Monday, September 15, 2008

Books for your Little Ones

Well it seems that everyone around me is either having a baby or just popped one out. Family, friends and neighbors are celebrating new arrivals back to back to back. Now most of my family and friends already have children so this post may or may not help them out. The books I am going to mention are classic tales and are very popular. This post is for my friends who are new to motherhood or will be soon.
I've had several friends ask me what books I recommend they purchase in order to start their baby's library. As a mom of two children, a former English teacher and an aspiring children's book author, my short list consists of five classic titles and I must say that I weigh heavily upon the fact that my two children have loved all five of these books since birth and still don't go a day without reading at least two of them during our nightly routine of reading before bedtime.

Here is the list, and it is ordered based on what I recommend going from youngest (birth) to oldest (age 5).

#1- Goodnight Moon by Margarent Wise Brown This is a classic, rhyming bedtime story. It is a picture book in which your child will love looking at the bunny, the cow, the bears, the kittens, and that elusive little mouse hiding in different spots around the room. This is a great first book for a baby.

#2- The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
This is a classic tale of a little caterpillar's journey (eating alot of food along the way) to becoming a butterfly. This picture book teaches the days of the week and counting with its repetition and rhythm. This is an excellent choice for young children as well as preschoolers and kindergarteners. My son has had this book memorized since he was 18 months old (I know it's hard to believe, but he has always been a very verbal child) and he is also reading it now in his Kindergarten class at school. It's just one of those books that all young children love.

#3- Dr. Seuss's ABC by Dr. Seuss
I'm not sure Dr. Seuss even needs an introduction, but just in case-- in this book, he teaches the ABC's with rhyming and alliteration along with his world-famous humor and creative illustrations. With lines like "Ten tired turtles on a tuttle-tuttle tree" and "Willy Waterloo washes Warren Wiggins who is washing Waldo Woo," your child will be giggling and reciting this book before you know it.

#4- The Little Engine That Could retold by Watty Piper
This generations-old classic tale of the tiny engine's dedication to climbing up the mountain with its heavy load is just as endearing as it was when I read it as a child over 25 years ago. Your child will love the adorable illustrations as you read the "chug, chug, chug" and "puff, puff, puff. Ding-dong, ding-dong" of the little train. Your child will be chanting "I think I can-I think I can-I think I can" right along with you and will be sure to learn the book's timeless message of not giving up.

#5- The House that Jack Built by Jeanette Winter
This book is full of rhyme, repetition, humor and cute illustrations that will have your child saying, "Read it again ,Mama, read it again." With its nursery rhyme style, it is easy to follow and your child will remember each and every page with visual clues and repitious lines. This is a book your little one is sure to love.

Now that I have listed my top five books for you, please know that there are just too many good books to list in this one post. We have shelf after shelf of books that my kids love. And for you new moms out there, soon enough you will too. Once your child is old enough to have a special interest, you will find yourself thumbing through twenty or so books on trains like I do with my son. And with each new interest will come more books--cars, sharks, Star Wars--you get my picture. My recommendation is to head over to your library or your favorite book store and start with the classics. If you need help, just ask. Or you can also visit book lists that are sure to get you started.
Happy reading!!

1 comment:

tessa said...

Love these books! I'm also a huge fan of Julia Donaldson, who wrote: the gruffalo and the snail and the whale. they are amazing! Definitely worth while...

I've just started writing children's books myself - and it's been so much fun. Have a look at them online - I'd love to hear what you think!