the eight best board books to read to baby*
*in our humble opinion :)
After unpacking Riggy's books once we had finally started to move his stuff into his room, I was excited to start reading all of the books we had for him, rather than just his Time for Bed book each night that we had kept out with our "necessities". But over time, I began to notice that there were just a handful of books that I really enjoyed reading him or that he really enjoyed having read to him. And since I love making lists, I decided to make a list of my favorites to share here on my blog.
1. Mama Do You Love Me? by Barbara M. Joosse.
I love this book and always have, and Riggs loves to look at the art by Barbara Lavallee. I also think the story teaches an important lesson about the unconditional love of parents in a way that is easy for little ones to understand.
2. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. and illustrated by Eric Carle.
To be honest, I don't love reading this one out loud to Riggs, as it gets sort of long and tiring and repetitive. But Riggs loves the colorful illustrations and I know that the repetition is developmentally important for children, so I force myself to read the whole thing (yes, each and every word) and Riggs just soaks it up.
3. Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney and illustrated by Anita Jeram.
I just love this book - I love the illustrations and I love the story and the lilting way it sounds when you read it out loud. I love to read it really slowly, with lots of pauses to really let it sink it. Riggs loves the illustrations too, and will sometimes just sit and stare at them, looking from one page, then to the other, and then back again.
4. Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury.
This is an adorable book and has a rhythm to it that makes me love reading it aloud. I also love to act out the last little bit, kissing Riggy on the tip of his nose, just like the mama in the book. It has lovely, squishy illustrations and a charming story (if you could call it that). I have found that I love any of Mem Fox's books and this is no exception.
5. Time for Bed by Mem Fox illustrated by Jane Dyer.
"It's time for bed little mouse, little mouse, darkness is falling all over the house..." I read this book almost like a chant to Riggy, and have nearly every night since he was just a little newborn. I believe that he already recognizes it when I pull this book out, as he gets very still and listens intently as I slowly and very rhythmically read each page to him, pausing to show him the pictures up close, which are very lovely to look at. I think every child needs to be read a book like this (a rhythmic or rhyming book that is short enough for them to memorize) regularly from when they are very young. It gives them a sense of security and a sense of mastery that is important as they grow and become more independent and build a sense of self. It is also a very soothing way to transition into bedtime mode. We just love this book and I know I will read it to him for years to come.
6. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.
This is everyone's favorite, I know, and doesn't need much explaining. But I just have to mention, it is amazing how much the illustrations in Eric Carle books catch the eye of my little Riggy. I think he would stare at these pages all day, especially if he could turn the pages himself.
7. The Mitten by Jan Brett.
Although this is an adapted version of the story for board book form, I had to include it. There always has to be a Jan Brett book in any list of children's books I write. Jan Brett books were my favorite as a child, and Riggs seems to like looking at these illustrations, just like I did. If you haven't every read a Jan Brett book, you really are missing out!
8. Ten Little Rabbits by Virginia Grossman and illustrated by Sylvia Long
I love this book! The illustrations are so colorful and beautiful and the rhythm of the book is very good, making it fun to read out loud. It's a counting board book, which is pretty mundane, but it incorporates and celebrates Native American traditions in a low key way that is very charming.
Are there any books you think should have been on this list? Please share!