Sunday Salon 51: Books for the Babe

Posted 20 November, 2011 by Trish in Reading Nook / 30 Comments

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Happy Sunday Morning!! Hope you’re all having a wonderful and lazy day. I’m not really sure where today will take me, but I’m thinking maybe a bit of organizing around the house. And laundry. Don’t you wish that laundry could just do itself?


Emilie Buchwald once said that “Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.”

Can I share a secret that one of the things that I look forward to with my children is curling up with them at bedtime and reading the next chapter of a book? I stole away several of my own childhood books when I left home and have been collecting books here and there. However, these books are for one day–not books that I could hope that a baby or toddler would have the attention to tolerate. Even now Elle is more interested in eating the bunny than patting the bunny.

Even though my colorful picture chapter books will have to wait for another day, I’ve been slowly building up a collection of books for the babe. Several I received as gifts and a few I picked up here and there–at this point mostly Susan Boynton and Dr. Seuss (I’ve become quite good at reading Fox in Socks!). I’ve also fallen in love with Goodnight Moon and You Are My I Love You.

I don’t think Elle’s tastes are very discerning right now, but mine are. Trust me, you can only read The Going to Bed Book so many times! With the holidays around the corner, I’m hoping you can help me put some more baby and toddler picture/board books on my wishlist (and yes, I’ve told both parents, that books for the babe ARE gifts they can get ME!).

So tell me…what books are essential for the babe?

On the Blog:

Looking Back to Last Week
**I caught you up on What I’ve Been Up To
**When Pigs Fly Wordless Wednesday
**Unbroken Book Q&A (you asked, I told)
**I shared my favorite breakfast recipe: German Pancakes

Looking Forward to Next Week
I’m going to attempt to be a more organized blogger by keeping a calendar. I don’t really have any events like many of you do (except the 2011 Virtual Advent Tour), but there are several posts that I’ve been meaning to do for a while and time just gets away. The thought is if I have a visual calendar, I might be able to stay more organized? Not sure what this week will bring–I’d like to get another book post out and Friday marks seven months for Elle. Do you try to organize your blogging or do you just blog as you go?

Any big plans for this week?

30 Responses to “Sunday Salon 51: Books for the Babe”

  1. When our kids were this age, before they were old enough to really care about the books themselves (when they cared more about the voice reading to them), Jason and I would just read them whatever we were reading. I think I’ve said this before, but the first book that was ever read to MOrrigan, Ambrose, and Laurence were The Hobbit, Little Women, and Aurora Leigh (respectively). We didn’t start reading Suess and board books to them until they were somewhere between 1 and 18 months. Some of their favorites were Pickles in my Soup, Pancakes for Breakfast, Goodnight Moon, Rainbow Fish, Mr. Brown Can Moo (probably THE favorite), and Go Dogs Go. Lots of Suess too.

  2. I’m sorry but I don’t have any suggestions for books for the babe. :( If while I’m at the library, I come across any, I’ll let you know.

    I definitely am more a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants blogger than one who organizes his posts ahead of time. Even with The Sunday Salon posts, I usually compose them that day instead of ahead. Today, though, I did have the first paragraph started but then filled in the rest this morning.

  3. Anything by Tomie DePaola – he has some without any text, just pictures, so you and/or kid provide your own and some with text, and his illustrations are just the best!

  4. I love that you want your little one to be a reader and I can definetly say those are some of my best memories, curled with my boys and reading, we actually had a reading couch, we all three fit me in the middle and them on either side. Rainbow Fish is a definite must have, my guys also love If you give a Moose a Muffin, and If you give a Mouse a Cookie. I’m actually ordering those for my grandnieces for Christmas. A Turkey for Thanksgiving is a great one too (Jan Brett I believe) Runnaway Bunny is a great one. Some of these are in my boys treasure chests, (stuff I kept for their children). Salamander Room another one I read over and over, and over again. My sister signed my guys up to a book of the month club, and they couldn’t wait for the mail. I now do that with my grandnieces, except I pick the books and send them off. We call it DEAR time, Drop Everything and READ. I love it, and I think they do too. Enjoy.

  5. When my oldest was little I read How Does a Dinosaur Say Goodnight? to him countless times…he couldn’t get enough of it but he was a little older than your little one. I love Sandra Boyton’s books. And of course, The Very Hungary Caterpillar has always been a favorite of my kids.

