Willow's Growing Library

13 Mar 2018

As a self-confessed bookworm, reading to my daughter was something I dreamed about when pregnant. I imagined all the stories I would share with her from my own childhood and hoped she would love reading as much as I do.

A post about the best books for toddlers
My love of books is hugely influenced by my father; his encouragement to read and learn when I was younger has stuck with me through to adulthood and I have him to thank for my love of literature. It was really important to me that this was something I encouraged in my own children and so we have read book after book to Willow ever since she was born.

A post about the best books for toddlers
A post about the best books for toddlers
A post about the best books for toddlers

It warms my heart that Willow seems to be taking after me where books are concerned; I like to call her my little bookworm. She absolutely adores reading and she has a growing collection of books, sometimes so many it feels like they're taking over the house.

Of course, I appreciate that for many, having an extensive library isn't an option, but the vast majority of books in her collection are ones I have picked up at bargain prices in places like TKMaxx or even charity shops, and the majority are from The Works, who I love for their regular offer of 10 Books for £10 (you can read more about this fab offer in my Toddler Book Haul feature).

Willow is also registered at our local library, something which I felt really strongly about doing for her, as I think libraries are incredibly important to their communities and a great way to encourage little ones to read more - if you are struggling to buy your own books, taking out library books is a great alternative and of course, free!

I try to ensure Willow has quite a varied selection when it comes to her reading material. She has everything from dinosaurs, pirates and monsters to princesses and fairies, she has some of my own childhood favourites and books which encourage learning with colours, letters and numbers.

Some of her books are incredibly beautiful, particularly her growing collection of Usborne Peep Inside books; for Christmas, I bought her CinderellaBeauty and the Beast and Sleeping Beauty and they are, by far, the most beautiful children's books I have come across yet. I am smitten!

Another Usborne favourite of ours is Look Inside Your Body - this is an exceptional book that has been beautifully developed to help little ones understand their bodies and it gives me fond memories of a similar book I had as a child. I am always in awe of Willow when we read this together, as she has picked up on the information inside so well, often pointing to her own body to show which part of the body we are learning about and repeats facts from the book.

I have also started to introduce inclusive and feminist books in her library. A is for Activist was one of her birthday presents and I love the way she will read along with me, so used to the words now as we have read it so many times. "F is for Feminist!" - hell yeah! She also adores her DC Comics My First Book of Girl Power, which has been a favourite of hers since around 15 months. The entire DC Comics board book range looks fab and I'll definitely be picking her up some more.

A post about the best books for toddlers
A post about the best books for toddlers

A post about the best books for toddlers

This is a section of her library I really want to expand and now that she is older, I will be slowly making my way through the extensive wishlist I have for her over on Amazon. If you have any feminist book recommendations for little ones, I'd love to hear them - I find these kinds of books much harder to seek out among the more mainstream books advertised towards toddlers.

A new favourite of ours is based on one of Willow's current biggest interests, she is a huge animal lover and seems to have picked up my love for sharks, so we adore her Sharks book, which is part of the Science for Toddlers range from the American Museum of Natural History. Sharks are my favourite creatures and Willow has developed a big love of sharks too, so this is one of our favourites to sit down and look through together.

Other books which are helping her learn more about nature and the beautiful creatures in our world, are The Little Book of Garden Bird Songs and The Little Book of Night-Time Animal Sounds. These are fab sound books that are packed full of information and I really love this range; I'll be adding the remaining four books from this range to her collection soon, which cover Woodland Bird Songs, Dawn Chorus, Wetland Bird Songs and Ocean Animal Sounds.

I also personalised books, as I think they are a great way to keep little ones engaged when reading. Willow has a few personalised books now and we love reading them together. Wonderbly have a fantastic range of books that are extremely high quality and have lovely stories, too. Willow has The Incredible Intergalactic Journey Home and The Little Girl Who Lost Her Name, she loves recognising her name in the book and the stories are really engaging.

I hope Willow's love of books continues to grow, even if we are running out of space for all of her books! Does your little one love to read too? I'd love to know what their favourite books are!


  1. I'd love to hear your feminist recommendations if you get any. I was going to get Eleanor Fantastically Great Women who Changed the World but it's probably way too old for her. I hope she turns out like Willow and loves books.

    1. I have quite the growing list on Amazon so I may feature a wish list to share some of the ones I'm eyeing up! I think that one looks OK for toddlers to be honest - I've checked it out in our local Waterstones xo