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One of the things I was most looking forward to after my daughter was born was reading to her. I had received many books as gifts and couldn’t wait to get started. Turns out I had to wait another nine months before she was really ready!
You can (and should) start reading to your baby as early as three or four months, just don’t expect much of a reaction. But when they hit eight to 10 months old, they start becoming more focused and aware of their books. I find my daughter in her room on the floor surrounded by her books, actively flipping through them.
Below are my recommendations for books that will get your baby engaged in reading. Board books are best for babies as they chew and pull at everything. Books with regular pages will be ripped to shreds—give your baby magazines if a game of paper tearing is what he has in mind!
Anything by Sandra Boynton: These little board books (which now come in jumbo size, too), feature colorful cartoonish illustrations of animals and simple rhymes. The sing-song cadence of the words is pleasing to babies and they love the bright imagery. Some of our Boynton favorites include: Moo Baa La La La and Belly Button Book .
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? : This book, written by Bill Martin Jr, was illustrated by Eric Carle. Carle’s illustrations are bold, geometric paintings of animals that are like a magnet for a baby’s eyes. This was the only book my daughter had any interest in looking at when she was very small (three or four months). She still loves and it and also loves Carle’s other books like The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Opposites.
Peek-A Who? by Nina Laden: This super simple board book is the reader’s version of peek-a-boo. Each page rhymes with “who” (zoo, moo, choo choo) and my daughter starts saying “oooo” whenever we pull this one out.
Touch and feel books: These are huge with my 10-month-old. She will sit on my lap and look at a touch-and-feel book over and over again. Baby Einstein makes some great ones and she also likes I Like Bugs: Petit Collage by Lorena Siminovich.
Curious Baby My First Book of Color : This book folds out like an accordion, which is my daughter’s favorite feature. She plays with it like it’s just another toy! One side of the accordion teaches baby colors, while the other side shows graphic black and white images (this is the side my daughter likes best).
These are just a few of the wonderful books on the market for babies. Browse your local bookstore for more options, and while you’re there check out the selections for toddlers. Your child’s reading adventures have just begun!