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Bean's Choice Awards: Engaging Books for 1 - 3 Year Olds - Reading with Bean

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Bean’s Choice Awards: Engaging Books for 1 – 3 Year Olds

Bean just turned one. Huge milestone for her, and huge year for us. I am still astonished at the changes that take place in year one. They  start out as a sleepy potato who neighs like a goat  and within 12 months they are this little babbling person who you can’t stop hugging.

Bean has been very interested in books for the last few months. I often see her little rear end hanging out of her bin of toys, which is also book storage. She emerges 90% of the time with a book, not a toy, in her hand. I love this.

To celebrate Bean’s first birthday and her love of books, I created Bean’s Choice Awards. 


dear zoo


In this sweet animal book children can flip open various flaps to expose various animals. Play the guessing game when they are ready. Assign noises to the animals. I am against the idea of zoos, but I like this book because it is simple and written for the toddler brain. I am wondering if I can rename it Dear Serengeti…


millie moo

This search-and-find / touch-and-feel book is quirky and fun. It is larger than the average board book, making it more interactive for little ones (the bigger the better, right?). The words are colorful and part of the illustrations, and there are holes on each page that lead to finding something wacky on the next page.

FAVORITE BOOK TO POINT AT: Best Little Board Book Ever

little board book

If you read my blog you know that I love Richard Scarry. Why? Because his books are perfect for the toddler brain; the brain that loves repetition, absorbs information and makes connections. The book has word / picture associations everywhere, and the illustrations are detailed and fun. Bean points at things and I tell her what it is. We often don’t read the book, but just picture walk through it. This small version of Early Words and Color Book is the perfect pocket book – bring it everywhere you go.


What Makes a Rainbow

I adore this magical ribbon book that slowly weaves colored ribbon into the rainbow inside its pages. The last page provides a pop up rainbow. Unfortunately this pop up rainbow is already dented and broken from many handlings in our house. The ribbons are often used as a book leash as it is pulled behind Bean.

FAVORITE BOOK TO HARM (OUT OF LOVE):  Dr. Seuss’s Oh, Baby! Go, Baby!

Oh Baby! Go Baby! Dr. Seuss

This pop up book has spins, pulls and fluffs. We have already lost a few of the pulls…but this book is well loved. This book makes for a great “Welcome Baby” present.


If I Were a Hippo

We have had this book in the back seat of the car for the past two months. Bean plays / reads/ handles it when she is in the car and needs a little entertainment. There are different textures to feel (the parts of the hippo) within the book, and the book itself has a tail sticking out of it. This book is usually one of the first books that Bean reaches for.


  1. Love this, and so sweet that she picks a book over toys most of the time. Lauren and Emma love to read/be read to…Sam just isn’t as interested, but hopefully he’ll get there…

    • readingwithbean

      He will get there. Sometimes it is hard to get boys to sit still for long enough to realize something is good! Thanks for reading,Jess!

  2. Shannon

    Hi Lori,

    I tried to send you a message via your contact form, but I think something might have gone wrong as I got an error message after hitting send. I’m a publicity associate for Independent Publishers Group and I’d love to get in touch with you about potentially sending you some books for review. Please contact me at your earliest convenience.



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