Several times a day, Edie and I sit together in the rocking chair and snuggle up with a book. Sometimes she squirms and cries before we get even a few pages in; other times we go through a stack before she’s satisfied.
This time together is important, according to the Association for Library Service to Children: Not only does reading to very young babies teach them to love books, it makes them more prepared to start school than children who didn’t grow up reading.
Research aside, reading aloud to Peeper—both now and even before she was born—is fun. These are a few of our favorite books.
Baby Faces, by Margaret Miller. Peeper laughs out loud when we break out this board book. She giggles at the other babies; her favorite is a little boy sticking out his tongue. We talk about the kids’ expressions, imagine what might have prompted them (“Yum-yum, I love peas!”) and name the different parts of their faces. We usually read it three times in a row!
Fox in Sox, by Dr. Seuss. I’m with Mr. Knox, sir, on this one—the tongue twisters are tough! Peeper cranes her neck to look up at me and puzzle out the linguistic acrobatics. She gets an extra-big kick out of me trying to read the parts about the beetle battles, which are my favorite, too.
When I Was Born, by Isabel Minhos Martins. This story imagines discovering the world from a child’s perspective: beginning to hear, smell, taste, see and touch the world outside the womb. “When I was born I did not know there was a sky or that the sky could change or that clouds were so beautiful. When I was born everything was new. Everything was about to start.” Vibrant illustrations by Madalena Matoso match the beauty and poetry of the words.
Hola Jalapeño!, by Amy Wilson Sanger. A book dedicated to Mexican cuisine? Yes, por favor! I know Edie is still chowing on pureed peas and squash, but it’s never too early to learn about tacos, burritos, guacamole and horchata. Am I right? Plus, the rhymes are so catchy I recite them to myself days after we read it.
What are your favorite children’s books?