I have always loved books. Reading has been one of my favorite hobbies. Then I became a mom. Now my hobby is concocting creative ways to steal an extra half hour of sleep in the mornings. I have yet to succeed…
When I was a little girl, my mom would read to us every night. I loved having that uninterrupted time with her. Plus, it instilled an early love for books.
In an effort to keep that tradition, I made reading a part of Desirae’s bedtime routine. When she was about four or five months, I began reading to her every night. Since she was so young, the challenge was finding books she found interesting. There are thousands and thousands of books to choose from. Once I found some books she liked, those stories became staples to her bedtime routine until she was about one year old. If you’re looking for some books to read to your baby, here is my list of ten books that captivated my child under one.
1) Sassy, Baby Sees: A First Book of Faces
I love all the Sassy children’s books. They do a great job of using high contrast pictures and colors to keep babies interested and encourage development. This is one of my favorite Sassy books for babies. It’s a high contrast book teaching babies to recognize different people and animals typically found in a home. There is also a mirror at the end so baby can see himself.
2) Sassy, Baby Loves Colors
This is another Sassy favorite. It’s full of bright colors, contrast, and patterns. This books helps children learn colors and to associate the names of basic objects.
3) Global Babies by The Global Fund for Children
Although this story is simple, I found it captured Desirae’s attention because each page displays a picture of a baby. She enjoyed seeing all the different faces. I like that it teaches racial and cultural diversity while capturing a variety of emotions on each baby’s face.
4) Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault
I think Des liked this book for two reasons. First, it’s visually interesting. The colors are bright and the pictures are simple. Second, the story is written as a memorable rhyme with a funny ending.
5) Alphaprints: ABC by Sarah Powell
A unique characteristic of this book is all the pictures are made with fingerprints and other items you would find outside or in your home. The pictures are bright, fun, and set against a white background so they are easy to distinguish. My favorite part is all of the fingerprints are embossed, so you can touch and feel each one. This is a great book for tactile children.
6) Your Personal Penguin by Sandra Boynton
This books was actually an incidental purchase. I bought a bundle of books that had some specific stories I wanted, and this book just happened to be among them. Your Personal Penguin is an outrageous story about the friendship between a penguin and a hippopotamus. The reason Des liked this book is because it’s actually written to a song. On the inside of the book, a website is given where you can listen to the song for this story among many others the author has written. Without the song, the book has an awkward meter, so I wouldn’t buy this if you don’t like singing. But once we learned the song, Desirae loved it. It’s silly, catchy, and a lot of fun. As a matter of fact, it’s so catchy that my husband and I find ourselves unintentionally singing it throughout the day.
7) The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton
I had no idea how many children’s books Boynton has written until I become a mother, but this is one of my favorites. It’s simple, short, and funny. The book has a nice cadence that makes it easy to read and great for rocking a child to sleep.
8) The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Don and Audrey Wood
The distinguishing attribute of this book is that it builds a sense of caution, anticipation, and urgency in a lighthearted way. I haven’t come across many books that display that sense of emotion for children so young. That, plus the written sounds, make this an exciting book for your little ones.
9) I Love You Through and Through by Bernadette Rossetti-Shustak
This story has become a staple in many households, and I can see why. It expresses a parent’s love for her children in a way that is simple and meaningful. Kids remain entertained while mothers gush all their love through every reading.
10) The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Sometimes nothing can beat the classics. This story is beloved by hundreds and hundreds of families. The plot interests a wide range of children, but I’ve found it’s the tiny holes that captivate babies. Their fingers are just the right size to fit in the holes. Desirae doesn’t have any strong opinions about the story itself, but she is obsessed with putting her finger in each and every hole in the book.
There you have it. My ten favorite books for children under one. Of course, that only includes that books I have in my home. I’d love to hear some of your recommendations! What are your favorite stories for babies? Let me know in the comments!