Eric Carle’s From Head to Toe is Jasper’s absolute favorite book right now.
What I like most about this book is that it’s interactive — I love sitting and reading for however long Jasper wants to do it, but I also really appreciate a book that gets him up and moving. In this one, you mimic what the animals and people are doing — for example, you thump your chest like a gorilla, bend your neck like a giraffe, and turn your head like a penguin. Another plus: all of the kids come from varying ethnic and racial backgrounds and compositions.
This book is also fantastic because it has Jasper pretending to be animals when he’s NOT reading it. We’ve caught him pretending things before (the first time was with a Chewbacca toy. To say we were proud would be an understatement.), but this was different. He’s pretended with cars and buses as long as he’s played with them, but unprompted pretending to be an animal is spectacular and lots of fun.
We were out at the bookstore a few days ago when all of the sudden, Jasper dropped to hands and knees and started growling — a surefire hint that he’s pretending to be a lion. He’ll randomly be walking around and start waving his arms like a monkey (also something you do in the book), and making “ooh ooh ooh!” sounds. He loves when we pretend with him, and strangers have stumbled upon Jasper and I both crawling around in public pretending to be lions.
I’m sure Jasper would be doing this at some point without the book, but I think reading the book together as a family while interacting and “becoming” animals has really pushed this along further. From a parental perspective, it’s a great thing to see. Jasper will be two in March, but I could see this book easily entertaining any kid up to six or seven.
Snag this book at your local library, or buy it on Amazon!