Being a bibliophile by birth made me a borderline obsessed mom, who wanted her kids to read before they learned to walk or talk or even sit up. Developing reading habits can yield high benefits as children grow. I bought my son his first books when he was six months old. Well, as expected, it brought about a lot of sniggers from people around me especially the father of the kid. He rolled his eyes in a manner which said- there she goes again with her loony ways.
But I stood my ground. I used to make my son sit in my lap and read in a sing-song, loud, cheerful voice with all the hand gestures and facial expressions which could have fetched me the job of a clown/ventriloquist/slapstick artist in a circus no less. ALL that hard work has paid off and I am having the last laugh as now both my babies are decent, if not voracious readers.
In my opinion, we need to invest time to read out to our kids. If left to their own, the colorful, sound making, antics throwing cartoon characters will win any day over the static images of a book. However, the way a book ignites their imagination and opens up their minds, passive TV watching will never do. Also, we need to have loads of patience while reading out to them as them being kids, they will take time to understand the REAL function of a book. At the mighty old age of six months, all my son did with his books was either flap his arms like a duck on the books, bang them, chew on them and make them wet, etc. but by 10 months, he understood the sing-song reading and the right time to turn the page.
The world of kiddy books is vast! For me, it was a kid in a candy store situation when I tried buying books for my son. Here on Curiousmumma, I would try to chronicle the books by age and would review them for our readers. Take your pick mommies because as the quote goes- The world belongs to those who read.
Here’s my pick of top 5 baby/toddler books for the age group 0-18 months.
Fuzzy bee and friends–
This was the VERY first book that I gave to my son. It’s a touch and feels cloth book. Being a cloth book, it’s sturdy and easy to clean therefore other than ‘’reading’’ it, one can chew, bite, slobber it at the same time. It has various insects and bugs in it with one body part made up of a differently textured cloth. So you have a furry bee, a ladybug with velvety dots, a scaly worm, a dragonfly with netty wings, etc. A two-line fun rhyme accompanies each creature. Use of bright colors makes it pretty attractive to a baby’s eyes. The book makes a crinkly sound when touched, which leads to a lot of banging and flapping- so much fun. It has a Velcro clasp so you can keep it ‘’shut’’ when not reading. It has proved to be a total value for money as even after being ‘’read’’ by my son for good 2 years or so, my younger one is still using it. It’s in prime condition. Zero wear n tear.
Squishy Turtle and friends
A twin of Fuzzy bee, it’s a cloth book with the same format, featuring sea dwellers. It has fishes, crab, whale, seahorse, octopus, and the mighty shark. Again a very sturdy book, still a favorite in our household. Both these books were under 200/- way back in 2010 and I feel they are a complete value for money, better than any plastic toy.
Touch and feel: Home
After the GRAND success of the cloth books, we graduated to board books. Touch and feel- home was the first of the series. It features various objects found in a home like a furry teddy bear or the Turkish towel. Babies especially like the shiny mirror (which is actually a shiny foil) which reflects the face of the baby reading the book.
Bright Baby On the Farm
By this time we were already exposed to the joys of nursery rhymes like twinkle twinkle little star and old Mac Donald which invariably made us aware about various farm animals like ducks, pigs horses et al. So this touch and feel the book was enthusiastically devoured. It is remarkably high quality with nice swatches of fur and other such materials used to make us familiar with animals and their skins- furry, smooth or dimply. Accompanied by a simple rhyme, it gives us a little intro to the animal.
Last but not least, this one is my personal favorite. It’s neither a touch and feel nor a board book but just a storybook. It has a simple joyful story about a duck and its friend, a frog playing hide and seeks. The watercolor-like illustrations are oh so beautiful and detailed that not only my kids but even I loved going through this book. From each drop of water splashing around to Dimity’s small slippers and coffee mug- the illustrator has created a wonderful world. One word of caution- as its not a board book, its not suitable for pudgy eager small hands and if you are the type who hates it if kids tear a book, please keep it away from your kids. In my case, unlike other board books, I never used to leave it in the hands of my son, instead, I used to read it multiple times(on demand) to him and then keep it back out of his reach. This is one book I am still protective of.
So this was a list of difficult to compile a list of top 5 touches and feel books loved by my kids and me. What are your favorite kiddy books? What special effort do you put in to make your kids read? Any specific book you would like us to discuss here? Drop us a line and we will get back to you.