I have been reading to my 3-year old daughter since she was a baby. It has become a part of our daily ritual, before naps and again before bedtime. It gives her time to wind down and relax before going to sleep at night and it gives us a great chance to bond one-on-one! There are definitely some stories that she favors above the others and we end up reading them again and again! Here I will review my daughter's top 5 favorite children's story books.

bear in the boat

5.) The Bear In The Boat - written and illustrated by Ilse-Margaret Vogel

This book is an oldie but a goodie! It is a very cute rhyming story about a bear that comes to take his friends for a ride in his boat, but he has too many friends and it starts to sink. Bear and his friends have to come up with other plans to spend time together. I don't think it's so much the story of this book that delights my daughter, but the very cute and well-written rhyme that it is written in. Here is an excerpt from The Bear In The Boat:

"So they all got on fast

(The Snail was the last),

And Owl shouted, 'Anchors aweigh!"

The Cow cried, 'It's great

That nobody was late.

We all will go sailing today.'

But what do you think?


Bear's boat was too full,

And it started to SINK!"

If you can find a printing of this cute book that I picked up at a second-hand store, I would highly recommend it! It lends itself nicely to all sorts of great voices and accents!

llama llama misses mama

4.) Llama Llama Misses Mama - by Anna Dewdney

This is another awesome addition to the Llama Llama line of books but we like this one best. It's about a young llama and dealing with missing his mama on his very first day of school. Again, this one rhymes (my daughter really likes that!) and is so stinkin' cute! Here is an excerpt from Llama Llama Misses Mama: "Meet new faces. Hear new names. See new places. Watch new games. Hang the coat and say good-bye. Llama Llama feeling shy… Mama Llama goes away. Llama Llama has to stay." My daughter's favorite part is when the mama comes back to pick him up from school, she get's so excited and claps like crazy. This has been a great help with explaining to her that she will be going to school next year and not to be sad because of all the fun she will have. I think it's really helping to prepare her!

i love it when you smile

3.)I Love It When You Smile - written by Sam McBratney - Illustrated by Charles Fuge

This book is so precious! It's about a young kangaroo who is feeling quite crabby one morning and his mother's attempts to cheer him up! It reminds me of my daughter on many mornings when she's not so "bright-eyed and bushy-tailed!" Here is an excerpt from I Love It When You Smile: "His mom reached out and flipped him up head over heels. It was the kind of game that little kangaroos love to play! But would it work this grumpy morning? No. Little Roo did not smile. Not even a teeny-weeny bit." By the end of this book, both of us have huge smiles on our faces. I sometimes purposely pick out this story book on purpose when my daughter is feeling a little crabby! It has really bright illustrations and the characters are all incredibly cute!

tumble me tumbily

2.) Tumble Me Tumbily - written by Karen Baicker - illustrated by Sam Williams

This one is MY favorite children's book that my daughter and I read together. Karen Baicker is a master of rhyming and she makes the most incredible pictures with her words! Not only does this story have very creative word play, but the illustrations are beautiful! Here is a little piece of Tumble Me Tumbily: "Grape jelly jiggle belly coming down the slide, smash a berry messy, merry mix it up inside. Toot Toot! Choo-choo coming down the track, Pretzel, cracker tummy packer bringing me my snack." This book is a must have and I don't even mind when she requests it night after night! It is actually a compilation of three stories by this author, but they all flow well together and together, they create the perfect length story for bedtime.


1.) Pinkalicious - written by Victoria & Elizabeth Kann - illustrated by Victoria Kann

This story, on the other hand, I can get tired of after about the 5th time in a row! It's a story about a little girl that is obsessed with the color pink and when her and her mother make pink cupcakes one rainy day, she eats a few too many. When she wakes up in the morning, she is all pink! Her mother is quite alarmed, but she is delighted! Here is an excerpt from Pinkalicious: "My hair was the color of raspberry sorbet. I cried because I was so beautiful. I even had PINK tears. I put on my pink fairy princess dress and twirled in front of the mirror, while Mommy speed-dialed the pediatrician." This is a good tool to show kids that too much of anything is not good! Any little girl that likes pink or fancies herself a princess like my daughter will LOVE this story! My daughter never tires of this one and requests it all the time!

Reading to your children is a great way to spend time together and if you can instill a love of reading in your child, you can open a world of possibilities to them. It is also a great way to transition from play time to sleep time without going through the stress of threats and begging that can sometimes accompany bedtime routines! So whether you're looking for a book for your daughter or to give as a gift, if you choose one of my daughter's top 5 favorite children's story books, you'll have a winner on your hands!