From the time my son was able to show a preference in his books, he started choosing I Love You, Little One, by Nancy Trafuri. Now that he is almost five, we don't read that book every night, but he still will choose it on nights when he wants to hear how much I love him. We've read that book so often over the years, that he reads it with me. This morning, when I gave him You Are Special, Little One, he stroked the beautiful foxes on the cover and said, "I love you!"
Just like I Love You, Little One, this book reads like a gentle lullaby. It is repetitive enough that my son was saying the words with me during the first reading, but, of course, each animal is uniquely special. The child is special because of a warm, caring heart and a bright, curious mind. Just like my son.
The illustrations are absolutely lovely. They are realistic enough that the prairie dog and the beaver look different, but they are still gentle, soft and very child-friendly.