Reading List for a Genius Toddler

I walked into the dining room and found that my three-year-old had set out the books he wanted to read today.


In case you can’t read all of those titles, they include:

The Elements of Style by Strunk and White, illustrated by Maira Kalman

The Bible (he chose the Revised Standard Version “with Apocrypha.” Perhaps he wasn’t ready for the King James Version that was on the shelf next to this one)

Advice for the Climb, a book of poems by Imogene Bolls

The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories by Dr Seuss

Strega Nona retold by Tomie DiPaola

Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto

Curious George Goes Camping (adapted from a film series we’ve never seen)

Alpha Bears by Kathleen Hague

As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

I’m pretty impressed by his selections. They’re fairly well-rounded, if a little heavily weighted towards the “fiction” side. He’s got prose and poetry, male and female authors, works that span the ages from ancient to modern, stories from the United States, Japan, Italy, and the Middle East.

This kid’ll be a cinch to homeschool. I just need to put the classics on the shelves he can reach. And get him to stop head-butting me to get my attention.

Are you the parent of a toddler genius? What’s on his/her reading list?

Or are you a toddler genius? What’s on your reading list? And what’s up with the head-butting?

10 Replies to “Reading List for a Genius Toddler”

  1. that is the cutest, funniest thing ever!! I love that you captured this moment in time. We try to do that too. Because we do forget. Especially with little geniuses… How much fun to be able to look back at this.
    Which book are you reading first?


    1. The Bippolo Seed, of course. Once we’ve gotten through the 572nd reading of that one, he might be reading to move on to the Strunk & White.


  2. My nine-year-old likes to read The Economist. My other kids pick up just about anything they can find with words in it, but since they pick cereal boxes just as often as Hemingway, I think it has more to do with cover art than innate genius. They do like Blake’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience, but then, it has pictures.


    1. I don’t know…I bet there are plenty of geniuses who read cereal boxes. But I suspect it was the purple cover that caused my son to pick up the Bible. It was clearly genius that drew him to the Faulkner, though.

      We had a negative experience with cover art this afternoon. My seven-year-old checked out a library book about endangered animals that had a photo of polar bear cubs on the cover, but when we she looked through it in the car on the way home, she discovered that the cover photo was the only appearance of polar bears in the book. A disappointing but inevitable lesson for a young reader.


    1. My guy’s done it practically from the beginning. (I think it’s because of his 95th-percentile head (genius toddler, like I said).) Christmas morning a couple of years ago, he woke me up with a head-butt that bloodied my nose, and although he didn’t break it, it did sit a bit crooked until my osteopath straightened it out again. He likes to head-butt me in the hip while I’m trying to cut vegetables and the head-butts his sister while she’s playing her flute. My frequent repetition of, “Your head is not a weapon,” seems to make little to no difference. I figure he’ll either grow out of it or he’ll have a good career with the WWE.


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