Reading aloud with the right short storybook will ease them into the habit of reading. Storytelling is a tried and tested technique in teaching kids about language, emotions, and moral values. Before you know it, you'll have a cute little bookworm requesting new titles! Moreover, reading storybooks promotes brain development and imagination.
It also creates a wonderful bond between parents and their little ones. It's never too early to start a book routine. In this article, we've prepared a buying guide and a top 10 list of highly recommended short storybooks for your little ones. We also asked for some comments and tips from pediatrician Dr. Joanna Pamela Cuayo-Estanislao!
Dr. Joanna Pamela Cuayo-Estanislao is a pediatrician and child health specialist based in Metro Manila. Doc Joey is passionate about health education and empowering families to become informed advocates of their children's health and wellness. She uses social media to educate and raise awareness about important issues and topics in the field of pediatrics and child care.
Our recommendation articles are carefully researched and crafted by the mybest Philippines team of writers and editors. To stay true to our company’s mission and vision to help users’ selection process easier, we also collaborate with experts from various fields to ensure that our content stays factual and useful.
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Table of Contents
Here are some key points to consider:
For more detailed information, read through our buying guide below.
Kids have different interests depending on their age, so it is important to choose a storybook that captures their attention and encourages them to finish reading.
Most moms like to introduce a storybook routine as early as the infancy stage. Since a newborn's eyesight is not yet fully developed, select books with black-and-white designs, bright colors, or those with highly contrasting images.
The book must have either one to two objects or large illustrations so that your baby can easily focus on it. Photos of other babies and family members are also engaging for them.
Also, choose small books with rounded edges and thick pages so you can easily flip through the pages while holding your baby. Older infants also like books with interactive features such as pop-ups, textures, scents, and mirrors. Soft vinyl and cloth books are also best for infants for safety precautions.
A newborn’s eyesight is not fully developed at birth, and they see best from about 12 inches. Books with simple images and bold colors are great visually. In terms of content, try rhyming books or very short stories. Take the time to read the book out to them with emotions and a lot of color in your voice, as they can appreciate and respond to that already.
For older infants, it’s developmentally appropriate for them to chew on and grab books, so do keep that in mind when choosing books for them. Go for hardy or sturdy books with rounded edges or those soft, cloth books that are washable. Short stories are also best (for younger infants, their attention span is about 90 seconds), and nice, colorful illustrations help keep them engaged.
Begin with small board books with a few words on the page. This allows your toddler to create their version of the story, hence stimulating their imagination. They also enjoy simple storylines that are accompanied by large colorful pictures and touch-and-feel features.
Toddlers can appreciate a wider range of topics. These include storybooks about animals and everyday chores or routines, especially bath time and goodnight books. They also enjoy learning new words, especially when these are paired with specific gestures.
Choose books with many rhymes and repetitions because they are starting to hone their memory skills during this age. Plus, these are fun to read out loud. Lastly, a storybook that features their favorite movie or cartoon character is always a winner!
Toddlers are really receptive and love to learn. Go for books that have simple stories that they can easily follow and understand. Choose books with nice big letters and simple sentences, as these can be a great tool to help your child learn to read. It's also good to have a variety of children's books available for your toddler to explore, including fairy tales, poetry, and nursery rhymes.
Allow your toddler to take the lead during reading time. If they want to go back to a page or repeat a word or line, indulge them. Make reading a fun and positive experience. Reading time is always a great opportunity to encourage their love for learning.
Older kids, meanwhile, enjoy books with more complex storylines and one to two paragraphs per page. At this age, most kids can finish reading the sentences, especially when they are in a predictable or familiar text pattern.
Some children also like books that involve problem-solving and decision making. For example, books that present interactions or conflicts with friends or family members are very relatable for older kids.
While familiar concepts and situations are always important, remember to also choose storybooks that introduce your kids to varied themes such as cultures around the world and simple life situations which they haven't encountered yet. This is also the best time to incorporate books that teach moral stories and good conduct.
Books for preschoolers should have stories with basic plots, engaging illustrations, and easy to read text. Ideally, the storyline should move rapidly so it can be read in one session. It's also great to choose books that promote the use of their imagination and problem-solving skills.
Children this age also find interest in books about real-life circumstances that mirror their concerns, such as stories about going to school and playing with friends. This is also a good time to read books with a good message or meaningful moral of the story.
