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What are your baby’s favorite books?

by on September 29th, 2016
Karen and Morgan read a high-contrast book on baby's first trip to the library.

ICPL’s Karen and Morgan read a high-contrast book to my 6-week-old baby on his first trip to the library.

Today my baby turns 10 months old. That’s 10 whole months of me learning firsthand about early literacy. He doesn’t sit still much these days. Rather than listening to a book beginning-to-end, he’d rather turn their pages, or pull as many books off the shelf as he can, which staff in the Children’s Room found out Saturday at close. Still, he has delighted at many of the books I’ve put in front of him, and I’d like to share the types of books that have captivated him even before he can understand their words and stories.

ICPL’s board book collection in the Children’s Room is one of those high-turnaround beasts. They take a beating and we buy whatever we can to replace them when they are mangled. If you can’t find one of these titles, look for the following features that make them attractive.

Before they can work with their hands

Baby Loves SportsLook for high contrast and black-and-white books that highlight shapes like Baby Bright and Baby Loves Sports. A baby’s vision isn’t very sharp in the beginning, so these kinds of books are great for introducing visuals.

Peekaboo books and tactile books

Peekaboo books are great as they can start to see more clearly but before they develop finer motor skills in their fingers. These books (Where Is Baby’s Beach Ball? and Zoom, Zoom, Baby! for example) hide faces and animals or other surprises under a large flap that encourages the baby to look under. It teaches them the concepts of “under” and “behind.” These are great when a baby is on the cusp of looking around corners for things or looking for things they know are there but can’t immediately see. Books with baby faces are big, too.

Baby Says PeekabooBaby Says Peekaboo! has been a favorite for months. This one has babies hiding behind objects as well as different textures for your early learner to explore with fingers and hands.

Wiggle!I’m going to put the book Wiggle! in this category too. It doesn’t have flaps or textures, but a single hole where one of your fingers becomes things like a tail, beak, or horn that belongs to the animal on the page. “A penguin pecks with its beak,” is one line, and then you can act out that motion. This book made my baby crack up when he figured out the shenanigans that were going on.

Learning how to turn pages

My little guy first turned a page before he was three months old. How? Soft books with tails, naturally. A company called Jellycat makes these soft books that have differently textured dangling things that a wee one can grasp and pull. These cloth books may not be a good fit for a public library collection, but they are perfect for your home collection.

In My ForestAnd before you know it, your little one will graduate to turning board book pages. Books like In My Jungle and In My Forest are literally easy page-turners because they provide more edges for the baby to clutch and turn.

Lift-the-flap books

Spot's First WalkThese books are my little one’s current favorites. They’re the only books that slow him down to look at the picture behind the flap. Otherwise he’s turning the book’s pages like he’s hunting for a leprechaun. He loves pointing with his index finger at everything, and he uses that same poke motion to lift the smaller flaps to see what’s underneath. We read Dear Zoo  and Spot’s First Walk almost daily now.

I’ve been assured by my Google research that my baby probably doesn’t have ADHD just because he can’t sit still and listen to a story. Thinking about all the skills he’s developed since opening those first high-contrast books gets me excited for all the great learning that comes next. And you know what? It even takes away some of the aggravation created by having to pick books off the floor three times a day!

What are your baby’s favorite books?

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