Thursday, March 7, 2013

Great Books for Babies and Young Toddlers

It's never too early to start reading to a child...and that includes babies! I started when Mia was about 2 months old, but that might not work for all families. Mia was an angel newborn and young baby. Ah, the memories! ;)

When I used to do "Book Baby" storytimes at the library, it seemed like babies didn't get much out of reading until about 6-9 months. Of course, taking a baby to a storytime with 20-40 other babies/toddlers and their parents (yes, I used to get that many people attending my programs! It was craziness at times!) is totally different than reading one-on-one with a parent or other caregiver. Actually, I think having that many people at a program for babies and toddlers isn't ideal. It's way too distracting. All the babies and toddlers want to do is pay attention to each other. Thankfully, not every "Book Baby" program I ever led had that many attendees. I highly recommend taking babies and toddlers to library storytime programs. I often hear from other parents that they don't even try because their littles won't or can't sit still for stories...but parents don't need to worry about that. These programs are designed for small children who have short attention spans. The librarians know all about child development and don't (or shouldn't!) expect anything different. Also, just because a young child hasn't calmly listened to stories read aloud in the past doesn't mean that they don't get anything out of it. When parents read to their small children at home, they shouldn't demand that their children sit still. Let them move around while listening to the story. Make storytime fun. Children will begin to stay still for longer and longer periods of time as they grow...but parents need to make sure to give their children plenty of opportunities to practice this skill. Part of this means practicing it around other people in our world.

Whether it is reading one-on-one at home, or to a group of babies/toddlers, here is a long list of wonderful books for babies (any age, really) and young toddlers. Mia just turned three years old a week ago, and she still enjoys reading all of these books.

Babies and toddlers like animals. Any book with colorful pictures of animals and with animal sounds in the text will always be a winner with small children. Also, books where the text is that of a nursery rhyme or song (be sure to sing the song!) are always safe bets with young children.

Have fun!

Books for Babies (Personal Favorites) 

All Kinds of Kisses - Nancy Tafuri

Big and Little - SAMi 

Boats - Byron Barton 

Bouncy Baby - Begin Smart 

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You Hear? - Bill Martin Jr. 

Cat - Matthew Van Fleet 

Clip-Clop - Nicola Smee 

Dear Zoo - Rod Campbell 

Duckie's Rainbow - Frances Barry 

Dog - Matthew Van Fleet 

Freight Train - Donald Crews 

Hello, Day! - Anita Lobel 

Hello, Animals! - Smriti Prasadam 

I Am a Bunny - Ole Risom 

I Kissed the Baby! - Mary Murphy 

I Like Bugs - Lorena Siminovich 

In My Meadow - Sara Gillingham 

Little Miss Spider - David Kirk

Mommy, Carry Me Please! - Jane Cabrera 

Old Bear - Kevin Henkes 

Pantone Colors - Pantone


Peek-a-Moo! - Marie Torres Cimarusti 

Rainbow Fish - Marcus Pfister 

Saffy - Paola Opal  

Ten Little Babies - Gyo Fujikawa 

Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes - Mem Fox 

That's Not My Kitten - Usborne Touchy Feely 

Tubby - Leslie Patricelli 

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star: and Other Favorite Nursery Rhymes - Sanja Rescek 

The Very Hungry Caterpillar - Eric Carle 

Where is Baby's Puppy - Karen Katz 

Where is My Baby - Simms Taback 

Where's Spot - Eric Hill 

Who's At Home - Nancy Davis 

Who's in the Garden - Phyllis Gershator 

Whose Baby Am I? - John Butler 

You Are My Cupcake - Joyce Wan 

You Are My Sunshine - Caroline Jayne Church 

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