Littlest Book ReviewerNourishing Hearts and Minds

Books for One-Year-Olds: Our Favorites

Well, it’s certainly been a while since we updated this section of our site. Don’t worry, we’ve been reading here at Casa Rystedt! Tons, actually. Since becoming mobile, Paisley has developed an insatiable appetite for finding books and roping Josh or me into reading them to her. She also loves to pull apart her bookshelf to find exactly the story she’s looking for.

We have read so many books lately, and I’d love to share with you some of Paisley’s favorites, as well as a few that I think impart some fantastic message for impressionable little people. Enjoy!


Pat A Cake

Paisley’s absolute favorite book right now is this cute little riff on the traditional Pat A Cake nursery rhyme. It’s cute, it’s fun, it gets stuck in your head. All of the components for a perfect toddler storybook. If we accidentally leave this book in Paisley’s bedroom at night, she’ll knock on the door until one of us goes in and reads it to her. Again.

Eric Carle the Very Busy Spider

The Very Busy Spider

And oldie but goodie, the Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle is surprisingly one of my favorite stories to share with Paisley. This story spins a web of determination and hard work and celebrates the spider’s creativity, diligence, and singular focus on one task (making a spiderweb). Between the lines, it praises the excellent qualities of setting and achieving goals (catching a fly), as well as the spider’s independence and seeming introversion.

In a world of saccharine over-inclusion, “groups are always better”, “get out there and be the extravert on the playground” messages in children’s entertainment, I find The Very Busy Spider a refreshing read. It reminds curious little introverts that their missions and methods are valuable, even if underrated by the general population.

Happy Birthday Sophie - Pop-Up Peekaboo

Happy Birthday Sophie!

Another Paisley favorite, Happy Birthday Sophie! is a charming story about Sophie the Giraffe’s birthday party. Surprises hide behind lift-the-flap pop ups as Sophie searches for her friends who, presumably, have arranged a surprise birthday party for her. The Sophie the Giraffe books are lovely, with pastel artwork, simple plots, and a touch of sophistication.

Ladybug Girl book

Ladybug Girl

Ladybug Girl was an instant hit with Paisley as soon as I brought our first copy of one from this series home with me from work. In this original story, Lulu aka Ladybug Girl explores her backyard and shows of feats of strength, courage, and ingenuity. Though Paisley won’t actually sit still to read this specific book in its entirety, she is crazy for others in the series, including Ladybug Girl Makes Friends, Ladybug Girl Plays, and Ladybug Girl Feels Happy.

I don’t know why, but these books are pure magic for very little girls. If you have gifting needs for granddaughters, nieces, or any other toddlers, I highly recommend this series!

Dr Suess Oh Baby Go Baby

Oh Baby, Go Baby!

This another Mom favorite pick. A twist on Dr. Seuss’s popular graduation speech turned book, Oh the Place You’ll Go, Oh Baby, Go Baby! is a distilled version of the rhyming inspirational piece and is intended for small hands. This book contains not only a snappy poem but incorporates sensory stimulation into the story’s illustration. One page has a trippy spinning wheel, another some shiny paper, and one a popup.

The message of the book is overall inspirational, but tempered with a dose of reality. I really appreciate a children’s book that addresses the fact that life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows and that dreams sometimes fail. Does my one-year-old understand this? No. Because pretty colors, yo! But Mommy and Daddy are endeared to the words of wisdom mixed with wonder.



Happy reading, Friends!

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Gabrielle Rystedt
Gabrielle Rystedt
Gabrielle Rystedt is a writer by day and a writer by night (because writers never sleep), who spends time balancing client orders, a couple of books and her blog at Raising Rystedts. She’s a business school grad who’s dabbled in management, both at the project and company level. She loves coffee and crafting, and enjoys settling down with a good book. Though as mom to three kiddos in three years, she realistically spends most of her time reheating her coffee and typing away like a crazy person on a laptop keyboard while surrounded by (clean) cloth diapers and cheddar bunnies.

What are your thoughts?