See which book titles spark interest in your children by allowing them to pick the book themselves. Find titles that feature their interests, for example, storybooks about princesses, pirates, or animals. Give them a narrowed down list of options, then let your little ones choose which book stands out from the rest.
Sometimes, kids are also interested in books that mimic events in their own life. Some common examples are books about having a new sibling, first day in school, and going to the doctor. Another option would be offering them books about different careers, their favorite places like parks or the zoo, or a toy that they love.
You'll notice that there are times when your child will pick the same book over and over again. That's perfectly normal! Repeated readings of the same book help children learn novel words, particularly for kids aged three to five years. Repetition actually helps in learning complex information by increasing opportunities for the information to be encoded.
By allowing your child to read the same book over and over again (if that's what they choose to do), you let them focus on different elements of the experience, providing them with opportunities to explore, ask questions, and connect concepts together.
Building a book collection is a wonderful hobby to start with your kids. It introduces them to different topics and types of books. Storybooks come in a variety of classifications. Provide your little ones with options so that every book reading session will be an exciting one for them.
Books that cultivate family values and morals must be a top priority. These will help you instill manners and proper conduct without appearing pushy or assertive. These books help your kids to distinguish between good and bad behavior.
Find books that provide your kids with useful information as it tells a story. Storytelling is an effective method in explaining topics that are taught in school. Some examples of such topics are: how the body works, mommy and baby animals, and the different types of plants. Some children's books incorporate history and math lessons in the story, too.
Reading time is also a great opportunity for teaching your children lessons and values. Choose stories that clearly portray the message you want to impart to your child. In rereads of the book, you can ask them what the character in the story should do next. Discuss the book with them, and ask them how the story makes them feel.
Books are also a great way to help prepare your child for new experiences. Before a trip to the zoo, you can read a book about animals or a story about a family going to the zoo. If your child will be joining preschool or daycare, you can choose books that have children as characters interacting with each other. You can even use books to help your child become acclimatized to having a new sibling.
Tales as old as time are a delight to read again and again. Wouldn't it be a nice family tradition to pass on a classic story that you've enjoyed as a child? Such books have universal themes and relatable characters that a kid of any generation would enjoy as well.
Most of these books are written by best-selling and award-winning authors. If this technique works and your kid ends up loving one of the author's books, you can find more titles from the same author. Your child can then enjoy more stories with a familiar style of writing and illustration.
Revisiting books that you enjoyed as a kid with your own child is always a memorable experience. More than giving your child the opportunity to enjoy and learn from the same books, it also allows you to share your own memories and experiences with the book with your child.
Click to purchase
Learning Is Fun
Smart Babies Bible Story Board Books with Carry Case
Your Little One's First Bible Book
Guess How Much I Love You: Here I Am!
A Classic Children's Story With a Furry Twist
World Publishing Company
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Well-Loved Book That Tackles Many Concepts
Harper & Brothers
The Perfect Sleepytime Book
Learning Is Fun
Goldilocks and the Three Bears
A Timeless Classic About Respect
Promotes Sign Language and Diversity
Best Storybook for Teaching Fairness and Sharing
Papel De Liha
An Award-Winning Story of Hard Work and Sacrifice
Ang Madyik Silya ni Titoy
Overcome Limitations With the Power of Imagination
Alamat ng Ampalaya
Impart Values to Older Kids With A Funny Legend
This book bundle includes four board books featuring the stories of Jonah and the Whale, Daniel in the Lion's Den, Noah's Ark, and Jesus. With their colorful and eye-catching illustrations, these stories are the perfect way to introduce the Bible to your kids.
Published by Learning is Fun, this board book set has a carry case, which makes it suitable for traveling or for just carrying it around the house – something that most kids enjoy doing as soon as they've mastered how to walk.
This Bible book set is also a nice gift idea for a baptism or dedication. It's never too early to familiarize kids with inspirational books of courage and faith that offer them moral lessons in an entertaining way.
The all-time favorite Guess How Much I Love You children's book now comes with an adorable hare finger puppet and peek-a-boo holes on every page. This soft and silky Little Nutbrown Hare puppet is perfect for little hands and is attached to the board book, so it won't get lost during your reading time.
In the story, Big Nutbrown Hare and Little Nutbrown Hare play a game of hide-and-seek. While doing so, both of them express how much they love each other using larger and larger measures.
