Books for the very young
Continuing with the joy of reading series by Subhasini, in this post she deals with why is reading to toddlers and babies good and which books you can invest in.
Do babies comprehend the concept of reading? Would the time be better spent doing something else? What kind of books do you read to babies? All pertinent questions when you consider reading to your baby who’s not even sitting up on his own just yet. Needless to say, babies may not understand the words you read or even the concept of a book – but they will definitely absorb the lilt of your voice and feel your warmth as you snuggle up close and read to them. This, to me, is the where the magic lies – your baby is fascinated by you as much as the book and the both of you are starting this wondrous journey of bonding and learning.
There is a countless number of books available for babies and toddlers today, spanning different genres and styles. If you are confused – check out book recommendations by age – there are plenty of resources available on the web. Or you can search for books by age on Amazon, check out the ‘look inside’ option and go through the reviews. That said, trust your mommy instinct – I have always picked up books that I was drawn to and that I somehow knew my child would love. The classics are classics for a reason – rarely can you go wrong with these.
Go for variety instead of stocking up on books of just one kind. Pick up books that make noise, pop-up books, books with interesting shapes and textures, books with mirrors (babies don’t recognize their reflection, which is hilarious considering how much they love mirrors), oversized books etc. You also get squeaky, waterproof books for bath time – an interesting alternative to rubber duckies. Wow – that’s a whole lot!!
Perhaps you are wondering – how soon will my baby outgrow his baby book? Is creating a baby library in the nursery a worthy investment? Sure your baby will outgrow his baby book – but not nearly as fast as his clothes. Baby and toddler books or children’s books, in general, go a long way – you can read and re-read the same book thousands of time. Going by my experience, you’ll get bored of them long before your child does. Secondly, I have never been too fixated about my book choices falling into a strictly defined age bracket – this way I have read the same books to my children from when they were a few months old through to ages 2 or 3. Examples include books like ‘Brown Bear, Brown Bear’, ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’, ‘I Love You More’, ‘Dear Zoo’ and ‘Big Red Barn’. Even books that teach a child how to count (‘Ten Little Ladybugs’ is my favorite) or colors (‘What makes a rainbow?’ is a good one) can hold your baby’s imagination even though he may not understand the content as much. Bedtime books also stand the test of time – we haven’t read ‘Good Night Moon’ and ‘Hush Little Baby’ in a long while but they still sound so comforting when I pick them up for an occasional read. Maybe it’s the prose and illustration or maybe it’s because they bring back memories of when my boys were babies and of those nights of singing, snuggling and reading.