A little over a week ago I welcomed my first grandchild—little J gave his momma a run for her money, but he is (like any good Grammy would say!) the most perfect baby ever.
And just like I did with his momma and his uncles, I’ll be reading to him from the start. This English language of ours is beautiful and rhythmic, largely written and spoken in iambs, a rhythm that pulses through so much of what we hear—the da DUM of our heartbeat, the bah bo LINK of a backyard bird, the scritch HOP of a skip. Babies, listening to that rhythm in their water world for nine months, are finely tuned, I believe, to respond to iambs. And what better way to introduce them to our wide and wonderful world, but to cuddle them on our laps, snuggle them close, and read?
Which books are must-haves will change by age, but these are mine favorites for bitty babes. You’ll notice that there’s not a Disney book in the mix (not that there’s anything wrong with that) but if you want to choose books whose poetry and prose will sing to those little ears, these few will become a welcome chorus. (And all are available as board books for tiny hands to touch) You can be sure at least a couple of these titles will show up under little J’s Christmas tree this year!
Goodnight Moon (by Margaret Wise Brown)
Pat the Bunny (by Dorothy Kunhardt)
Brown Bear Brown Bear what do you see? (by Eric Carle)
Each Peach Pear Plum (by Janet and Allan Ahlberg)
Let’s Play, Sleepy Time, and Babies—or any board book written and illustrated by Gyo Fujikawa