A love for books starts early; when little eyes see pages turning in another's hands and watch eyes scan across little black dots. Literary love is kindled in a parent's lap, as pictures appear and exciting words are spoken clearly in a small, eager ear.
It's so fun for me to watch my one-year-old daughter pick up her books, and "read" them, with cadenced, expressive jabberings, or at times with silent changes of expression, as if she really is thinking about what is happening in the pictures. I love watching her "read" books I've read to her repeatedly, and hear her say the few words she knows at the appropriate spots, or make the noises I always do at a particular picture (a munching sound at a picture of a frog catching a fly, for instance).
A friend recently asked me for a list of fun books for little kids, and here is what I came up with (in no particular order):
any/all of the Eric Carle books (The Very Busy Spider; The Grouchy Ladybug; The Very Hungry Caterpillar; Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?; etc)
Moo Moo La La La and all Sandra Boynton's books
Guess How Much I Love You
We're Going on a Bear Hunt
Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, Dr. Suess' ABC Dr. Seuss
Are You My Mother? P. D. Eastman
Good Night Moon and The Big Red Barn(Margaret Wise Brown)
The Little Engine that Could
Come Here, Cleo (Caroline Mockford)-- this is a bit hard to find, but I love all the verbs it uses
The Gingerbread Man
The Snowy Day
Mike Mulligan & His Steam Shovel
The Little House
The Owl & the Pussycat
All of the Places to Love
The Kissing Hand
any of the "Carl" books, ex. Good Dog, Carl or Happy Birthday Carl... about a black Lab & baby girl-- very few words, and very very funny!
Where the Wild Things Are
Make Way for Ducklings
The Story about Ping
all of the Don & Audrey Wood books (The Napping House, The Ripe Red Strawberry, etc.)
I Love You, Goodnight
Good Night, Gorilla (also almost wordless, but hilarious!)
books of fairy tales & fables & myths
Owl At Home & Frog & Toad Are Friends (Arnold Lobel)
The Littles & their Friends
The Jesus Storybook Bible (Sally Lloyd-Jones)
The Big Picture Story Bible (David Helm)
Most of All, Jesus Loves You (Noel Piper)
The King without a Shadow (RC Sproul)...one set of Bible stories in 4 volumes with awesome simple pictures that I can't remember the name of...
As for where to look, check out the used books online at Amazon-- go to dealoz.com for a complete price comparison. I get lots of mine at Goodwill for 50 cents, or at the peddler's malls around town.