    As for blogging, I’m the most unorganized blogger. I’ll plan to write a post and come home…do other things…decide I’m tired and then I’ll go a week without writing anything. Other times I post every other day :) So I’ve got no advice for you there other than if you learn any tips, share them with me. LOL! Hope you have a great week Trish!

  6. It’s been so long since we had a little one, I don’t have any recommendations. Besides that, we had a boy – he loved any book with a dog or a truck in it.

  7. My little one (6 mos) right now likes the board book series called Touch and Feel which has lots of textures. We have Baby Animals, Puppies and Kittens but there’s lots of them. We also like the I Love My Mommy/Daddy Because… books illustrated by Ashley Wolff and one of her real favorites is a board book with just pictures of baby faces juxtaposed with animals doing similar expressions- I think it’s called Baby! Baby!

    I saved a lot of my kid books for my own children, too. It’s been a delight to revisit them with a child in arms.

  8. I often buy people two copies of books when I buy books for babies – one to keep to read and one for the babe to chew on!

    There are some marvelous children’s Christmas books – I’ll send you a list of some my kids loved. I’ve got books for all of the holidays that I’m keeping for grandchildren. My all-time favorite is one we read at Halloween, “The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid Of Anything.” Elle might just be ready to help act it out already next year!

  9. One of my favorite books to read with Emmory is by Jamie Lee Curtis called Today I Feel Silly. But I think for Ellie, I have Brown Bear, Brown Bear, The Very Hungry Caterpiller, etc. anything with lots of color she seems to have always liked.

  10. Blueberry Girl by Neil Gaiman! To be honest part of me suspects this might be a book the parents will enjoy more than the babes, but who knows? :P

  11. The Going to Bed book! I know it well. ;)

    I’m not sure how old Elle is right now, but I can give you a couple recommendations based on what my niece (just over a year old) loves now. We started with cloth and board books for her, mainly because there were a few close-calls with page ripping initially. She likes books with lots of rhyming, bright colors, and active interaction.

    A few of her favorite books are:

    Ten Little Ladybugs by Melanie Gerth, illustrated by Laura Huliska-Beith

    Peek a Who? by Nina Laden

    Toes, Ears, & Nose! A Lift-the-Flap Book by Karen Katz and Marion Dane Bauer

    Happy Hippo, Angry Duck: A Book of Moods by Sandra Boynton

    One, Two, Three! by Sandra Boynton

    (I personally also like Boynton’s book Snoozers, but my niece has never responded to it like she has the above two books.)

    You never know what books babies are going to find hilarious. Example: my brother-in-law and sister have taken to buying books for their daughter wherever they go (I do that too…but it makes more sense in my case because I’m a reader). They once bought a book from a grocery store in California about a dinosaur named Buddy. Every time they opened the book and read, “Hi, I’m Buddy”, my niece would fall over in giggles. So I wouldn’t stress about it too much. I think the fun starts when they’re a little older and can understand what things mean. (I’m waiting for my niece to get to 3-4 years old so I can unleash all my favorite books on her!)

  12. No babies so no book ideas. Sorry :( I just remember I loved books from an early age. I always had books.

    My plans this week…a few posts and then still trying to catch up on reading. Also thinking about just blowing up my gmail inbox. I have a ton of crap in there! It’s driving me crazy :) A few posts too. Have a wonderful thanksgiving!

  13. I’m SO excited about reading books like A Little Princess, The Secret Garden, and the Little House books to Emily :) She LOVES LOVES LOVES books right now, and we read together literally 10 times a day. I started reading Pat the Bunny to her when she was Elle’s age, and was amazed at how quickly she starting doing the “tricks” on each page. Other favorites of Emily’s are Peek-a-Who, Dear Zoo (a lift the flap book), and Goodnight Moon. She LOVES flap books of any kind, but I have a hard time finding them. Oh-she also likes Runaway Bunny, which is the same author and illustrator as Goodnight Moon. A Very Hungry Catapillar is a good one too.

    It wasn’t until she was about a year old that she would sit still through entire stacks of books. But she started to turn pages and like to just flip through books probably around Elle’s age, or maybe a little older. So fun to have them cuddled up on your lap with books!

