Every mama knows the importance of reading to their child and will want to start building a little library. Books are also a great gift for a casual friend or co-worker or a special present for a second or third child who isn’t having a shower. Early on, the baby will simply yearn for the sound of your voice – so feel free to read that InStyle or Us Weekly out loud for a little creative multi-tasking! But as with everything else, they will get picky and you’ll be reading the same book from the dollar bin at Target ten times in row (and in your sleep!). Here are some books you and your little one – or the little one of a friend - won’t tire of.
First Story Time Board Books:
It’s all about simple illustrations, lots of animals and things they recognize, and a good rhythm.
· Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann: An opportunity for you to invent a story or simply watch your little one point out the animals.
· I am a Bunny by Ole Risom: Introduce the seasons with bold illustrations with lots of detail.
· Dinosaur Roar by Paul Stickland: Make a funny voice when the dinosaur roars, act out the opposites, and you’ll soon be reading this every night.
· Barnyard Dance by Sandra Boyton: Any of her books are a sure thing, but every baby loves dancing animals.
· Hand, Hand, Fingers Thumb by Al Perkins: A catchy rhyme that is easy to read – with monkeys!
· Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Eric Carle: There is a reason it is still popular after all these years – as with all Carle’s books.
Books for Toddlers:
It’s always a challenge to find the perfect mix of simple storytelling and compelling graphics. Here are some that are must haves.
· Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin: You’ll also have this memorized in no time, but it’s a better to hum this than the intro to Elmo’s World!
· Seven Blind Mice by Ed Young: Days of the week, colors, and numbers…you get it all in beautifully illustrated book, clearly for the overachieving child!
· Steamboat a Comin by Jill Esbaum: It’s a tad sophisticated (we have to start early for Harvard), but the illustrations are gorgeous
· King Bigood’s in the Bathtub by Audrey Wood: It’s always nice to encourage a bath, too bad they don’t have something similar to encourage toothbrushing, pottytraining, eating dirt, etc.!
· I Love My Pirate Papa by Laura Leuck: Because everyone needs a good last minute Father’s Day gift idea that is actually worthwhile…
Books to Encourage Going to Bed:
Most mamas aren’t lucky enough to have a little one that crawls into bed on their own; these books will help move things in the right direction.
· Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anne Dewdney: I’m not sure who likes it better, the mamas or the little llamas. A must have.
· How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague: I suppose this reminds us mamas, that it could possibly be worse…however unlikely a dinosaur child is!
· Russell the Sheep by Rob Scotton: Darling story and illustrations…and you get a little counting practice throw-in as well.