There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all. –Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
I love reading books. It takes me to another world and the best way to relax for me. When Penguin was born I wanted him to enjoy reading just like I do. But I was clueless on how to do it. Like any other parent I was confused yet curious on introducing books to my baby. Initially I thought around 2-3 years he would be grown up enough to understand the pictures and words. And just like everything else Penguin gave me the answer pretty early. Universe conspired!
If you have read my pregnancy diaries then you might know I used to stay with my parents for first few months. My Maa has the habit of reading newspaper every afternoon. Coincidentally, 3 months Penguin used to have tummy time or play around same time. When my Maa would try a page Penguin would get attracted and try turning/crawling towards her. Failing impressive every time. One fine day he managed to grasp the paper, tried feeling-exploring it and tearing it at places. Before I could rescue the newspaper, it was all over him. That day I decided to introduce him to books immediately.
Penguin scored his first book from a book fair. It was a paperback edition with bright pictures and few words. I tried reading it aloud for him. And boy, he was engrossed. It became out tummy time book. Along with that I tired reciting poems and rhymes for him and he enjoyed all babbling along with me. Soon, my notebooks were ripped apart and I had searched for options other than paperbacks.
My research landed me with a whole bunch of book options for infants and toddlers. Apparently, infants are curious little human with exploration mode always tuned on. So, parents can expose them to various kind of books. I learned this hard way. So, those of you who are new parent or wish to introduce books to their young kids and are clueless what to get, this post is your clue to that.
Here is the list and links (India) for different kind of books which can be introduced to babies and toddlers.
Books are compartmentalized based on content and look-and-feel
Based on look and feel, books can be one of the following.
- Black and White/ Contrast
According to studies, babies can differentiate between dark and light before birth. So, getting a black and white book makes sense. A baby’s color perception is limited to contrasting colors. Choose a book with bold simple images, maybe with patterns and describe to the baby.
Few options available in Amazon are –
Black & White board book by Tana Hoban
Black on White by Tana Hoban
Little Baby Books: Outdoors by Bloomsbury
- Cloth books
Our curious little humans love putting everything in their grasp straight to mouth. Right? So, getting a cloth book which can be cleaned easily and taken back to chewing business. Bonus point: There are pictures. So, again point and talk.
Though most babies would make teether out of board books. That’s parenting folks 😉. Yet, with repetition and interesting textured books babies would like to check out the book themselves. Kids are too young to understand a story but let them explore. Allow kids to rub, pet, scratch, sniff and see themselves in mirrors. Let them interact with the world and learn gradually.
- Touch and feel –
The very hungry caterpillar (Touch and feel playbook) by Eric Carle
Peppa Pig: Play with Peppa hand puppet by Ladybird
Brum -brum -brrr goes the tuk tuk by Kamlesh Mohindra
Funny faces: A look and laugh mirror board book by Mojca Pat-a-Cake
Flap books are fun. They are like little mystery books where secrets are hidden underneath the flap. Kids would lift the flap and discover joy. There is a sad part with flap books when the snooping kids tear the flaps and treasure is out. Babies do keep parents alert. Try saving flaps, if you can. The lift-the-flap books are must-haves.
Dear zoo: A lift the flap book by Rod Campbell
- Pop ups
Pop-up books bring out your inner child. It is tempting to pull, squeeze and grab. It makes a simple story magical for kids as simple illustrations get uplift.
Pop-up dinosaurs: A pop up book to get your jaws into by Roger Piddy
- Pull the tab
Pulling out a tab and get a new picture is entertaining for kids. The picture is hidden and pulling tab brings out the star. It is quite engaging.
Pull the tab Farm by DK
- Sound books
Books for infants and toddlers are already adorable and if it got sound along – bingo. Sound attracts kids and are likely to get engrossed in pushing those chunky buttons repeatedly.
Peppa pig: Peppa’s super noisy sound book by Ladybird
- Bath time/ waterproof
Take books with you to bathtub. These floating books are fun addition as bath toys.
Further the books can be categorized based on content as
These books primarily have pictures with few or no words. It is upon the reader to weave story or describe the page. It is ideal book to start for young readers with whom you can play point and identify. The book mentioned in sparkle textured above, Brum-brum-brrr goes the tuk tuk by Kamlesh Mohindra is a good example.
- Rhymes, songs and story books
When you read/sing out loud for baby, they show their likeness or attention by throwing hands and legs on air or making noise. So, get goofy, act crazy and interact with kid as you read those classic rhymes or a story.
Nursery rhymes by Parragon
The very hungry caterpillar by Eric Carle
Few books are created around a theme as alphabets, numbers, fruits, colour or animals. It makes it easier for young reader to classify and associate with similar kind of things.
Little learning library by Eric Carle
- Question and Answer
These books pop the question and give reader find answer within book. Repeat similar questions when you are different situation and you would be amazed how your kids respond.
Where is baby’s belly button? By Karen Katz
You can find 2 or more pieces jigsaw puzzles or stick magnets/stickers on pages of these book. Encourage kids to solve them.
Peppa Pig: Marvellous Magnet book by Ladybird
If you are planning to get all kind of books and give the best to your baby. Take a breath there. Take one step at a time. Get any one book, cuddle up your baby and have fun together.
In case, you got the books but don’t know how to start. I got you covered. Check my next part of “Raising A Reader series”. This was a part 1.