  14. With a baa and a moo and a cock-a-doodle doo, Another little promenade two-by-two… :D

    Another favorite was Go Dog Go. Annie had the entire thing memorized before she was two. Rich’s Mom came to visit and was flabbergasted thinking she was reading it. She wasn’t–she’d just made us read it to her 6 million times by that point!

    As for organization and blogging….bwaaahahahahaha…yeah, I wish I could figure that out.

  15. I second the touch and feel board books. All of my kids loved feeling the different textures and usually the pictures in them are very vibrant.

    My kids also loved Hug by Jez Alborough. It doesn’t have many words, but the story can be told through the pictures in any way you would like. I remember reading it to my oldest at six months and it was one of his favorites.

  16. I am AWFUL at reading to kids. AWFUL. T is turning out to love books anyway, thank goodness. THey always liked Goodnight Gorilla, and I liked Boynton, but sounds like you have those. And Knuffle Bunny, the first one, has been a huge hit.

  17. At 19 months, Greyson really loves books, though he doesn’t so much care what the words are. He likes looking at the pics, and he loves TOUCH AND FEEL board books. He also has a cheapy from Half-Price with a duck puppet head sticking out.

    I was THRILLED this weekend when I found him sitting alone with his duck head book looking through and following the words with his finger.


  18. Goodnight Moon is a great one. PJ loves it. The pictures mostly. He still doesn’t have the focus ability to actually listen to the story.

    We also read a lot of Dr Seuss and Shel Silversteen to him. He loves the pictures and the sing-songy words. Recent favorites are Everything On It by Silverstein and the Baker’s Dozen Dr Seuss book with 13 stories. I also bought PJ the Dr Seuss ABC book for his first birthday. It’s a lot of fun.

    With Steph being a former elementary school teacher, PJ’s library is HUGE and he gets read to a lot.

  19. It’s been a while since my girls were Elle’s age, but I don’t think I’ll ever forget their favorite board books that my husband and I read so many times over that we STILL recite lines out loud every once in a while. LOL.

    Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
    Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
    Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown
    The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown
    The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
    The Mitten by Jan Brett
    Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
    Chicken Soup With Rice by Maurice Sendak
    Corduroy by Don Freeman
    Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

  20. *Amanda – There’s only been one time when I could read a regular book to Elle. She was only a few weeks old and crying crying crying. She finally fell asleep. But now she won’t sit still enough for me to read to her. Will look for Mr. Brown Can Moo! And I do love Seuss.

    *Unfinished – I like fly by the seat blogging, but unfortunately if I leave it to that day something usually comes up that prevents me from actually writing the post. But…what I don’t want is to sound totally scripted in my posting! Make sense?

    *Rhapsody – Thanks for the suggestion Jill! I haven’t read any by DePaola so I’ll be on the lookout.

    *Irene – Thank you for all the great suggestions! We have Runaway Bunny but I haven’t read it yet (just got). Second vote for Rainbow Fish so that one’s defintely going on the list. What a FANTASTIC idea to have a book a month in the mail! Great ideas for encouraging reading.

    *Samantha – Putting How Does a Dinosaur Say Goodnight? on the list! Thanks. And yoru blogging sounds just like mine, Samantha. Mostly it depends on how I want to spend my lunch break–either working out, reading, or blogging (or have a lunch meeting and don’t get to do anything!).

    *Bermudaonion – LOL! One of my brother’s favorite books was Everyone Poops. So boy.

    *Jeane – Yes, I really want the texture books–thanks for the suggestion on Touch and Feel! And I’m so glad you’ve enjoying re-reading your treasures with your girls. I can’t wait!

    *Lisa – Yup, I have a feeling that I’ll be replacing some of the books throughout the years. What a good idea to give two copies. And I’d love to see a list when you have time. Thank you!!

    *Michelle – I haven’t heard of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, but I have heard great things about Jamie Lee Curtis’s children’s books. Thanksf or the reminder of those!

    *Nymeth – How could I forget about Blueberry Girl! Actually I’ve seen several Neil Gaiman books in the children’s section. Didn’t realize that he wrote so many of them!

  21. *M – Thank you thank you thank you for all of the suggestions! I did see Snoozers at the bookstore the other day but I find that right now the heavier text books don’t last long. Need things I can read really quickly. But will definitely check all of these books out! And you’re right that part of the fun is discovering what will strike the babe’s fancy. Sounds like you have lots of fun times ahead of you!!