Guess How Much I Love You was written by Sam McBratney and illustrated by Anita Jeram. It was published in 1994 and since then has sold more than 40 million copies worldwide. It has been recreated in different formats, including an audiobook and an animated TV series.
Who doesn't know the very hungry caterpillar? This tiny creature has been a fixture in many homes and classrooms for its charm and appeal to toddlers and kids of all ages. Even parents and teachers enjoy reading this book!
Through Eric Carle's simple yet ingenious storytelling and distinctive artistic style, children all over the world have flipped through the pages of this book with much enthusiasm. This is a wonderful tool for teaching numbers, one-to-one correspondences, and the days of the week.
Not only that, but kids also get to learn about the life cycle of a butterfly as they watch the caterpillar munch through different kinds of food, take a break inside his cocoon, and emerge as a colorful butterfly. With all of these concepts packed into a single book, it's no wonder this is a hit with young audiences worldwide.
Establish a consistent bedtime routine with the help of this timeless classic. There's a reason why this book has stood the test of time—not only does it introduce new words to your child, but it also has a tone that is perfect for winding down and getting ready for bed.
Cuddle up with the little bunny as he says goodnight to each of the toys and objects in his room and to the moon and stars as well. With its rhythmic and repetitive speech patterns, this simple story nudges the brain into hushing down and lulling off to sleep. Aside from that, it instills a sense of safety and teaches children about stability and consistency.
The story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears has been told and re-told many times, and for good reason. It is a time-tested vehicle for teaching kids about respect and the consequences of selfishness. For sure, this is one story you already know and can share with your child even with your eyes closed.
This book from Learning Is Fun presents this age-old story in a colorful and delightful way. The illustrations wonderfully depict the adventures of Goldilocks inside the Three Bears' home. When you read this to your child, don't forget to do the different voices to make it even more engaging!
Storybooks that teach diversity to young children are few and far between, so this book is definitely a welcome addition. It tells the story of a unique friendship between a little girl and a sorbetero named Kuya Berto. What makes their friendship special is that Kuya Berto is deaf, while the little girl is not.
Join her as she learns sign language in an effort to connect with Kuya Berto and form a lasting friendship. The book includes common sign language greetings and a chart of the Filipino Sign Language alphabet. You can practice spelling out your child's name with him or her using this chart.
But more than the introduction to a special language, the book teaches young readers to see deaf individuals as people worth connecting with. Written by Och Gonzalez and illustrated by CJ Reynaldo, this book is a useful vehicle for teaching acceptance, diversity, and friendship. It definitely deserves a spot on your bookshelf!
This book tells the story of siblings, a young ant, and a kuya (older brother ant). The story starts out with the kuya ant trying to trick the younger ant into getting a bigger share of the food they've collected, but by the end, it's clear that the story imparts the value of fairness and sharing between siblings.
The book also showcases different Filipino snacks and delicacies with beautiful illustrations done by Fran Alvarez. Written by Raissa Rivera Falgui, this children's book has received the 2014 Best Read for Kids award in the 3rd National Children's Book Awards.
This book is a heartwarming story that won First Prize in the 1995 Carlos Palanca Awards. It certainly deserves the top spot for showing how important hard work is, especially when done out of love. It is written from the viewpoint of a curious child and is very relatable for many children.
The story begins with a little girl wondering why her mother's hands were so rough. By the end of the book, she realizes it is because of everything her mother does for the family - cooking, cleaning, and taking care of her when she's sick.
Written by Ompong Remigio and illustrated by Beth Parrocha, this story is definitely one that tugs at the heartstrings. This book's beautiful writing is a great way to teach kids about poetic language and rhythm. It also teaches kids to show appreciation for their parents.
Adarna House is a well-loved publishing firm known for its award-winning titles, both locally and internationally. It has received the most number of National Children's Book Awards in the country. This book, named First Runner-Up Winner in the Gintong Aklat Awards in 2004, is yet another proof of their high standards in children's book publishing.
This story will spark your little ones' imagination as they join Titoy on his adventures! With his magic chair, Titoy overcomes his physical condition and travels to many wondrous places – a rock 'n' roll party, an under-the-water kingdom, and a palace in the rice fields.
This storybook shows that a child's creativity is boundless – that even an ordinary chair can transform into a car, a plane, a submarine, and even a spaceship! Written in Filipino by Russell Molina, this storybook also has an English translation. Its charming illustrations are done by Marcus Nada.
