When a baby is born I give them books. In my experience new born babies get lots and lots of clothes (teeny tiny clothes that are adorable and worn a handful of times before the baby grows larger... and then that gift you gave is history) books on the other hand are a gift that sweet baby can enjoy and enjoy and enjoy. Pretty much I'm a huge fan of books for gifts on any occasion, but today I'm thinking about baby gifting. I've compiled a list of 10 of the most loved board books in our home (board books are wonderful, we keep a basket of them next to the couch and there's never any worry about ripping pages... I love it!) btw, I'm a crazy book person, I have that sickness where I can't stop buying books and they are taking over my life and my house... but I think its cool and I justify it all the time; also I buy many of our books second hand so that helps me feel better about it. Because of all that I feel that this list of books is a pretty good gauge for books babies will LOVE, I've tried out so many books, and these are the ones that my babies have picked over and over and over... while hundreds of others were sitting right there wanting to be read. Most if not all of the books I'm about to feature have been repaired numerous time, thank goodness for packing tape. Here goes...
#10 Bright Baby- 'chunky books for little fingers' there's a big series of these books, my babies have loved these small, fat, thick books... (and as the pictures show they have even been chewed on). Not amazing literature, I know, but they are bright with fun pictures. We like to read the kittens book with added meows, yowels, and hisses... babies and kids alike think that is hilarious! These ones were well worth the 97 cents.
#9 Peek-A Who? by Nina Laden. A super simple peek-a-boo gimmick book. The last page is a mirror so the baby finishes by seeing themselves. This book is a winner every time for babies... and my bigger kids still think its fun and look at and read. Very cute fun book. I must say that the books with windows are a great purchase for babies.
#8 Daddy and Me by Neil Ricklen. I picked this one up in one of those big book bins at the local grocer. I had NO IDEA that it would become a favorite. The bright and simple pictures draw babies right in. I have several books similar to this one and they have all been loved.
#7 Bright Baby Colors This is similar to the books on this list but is a bigger size with more pages. I just want to add that these books really grow with baby... as soon as they start looking at things and focusing, the colors and contrast draw them in. Then as they learn words and sounds they begin to really interact with the book. When they start to talk they can read these books to you and grandparents... they are so proud and you are amazed by what a little genius your baby is! Good fun for all!
#6 1 2 3 at the Zoo by Deborah Fox. This one got picked up at a thrift store. I thought it was a ridiculous book. I mean the pictures are not really of zoo animals, they're of cheap looking stuffed animals. I thought it was lame. Needless to say it quickly became a favorite... shows how much I know about what makes a good book for baby and toddler.
#5 The Very Busy Spider & Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? by Eric Carle (and pretty much everything else by Eric Carle). Who doesn't love Eric Carle? (that's completely rhetorical because I'm sure there are people who don't) I'll tell you who loves these books, my babies. Eric Carle has really made an art of using the gimmick to draw kids into his books... which is awesome because he's actually a good author too! These books have stories, beautiful art and gimmicks to make the kids tricked into thinking reading is fun. Nice job Mr. Carle! (The gimmick featured here is that you can actually feel the spiderweb on each page, he also has books with windows, sound bites, split pages, flaps etc.)
#4 Five Little Ladybugs by Melanie Gerth. Here's another gimmick that my babies have loved... the little critters who poke their bodies out through holes in the pages. They are cute and fun with a little sing song rhyme. Another book that has been worn out big time. (Rhyming is a really important pre-reading skill for kids to pick up. So that's a bonus with books like this one.)
#3 I Am a Bunny - by Ole Risom, illustrated by Richard Scarry. Seeing Richard Scarry's illustrations just takes me back to my childhood... I love that. I also love that my babies enjoy reading a book that I love too. This is a sweet simple story with beautiful illustrations.
#2 Belly Button Book - by Sandra Boynton. Sandra Boynton really pleases my sense of whimsy and my sense of humor. She writes funny books for babies. Actually I think that this one is better for toddlers than little ones... but once your baby starts thinking silly is funny then Sandra Boynton is your gal. This particular one is my very favorite. So stinking funny!
#1 ...Here's the number one favorite book of all of my babies... Animal Sounds by Aurelius Battaglia. I'm not sure why, but this is the one book that has been loved most. It makes me happy because it has wonderful illustrations and I love animals. A very great book that your baby or your friends baby or whoever will LOVE.