Children & Adolescents Clinic

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Clinical Reference Systems: Pediatric Advisor 10.0

Toddler Literature (18 mo - 3 yr)

During toddlerhood, children begin to take a definite interest in words and wordplay. They begin to know some words to favorite nursery rhymes by heart, and love to hear their favorite stories over and over again.

Children of this age enjoy naming things, and books and stories should highlight people and objects common to toddler life. Young children favor colorfully illustrated books about familiar experiences with recognizable people or animals. They are exceedingly fond of nonsense verse and nursery rhymes which help them discover pleasing combinations of rhythm and sound.

Toddlers have short, wandering attention spans, so stories should always be short, simple, and evident from the pictures. Avoid books with such upsetting themes as abandonment or punishment. Most appropriate are large-format books that develop one main character through action and activity. Happy, clear-cut endings are essential.

For more information see:

Importance of Books

Suggested Reading Activities

Using Books to Help Children Cope

Children's Books Listed by Subject

Written by Donna Warner Manczak, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Copyright 1999 Clinical Reference Systems