Who says the alamat is dead? This book from Adarna House certainly proves that wrong. Using the old-school way of sharing stories, Augie Rivera pens a wonderful tale on the origins of the ampalaya or bitter gourd. The bilingual format also helps to expand children's vocabulary in both Filipino and English.
At its core, the story warns against the consequences of envy and greed. It's a funny take on how the ampalaya lost its vibrant color and turned instead into a wrinkly and bitter-tasting vegetable due to the ugly emotion of envy. Illustrated by Kora Dandan-Albano, this book is a great way to tackle more complex themes with kids as they grow up.
Babies, especially younger infants, may not know what the pictures in a book mean or represent, but they can find a lot of interest and enjoyment in them, especially pictures of faces, and those with bright colors and different patterns. Books with rhymes are also great for the younger babies, as your baby will appreciate and enjoy the rhyme and rhythm, especially if you are able to read to them with color and emotion.
As for older babies, they're already starting to become more familiar with the world and objects around them. Choose books that show familiar objects and take the time to point them out to your baby. Books with simple sentences or nursery rhymes are also very enjoyable for older infants.
Are you still unsure about how establish a book routine with your child? Dr. Cuayo-Estanislao answers more questions to help parents feel more confident as they start their book-reading journey with their kids.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended that parents begin reading to their baby starting at birth. Many studies have shown that there are significant differences between kids who are read to and those who aren’t.
Research has even found that those differences become quite apparent as early as 18 months. Children who have daily reading time with their caregivers have more expansive vocabularies and can identify objects or words they know.
Toddlers can already enjoy and appreciate stories with a plot. Choose books that have simple but interesting stories. Because they're also developing their ability to think and analyze, you can ask them what they think will happen next in the story.
They're also honing their ability to memorize and may enjoy reading the same books. You can ask your child to help you read or tell the story. You can also ask them questions about what they think about what's happening in the story and how it makes them feel.
It's not an uncommon scenario: you try to read to your baby, but they seem uninterested or would become fussy after a while. This is not unusual and is not a predictor, at a few weeks or even months old, that your child will become an avid reader or not. It’s perfectly normal for babies to cry and, once older, to crawl around or not pay attention while you are reading. Don't lose heart and keep going.
Try to choose books that you can do fun and dramatic readings or voices with (a great example that quickly comes to mind is the Three Little Pigs!). Books that have rhymes are also great, as these often sound pleasant to a child's ears. Like with building any habit, consistency is key. Read with your child every day, even if it's just for a few minutes a day.
Don't forget that reading should be fun for your child. You don’t have to finish a story if your child loses interest. You can always try the book again at a later time or another day. For toddlers, let them choose the book you'll be reading, even if it means reading the same book over and over (and this can be the case for weeks and weeks!).
Always praise them for selecting a book. Make the experience engaging, especially for a toddler who loves being active and involved. Let them help you turn pages, talk about the pictures, point to different things in the pictures, and name them, then ask your child to name them with you and praise your child for their response.
Ask older tots open-ended questions: "Why do you think the little girl is going into the woods? What do you think will happen next?" This helps your child to think about the story and to ask questions.
Any time your child wants to read a book is a great time to read! In general, though, a good time to sit down with your child and read is before naptime and bedtime. This is the best time to have a little quiet, one-on-one time with your child as they're settling down to sleep.
For older kids, if your toddler will let you, have them sit on your lap while you read. This helps your toddler feel safe, relaxed, and happy. It also shows them that they have your full attention and would encourage your child to participate.
Aside from books, your child can also learn a lot from playing and doing other activities. below are some products that can help you bond and help your child to learn new stuff.
Author: Ayeza E. Mangulabnan
Our buying guide was carefully researched and crafted by the mybest team of writers and editors. We used the buying guide as a basis for choosing and ranking the product recommendations, and we looked at reviews and ratings from different E-commerce sites like Lazada, Shopee, and more.
No. 1: Learning Is Fun | Smart Babies Bible Story Board Books with Carry Case
No. 2: Walker Books | Guess How Much I Love You: Here I Am!
No. 3: World Publishing Company | The Very Hungry Caterpillar
No. 4: Harper & Brothers | Goodnight Moon
No. 5: Learning Is Fun | Goldilocks and the Three Bears
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