Reading is a joy and reading with our children is high on our priority list each day. An old time favourite in our house is The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle; all my girls have loved this book at various ages.
Here’s what I have found out about the benefits of reading to your baby.
Colourful, brightly illustrated, simple story books should be part of a baby’s daily home environment right from a few months old. Show your baby books, encourage them to focus their eyes on the pictures and talk to them about what they are seeing on each i.e. “This is a house. We live in a house, too.” It is important to get them used to the idea that books are fun and the best way of doing this is by making the whole reading experience positive.
As you read to your baby:
- Hold and cuddle them
- Provide an atmosphere of warmth and security
- Give him/her your undivided attention
- Have fun with words, rhymes and pictures
- Encourage them to feel emotions and imagine things beyond their experience
Let us know your favourite children’s stories; we are always looking for a great read…
Top 10 children’s books from amazon.com 2011
1. The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse by Eric Carle
Amazon Review Amazon Best Books of the Month, October 2011. A brilliant new Eric Carle picture book for the artist in us all. Every child has an artist inside them, and this vibrant picture book from Eric Carle will help let it out. The artist in this book paints the world as he sees it, just like a child. There’s a red crocodile, an orange elephant, a purple fox and a polka-dotted donkey. More than anything, there’s imagination. Filled with some of the most magnificently colourful animals of Eric Carle’s career, this tribute to the creative life celebrates the power of art.
2. The man in the Moon (Guardians of Childhood) by William Joyce
Amazon.com Review Amazon Best Books of the Month, September 2011. Up there in the sky. Don’t you see him? No, not the moon. The Man in the Moon. He wasn’t always a man. Nor was he always on the moon.
3. Press Here by Herve Tullet
Press the yellow dot on the cover of this book, follow the instructions within, and embark upon a magical journey! Each page of this surprising book instructs the reader to press the dots, shake the pages, tilt the book, and who knows what will happen next! Children and adults alike will giggle with delight as the dots multiply, change direction, and grow in size! Especially remarkable because the adventure occurs on the flat surface of the simple, printed page, this unique picture book about the power of imagination and interactivity will provide read-aloud fun for all ages!
4. Tumford the Terrible by Nancy Tillman
Amazon.com Review Amazon Best Books of the Month, June 2011. Tumford isn’t really a terrible cat. He just has a way of finding mischief—tracking dirt into the house, knocking over breakable things, and disrupting fancy parties. But even though he feels bad, he has a hard time saying, “I’m sorry.” Will the fact that his owners love him, no matter what, help Tummy say the magic words?
5. Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature by Joyce Sidman
A Caldecott medallist and a Newbery Honour-winning poet celebrate the beauty and value of spirals. What makes the tiny snail shell so beautiful? Why does that shape occur in nature over and over again—in rushing rivers, in a flower bud, even inside your ear? With simplicity and grace, Krommes and Sidman not only reveal the many spirals in nature — from fiddleheads to elephant tusks, from crashing waves to spiralling galaxies — but also celebrate the beauty and usefulness of this fascinating shape.
6. Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star by Jerry Pinkney
One of the most acclaimed children’s book illustrators of our time now takes his legendary skill with watercolour to new heights in this lavish visual adventure. As a curious little chipmunk leaves his nest to greet the twilight, he gazes at the glittering sky above him. He can’t help but also notice the sparkling dewdrops on a spider’s web, the lights of the fireflies, and the shimmers of moonlight on the water. “How I wonder what you are!” marvels the tiny creature, launching a dreamlike quest to reach for the stars. Inspired by one of our most popular children’s lullabies, Jerry Pinkney’s gentle world – where the loving arms of nature embrace us despite darkness or uncertainty is perfect for easing little ones into dreamland.
7. Grandpa Green by Lane Smith
From the creator of the national bestseller it’s a book comes a timeless story of family history, legacy, and love. Grandpa Green wasn’t always a gardener. He was a farm boy and a kid with chickenpox and a soldier and, most of all, an artist. In this captivating new picture book, readers follow Grandpa Green’s great-grandson into a garden he created, a fantastic world where memories are handed down in the fanciful shapes of topiary trees and imagination recreates things forgotten. In his most enigmatic and beautiful work to date, Lane Smith explores aging, memory, and the bonds of family history and love; by turns touching and whimsical, it’s a stunning picture book that parents and grandparents will be sharing with children for years to come.
8. Llama Llama Home with Mama by Anna Dewdney
Amazon.com Review Amazon Best Books of the Month, August 2011. Llama Llama is feeling crummy, sneezing, achy, head all stuffy. No school today for Llama, he’s sick at home in his red pyjamas. As the day wears on and Llama starts feeling better, boredom sets in along with Mama Llama’s coughs and sneezes. Llama Llama knows just what to do, bringing Mama tissues, a fluffy pillow, and books to read.
9. Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site by Tom Lichtenheld
As the sun sets behind the big construction site, all the hardworking trucks get ready to say goodnight. One by one, Crane Truck, Cement Mixer, Dump Truck, Bulldozer, and Excavator finish their work and lie down to rest — so they’ll be ready for another day of rough and tough construction play! With irresistible artwork by best-selling illustrator Tom Lichtenheld and sweet, rhyming text, this book will have truck lovers of all ages begging for more.
10. Neville by Norton Juster
Amazon.com Review Amazon Best Books of the Month, November 2011. Written by the acclaimed author of The Phantom Tollbooth, this is a simply told story about a boy who moves to a new neighbourhood and finds a unique way to make friends. With whimsical illustrations by award-winning illustrator G. Brian Karas, here is a read-aloud that’s great for story time, and is sure to be a hit among fans of Juster, Karas, and anyone who is “the new kid on the block.”
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