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Eight Great Books to Read to Your Baby

Eight Great Books to Read to Your Baby

Anyone who has spent time reading to a baby or toddler knows just how much little kids love to hear their favourite stories over and over again. Very young children are comforted by the predictability of familiar stories, while adults crave variety and interest. A compromise can be found by choosing good quality books to read to your baby. Look for books with catchy rhymes, great illustrations or flaps and pictures that your baby can “read” on her own.

Here are some great book suggestions.

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd
This classic children’s book is deceptively simple at first glance, but Goodnight Moon’s soothing rhymes have been time-tested by multiple generations of babies and parents.

That’s Not My Bunny
This series of books by Usborne is great for babies. With few words on each page and lots of interesting things to feel and look at, That’s Not My Bunny was a book we were pleased to receive as a baby gift and was the first book we pulled out when starting to read to our babies.

Peek-a-Baby Flap Books by Karen Katz
The Peek a Baby series books are great for the older baby and toddler set, who love to sit and “read” a book by themselves. The flaps are the best part, so if your toddler loves these books, it’s probably worth it to invest in a couple to have at home, since the library copies often have flaps that are either mangled or missing.

Another excellent choice for babies who like to “read” on their own, Indestructibles are baby-sized books with incredibly tough, non-toxic pages, colourful illustrations and no words.

Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss
Suitable for both reading aloud to a baby or toddler and for kids who are learning to read, Hop on Pop does tend towards some rather parent-numbing rhymes, but kids love the silly Seussiness. An excellent choice for an older sibling to read to a younger one.

Hippos Go Berserk by Susan Boynton
My toddler LOVED this book, and we read it every night before bed for months. The rhymes are fun, the pictures are simple, and every time we got to the page with the party, she would throw her hands in the air and giggle. Wheee!

See Also
A baby reading a book

The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson and Axel Sheffler
It’s tough to finding the right balance between scary and friendly when it comes to monster characters in a board book, but The Gruffalo is exactly right. Younger listeners may not be able to fully follow the plot, but will love identifying forest creatures and the Gruffalo’s body parts.

Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion and Margaret Wise Brown
Published first in 1956, this is another classic children’s story that has stood the test of time. Harry the Dirty Dog’s charming illustrations are a step back into the world of June Cleaver, and my toddler loves the idea of the doggie having a bath. It’s a little wordy for babies, but a good next step for older toddlers who are building up their attention span.

It’s never too early to start reading to your baby. Early reading is an opportunity for a quiet moment to snuggle together and listen to the sounds of language. It also sets up reading as a habit in your family, and can be an important part of the bedtime routine. Keep reading fun by choosing great books that your kids enjoy listening to, and that you don’t mind reading aloud again and again.

Michelle Carchrae is a freelance writer and homeschooling mom to two girls.  With a serious love for Vancouver and an equally serious need to get out of the house with two young kids, Michelle searches out the best kid and parent friendly places to go. Michelle also writes about parenting at her blog The Parent Vortex.

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