    *Jenny Girl – Will you blow up my Gmail account as well? I finally marked everything read in Google Reader yesterday but I’m afraid when I open it today it’ll be full again. Sigh–blogging is never ending, huh? :) You have a wonderful thanksgiving!

    *Laura – We really love Pat the Bunny as well, but I can’t let her smell the flowers or else she just wants to eat the book. Ha! And yes, won’t it be fun to have storytime in a few years? “One more chapter mom.” Will be on the lookout for Peak-a-Who and Dear Zoo.

    *Debi – My mom still recites some of the books that she read to us YEARS ago. Funny how they stick with you. Barnyard Dance is one of my favorites to read to Elle, mostly because I can read it in a very sing-song way. ;)

    *Kristi – Yup, definitely going to look for the touch and feel board books! And Hug sounds fantastic!

    *Lisa – We have a few Boynton books–wish they were longer, though! That’s my only complaint. And it’s never too late to start a new bedtime tradition? ;)

    *Andi – Ok, HAVE to find the touch and feel board books! And what a sweet sight–finding Greyson reading the book on his own. Hope you snapped a picture!

    *Paxton – I think I have the ABC book you’re talking about. It’s a fun one! And will look for Baker’s Dozen–sounds great! PJ’s library sounds wonderful and I’m sure Steph loves reading to him!!

    *Christine – Yup–my mom still has a few of our bedtime books memorized 25+ years later. ;) Thanks for all the great suggestions! I do have Where the Wild Things Are but need to add more Sendak to my list! Will check out these others as well. Thank you!

  22. We had a whole collection of the Sandra Boynton board books but I can’t remember if they were just for Kiddo or Eldest, as well. My kids are getting so old that it’s hard to recall what they loved, apart from the Lisa McCue board book Raccoon’s Hide and Seek, which I can still recite by memory. Everything is packed away, so I can’t look. Sigh. I loved those days. You have much to look forward to.

  23. I’ve been wondering how I will force..errr foster…a love of reading in The Floppy Alienette once she escapes, so I’m really interested in reading your comments here. :)

  24. We loved Sandra Boynton when Amber was that age. We also liked Eric Carle’s board books. She loved this set of books from Satoshi Kitamura. It had Dog is Thirsty, Cat is Sleepy , Duck is Dirty. I remember reading them over and over.

  25. I am no help at all with this… I have no idea what a good childrens books is anymore of course… I do love Suess… :)

    I just enjoyed reading your post and love that you read to the baby!

  26. Here’s my recs:

    Little Red Riding Hood by Trina Schart Hyman (It has beautiful illustrations and every kid should know fairy tales.)

    Dr. Seuss books. The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham. . .

    Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see? by Bill Martin Jr and Eric Carle. (Any book by these two are good.)

    Bruh Rabbit and the Tar Baby Girl by Virginia Hamilton (Funny as hell.)

    Any books by Amy Rosenthal or Bob Shea

    Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes

    Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig

    Husband and wife team Sarah Stewart and David Small write amazing children’s books including The Library, about a woman who loves book

    Last but not lease is Emma Dodd. She has three great books, Dog’s Noisy Day, Dog’s ABC, and Dog’s Color Day. The great thing about these books is that they’re huge and made out of cardboard so your little one can slobber on them as much as she want without you worrying about the books.

    Hope this helps!

  27. I wish I’ve some recommendations here but my mind comes to a blank when I tried to think of some titles!! I think one of the options is to bring little Elle along to choose for the books that she wants…but it can be tricky if you’re buying for Christmas gifts. :P

    Looking forward to seeing what you have on your wishlist! :)

  28. Eric Carle has some wonderful books, Brown Bear Brown Bear was a favourite here. Also love Robert Munsch, though his are for older than baby.

  29. Gage still needs to taste his books :) He loves a few books but I’ll have to email you a few suggestions when I have more time. Goonight Moon is not appreciated here. I can’t get him to pay attention past the 3rd page!

  30. Rae

    You probably already know this but Make Way for Ducklings is a great book for kids/babies because it has every verbal sound in the English language. I remember learning that in Children’s Lit. :)
    Kind of long for a toddler, but I figure maybe it’s helpful for them to hear? I don’t know…