Happy New Year of Reading for Babies and Toddlers

I declared 2009 the year of Black Female Literature. I probably should have declared it the year of family reading. This blog is dedicated to books and book reviews. What is on my bookshelf, what is on my children's bookshelf, what my daughters are reading, what my sons' request. This is the place to turn off the TV and open the book.

Beginning with the very youngest.

I am a new aunt of a precious little micro-preemie named Taylor. The baby will have a hard journey to her real due date now that she is out-of-the-womb at only 24-weeks gestation. I told her mom, Kim, that one soothing thing she can do in addition to loving and touching her is to read to her. Here are some favorites:

1. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle - really any of his books. The colors are engaging and the hard-back books have held up well with my two daughters. I actually read this story to my baby girls when they were nuzzled in my womb. There is something to this utero-hearing thing because they remember the story of all the food the catepillar ate to become a beautiful butterfly. This makes a perfect baby gift.

2. Goodnight Moon - a classic by Margaret Wise Brown, great for bedtime, board book version is best for babies. This makes a great ritual for daddy to read at bedtime.

3. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie - by Laura Joffe Numeroff (this is the best of her books). I love the adventure of this little mouse. It is also a great one for the baby to grow up with. My children love all the If You books. The illustrations are really good.

4. All Fall Down - a great board book by Helen Oxenbury (my copy is 20 years old). This board book is barely holding together, having been loved by four of my children. The multi-cultural babies on the bed, the simple cadence, the great pictures, this is a timeless favorite.

5. Please Baby Please - this is a great book written by Spike & Tonya Lee with fantastic illustrations, it reminded me of trying to get my little girl to do anything especially go to bed

6. Hush Little Baby by Sylvia Long - this is one of the girls' favorite bedtime books, it is a less materialistic version of the classic song, make up your own cadence and baby will love it. The girls still like to snuggle up and hear this and now that the older one can read, she tries to imitate the way I sang it to them.

Get the blanket, hold the baby, and read, read, read! Happy New Year


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