Confession: I love books for babies. When I was pregnant, I wasn’t tempted by baby gadgets, nursery decor, or clothes (well, not TOO badly by clothes – have you seen those tiny little jeans?!?), but books were a whole nother story (pun definitely intended). I acquired a LOT of baby and children’s books as I waddled happily around Barnes and Noble. Plus, because anyone who’s known me longer than about two seconds knows that I love to read, I was given several baby books during my pregnancy. Needless to say, Mr. Baby has quite the impressive library for one whose main goal with books is to gnaw on them. There are so many great books out there for kids of all ages, but here are five of my current favourite board books for very young children, in alphabetical order.
1. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (Authors: Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault, Illustrator: Lois Ehlert) – I think every kid should have an alphabet book, and I love this one. It has a fun rhythm, cute little story, and bold, easy to read letters. Because of the high contrast and clearly defined pictures, babies can focus on the pictures from a young age.
2. Little Blue Truck (Author: Alice Schertle, Illustrator: Jill McElmurray) – I had never heard of this book before it was given to me as a baby shower gift. The style of the illustrations (which are lovely) will probably do better with toddler aged children. For what it’s worth, I’ve been reading it to my son almost from day one, but he doesn’t seem to be able to focus on the pictures as well as the other books listed here (he’s 4 months). I’m already looking forward to reading it to him when he’s older and can understand the sweet story and enjoy my attempts at animal noises.
3. Look Look Outside (Peter Linenthal) – This is part of the “Look Look” series. It is designed to appeal to very young babies, with simple, high contrast pictures. I don’t know the science behind how infants see, but I can say that my son was looking at these pictures much earlier than other books. The only thing I don’t like about it is that it is VERY short (the whole book is basically a sentence – and not even one of my epic runon sentences, either!).
4.Paddington (Author: Michael Bond, Illustrator: R.W. Alley) – Oh Paddington, how I love you. I have a board book (this version) which covers about the first two chapters in the original, full length book. I love the story and the illustrations, and it’s nice to have a board book that takes longer than 30 seconds to read. If you finally get the baby settled and interested in what you’re reading, it’s annoying to have to switch books frequently.
5.The Very Hungry Caterpillar (Eric Carle) – I absolutely adore Eric Carle’s work. This was, in fact, the very first thing I bought when I found out I was pregnant. The story is fun, the illustrations are beautiful and richly textured, and it’s got different sized pages which will be fun for older babies to play with.
What are your favourite books to read to babies and toddlers?