I was a pretty anxious new mom. Was my daughter eating enough? Was she on a good sleep schedule? Should I be cutting her blueberries up any smaller, or was into quarters sufficient? (That’s a true story, btw.) Was I doing everything I could to help her grow and develop? Even now that she’s seven, I still have lots of questions about the best things I can do to raise her well.
From the beginning, though, I spent lots and lots of time reading to her. I knew the benefits of reading to babies and children were countless, and as someone who’s loved reading for as long as I can remember, this was one thing I felt completely confident doing for and with my daughter.
We had many, many board books in her room, and I enjoyed reading most of them. (I confess that I had a hard time with the Karen Katz books…) Now, several years removed from the board book stage, these stand out as some of my favorites:
Hands down, this is my favorite board book. There are so many things I love about it – the gorgeous illustrations, the rhythmic, rhyming text, the depiction of seasonal change and the beauty in every season. I also have an emotional attachment to this book, since my husband and I read it to our daughter quite a bit, and eventually realized that she had learned a lot of her early vocabulary from it.
I received this as a baby shower gift, and loved the cute title. But as we started reading it to our daughter, I also fell in love with the sweet way it shows a mother’s unconditional love for her child – without being too sappy. To this day, both my husband and I will occasionally call our daughter, “Stinkyface.”
This one was another shower gift, and I’ll admit that it took a little time to grow on me. My daughter loved the illustrations, though, and it’s written in rhythmic, rhyming text, which is very helpful for early language development. Plus, I’m a fan of berries, which are celebrated throughout this book.
I’ve never been much of a superhero fan, but my daughter developed an early interest in them. Naturally, I was immediately drawn to the title of this book, but what I really like about it is the emphasis on a variety of positive traits, including teamwork, problem-solving, and, of course, strength.
I’m a big Jan Brett fan, and this was my introduction to her work. I’m also a sucker for hedgehogs, and this book is about one who gets a sock stuck on his prickly head. What could be more endearing than that?? As someone who struggles a bit with winter’s cold barrenness, I appreciate that the illustrations in this book make it seem almost cozy, in a hygge sort of way.
I love routines, and this adorable book walks the reader through a group of animals’ somewhat silly bedtime routine. It’s great for teaching this concept to toddlers, by combining the slightly ridiculous – exercising in the moonlight – with the more practical – brushing teeth.
What are some of your favorite board books?
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