About a year ago, I wrote a blog about what books are my go-to gifts for baby showers. Today I became a great aunt. It’s time to talk baby books again.
I am a Bunny by Ole Rissom and Richard Scarry. This is a slow-paced, low-action sort of introduction to a cute little rabbit and, by extension, the natural world. He’s wearing overalls and is completely adorable. A quiet-time, sweet moment, snuggling book.
Snuggle Puppy by Sandra Boynton. Speaking of snuggling. But it’s Boynton, so it’s bouncier, and you probably have to sing. My kids are teenagers, but they still remember the Snuggle Puppy song.
Sheep in a Shop by Margot Apple. She’s done a number of “Sheep” books, and they’re pretty uniformly delightful. This one is about a birthday party, so a good first glimpse of these sheepies. Lots of rhyming, bouncy, alliterative verse and silly humor.
Big Red Barnby Margaret Wise Brown. A classic Tour of the Farm book, it introduces lots of animals and the noises they make. You need other books by her (Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny, but this one is charming too.
Peek-a-booby Janet and Allan Ahlberg. A window book featuring a sweet, British family with a delightfully messy house. And when your house is a wreck because you can’t do laundry fast enough to keep up with a new baby, it’s somehow cathartic to see someone else’s messy house.
George Shrinks by William Joyce. Joyce is brilliant, not least in his adapting stories from one medium to another, but this little fantasy about George and his baby brother’s day being complicated by George’s sudden diminutive size is hilarious as well as witty.
Strega Nona by Tomie de Paola. This is a well-known folktale about a magic pot that works with a controlling spell, and doesn’t work if you don’t know the magic words. It’s a common enough trope, and this is a good first version for little ones.
Time for Bed by Mem Fox. We need one lullaby book, and we definitely need one from Mem Fox. She’s a champion for literacy and for reading aloud, and the books she writes are great for hunkering down on the couch and sinking in to a story. This one is an animal book and a lullaby and a lovesong to language.