book) because the pictures seem to do well in a bigger format. Check it out from your local library at your next visit!