The best time to help youngsters capture the love of books and reading is when they are new to this world. Reading to newborns, babies and toddlers help them in so many ways. The strong bond between parent and baby becomes even stronger when being read to. There is also language development, facial expressions, voice inflections, memory and much more that is directly attributed to helping babies and toddlers, while reading out-loud to them. I’ve assembled some wonderful books that have great story-lines, vivid colors, and also included board books. Next week, I’ll conclude with uniquely packaged books that help teach and hold interest for the very young.

when my babyWhen My Baby Dreams of Fairy Tales, by Adele Enersen, features the author/photographer’s baby daughter on every page. The book initially harkens back to the Anne Geddes’ books of cute pictures of babies in different settings. But this book is much more! Each page features her baby in a fairy tale scene that goes right along with the fairy tale text. It’s fun to figure out what each fairy tale is by looking at the clues surrounding the baby. Ms Enersen is a creative genius in each of her depictions! This book is good for ages 1 and up.

The McElderry Book of Mother Goose, contains revered and rare rhymes compiled and illustrated by Petra Mathers, and is a collection that Ms. Mathers put together as she felt many of these classic rhymes are disappearing. She states, in the back of the book, that many of the Mother Goose rhymes were based on real events hundreds of years ago. She likes to think of this book as The Seldom Heard but Not Forgotten Mother Goose.” I believe, through my experience of teaching many years of kindergarten, that young children pick up “brain strength” through the repetition, rhyme and dictation, as well as learning the basics of words, spaces and reading. There are 55 poems that include “Bye, O My Baby”, “Hey Diddle Diddle” and “Six Little Mice“. The watercolor illustrations go perfectly with each poem. This book is good for ages 3 to 6.

thats what iThat’s What I’d Do, by Jewel, and beautifully illustrated with color that fills each page by Amy June Bates, is actually based on one of Jewel’s songs: The Merry Goes ‘Round”. The text reads how she would take the clouds away and just leave the blue sky and so on. The strong love between mother and baby is shown throughout in both text and picture. There’s also her CD included. This book is good for ages 1 to 5.

The Thankful Book, by Todd Parr, is filled with gratitude on every page and showcases Parr’s signature trademark of the brightest colors throughout. This is a perfect book to help little ones appreciate all that surrounds them! This book is good for ages 1 to 6.

Happy Birthday, Bunny!, by Liz Garton Scanlon is a beautifully illustrated book by an up-and-coming artist: Stephanie Graegin. This is the perfect book with simple yet clever rhyming for your 2 to 5 year old as he/she celebrates that special day!

The next five books are small-sized board books good for new babies up to age 3.

baby be kindBaby Be Kind, by Jane Cown-Fletcher, teaches how to be kind to others in a very simple and easy to grasp way through both the rhyming text and brightly painted pictures.

Duck & Goose: Goose Needs a Hug, by Tad Hills, is actually one in a series of “Duck & Goose” books that are all perfect for babies and toddlers. Some books teach concepts but this book shows how Goose is feeling badly and finally realizes he needs a hug. The pictures are bright and fill up each page.

How Does Baby Feel?, by Karen Katz, demonstrates how baby feels on every page by lifting each sturdy flap to reveal different feelings such as happy, sleepy and hungry. Katz is a favorite baby book author of mine.  

Gideon: It’s Play Time, not Naptime!, by Olivier Dunrea, is another delightful gosling story in a series that features several different characters that will soon become familiar to youngsters. This story dwells on how Gideon resists nap time at all costs until the eventual outcome: becoming tired.

5 little monkeysFive Little Monkeys Jump in the Bath, by Eileen Christelow, is another fun and funny story that little tykes love to hear over and over. The five little monkeys have made a mess of themselves after eating ice cream and playing in the mud. So it’s bath time. But, unfortunately they find themselves dirty again soon after their bath! The pictures alone will bring about giggles.

Since I have a set of almost 2 year-old-twin granddaughters, I need to add both of these books: Playtime for Twins and Bathtime for Twins, by Ellen Weiss, and illustrated by Sam Williams. These adorable twins featured in the book are having a delightful time as they Splashy, sploshy, splish” as they play in the bath.

little bee

Little Bee, by Edward Gibbs, is a unique board book that will entice and enthrall all ages. The very young will be captivated by the bright, vivid animals and older children will learn about food chains and ecosystems. It all begins wIth a bee who is being chased by a frog who is being chased by a snake and so on. Also, check out the three dimensional bee on the cover.