I love reading and equally love books. If you have paid even the remotest attention to my existence as a writer on Writersbrew you will know this and if not allow me to introduce myself.. a fiction lover turned mom.
So, of course, I would be thrilled if my child ends up loving to read. But I had my mind and hands busy learning to change diapers, feed a fussy baby and catch some sleep while keeping him alive and healthy. I ignored all the advice I read about reading to your child. “He is too little”, I assumed.
But then, a lovely family member of mine sent us a carton full of books. Followed some months later by another carton of more books.
So I shrugged my weary aching shoulders and pulled out a couple of books from the heavy carton, and decided to keep them around my baby. No harm in trying…. And I realised, it really isn’t ever too early to introduce a little one to the joy of reading. And if you still need convincing, apparently the pictures can keep them engaged, and your voice while reading will soothe them and lull them to sleep!
I discover inspiration, solace, peace, love, happiness and adventure in every journey into a book. So all benefits aside, I simply hope if my little one wants, he can get lost in the wonder of words and find meaning in the stories.
So what are the kinds of books to get as you shop for the first few books for your little one? I have a whole list of favourites for you, but the main thing to keep in mind is they all will go into your baby’s mouth. So look for cloth books or board books rather than the regular thin paged ones. No sharp corners and ideally nothing too heavy because you are the one holding it or your eager toddler and in either case the lighter the better. Also just because you or they didn’t like one book initially does not mean one of you won’t change your mind later.
- Cloth Books – For new born babies these are perfect. They can have crinkle plastic, different textures or fun interactive elements like a mirror. Apparently, babies love to chew on crinkly stuff and smile at themselves! Keep the camera ready..
- Board Books – This of course is a very wide category but simple ones small enough to snugly fit in even smaller hands are perfect to start with. My favourite here is the books by Sandra Boynton with simple illustrations and silly text. But I soon learnt that my child is a separate being with his own choices. He loved the Goodnight Moon book with its weird coloured drawings and bare minimum text.
- Lift-The-Flap Board Books – A variation in board books is to make the pages interactive by having flaps. Your little one will squeal in delight learning to play peekaboo with one of these. And to my delight, I realized I can use these books to start introducing abstract concepts like gratitude. Here are a couple of favourites.
- Interactive Board Books – Apart from the flaps, there are many more variations. Textures and see-through holes. Usborne books start to venture into toddler territory but you can pick and choose from a wide range.
- Sound/Musical Board Books – I categorize sound books which just play basic noises but the musical ones were a revelation. Mozart, Beethoven, Swan lake…. I can’t decide which ones to list and which ones to leave out. Reading and soothing melody all in one.
- Inspirational Board Books – I can’t think of a better category name but there are such a wide range of books that aim to help your child become their best self that it is bound to rub on us parents too. These books are lovingly and thoughtfully crafted and teach so much wisdom to our little readers.
- Personal Favourites – My house is filled with engineers at heart and so am doubly thrilled when my son pick up these books. Trust me, if Physics didnt make sense to you or you never got the time to really understand how a rocket works these books are for you. Forget about the age range.