Picture Books

The Baby Shower Blog, or Alison’s Favorite Board Books

Hi, my name is Alison, and I disregard baby registries.
I hope someone picks up my slack and gets you the bottles and onesies and Diaper Genie I know you need, but I’m bringing books to your shower.
There is almost nothing that makes me happier than giving books to kids. I feel like that’s one of my callings. I do it as often as opportunity presents itself, and sometimes I create the opportunity.

And after years of experience, I do it pretty well. I’ve read a lot of kids’ books—with my kids, with my students, and in my comfy chair all by myself, and I promise I’ll bring the kind of books you won’t get sick of reading after three times, because it’s important that you have the stamina to read it ten times if your kid wants to hear it ten times.

The market for little kids’ books is glutted with poorly written drivel, with saccharine rhymes and trite morals, because lots of people still write down to kids. I promise to find charming books that make you want to read them. Some that make you happy to make silly noises or silly faces, and some that make you both laugh. Some you can sing, and some that make you sigh. And if you’re interested, as your kiddo grows, I’ll make more suggestions.
Alison’s Starter List of Board Books for Babies:
1. Kiss Goodnight (A cuddly “Sam” book by Amy Hest, illustrated by Anita Jeram)
2. Mouse Paint (A color book with a last sentence that rings: “But they left some white because of the cat.” By Ellen Stoll Walsh)
3. Jamberry (An aural and visual feast by Bruce Degen)
4. Is Your Mama a Llama? (An animal book with more than just puppies and kittens—not that there’s anything wrong with puppies and kittens, but let’s face it: it’s a big world—by Deborah Guarino, illustrated by Steven Kellogg)
5. Doggies (A counting and barking book by Sandra Boynton, who could grace this list many times, but I’ll stick with this one because we need to know all the different ways American doggies bark at least as much as we need to know how to count to ten)
6. The Runaway Bunny (Because someone else already bought you Goodnight Moon, but you need this one too, by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Clement Hurd)
7. Freight Train (A book full of color and action and noise and because, as Paul Simon reminds us, “everybody loves the sound of a train in the distance” by Donald Crews) 
8. Grandfather Twilight (A beautiful, calming, winding down sort of book for the end of a busy day, by Barbara Berger)
There are more, but I’ll stop there tonight.  Happy reading.

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