Sunday, December 1, 2019

12 Days of Giving: Books for Babies and Toddlers

Books make great gifts for babies and toddlers. They're fun and educational and building a child's library is a great way to develop early literacy skills. Here are some of my favorite recent board books and picture books for the very young. Give them with a commitment to time on your lap or time on Skype to read together! 

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B is for Baby by Atinuke (Candlewick, 2019). B is for baby, and it's also for brother, basket, and going to see baba. This mischievous little one hides away in her brother's basket to get a ride through the village in this funny picture book that's great for babies or for preschoolers working on letter recognition or phonics.

Bath! Bath! Bath! by Douglas Florian, illustrated by Christiane Engle (little bee books, 2018). Douglas Florian is one of my favorite children's poets and this board book has simple, bouncy text that's perfect for sharing and reciting at bathtime. The illustrations depict a diverse group of kids as they have a fun, dirty day and then get in the tub to clean off. It has a strong rhythm that makes for a great readaloud.

Everybody Needs a Buddy by Ellen Jackson, illustrated by Maddie Frost (Little Simon, 2019). Perfect for young animal lovers, this is a wonderfully cute rhyming book that shows how all kinds of different animals have relationships with members of their own kind (such as elephants working together to help a calf out of a mud puddle) or with different kinds of animals (like the symbiotic relationship between tickbirds and rhinos). Fun for kids who love animals, this book also reinforces great messages about working together.

Hello World (series) by Jill McDonald (Doubleday, 2019). There are many series of board books that introduce informational concepts to young children. What I love about these books is their format, which gives simple text in larger font, but also gives additional information in smaller text to enrich the content. These are books that can grow with your little reader - read just the simple text to infants and little toddlers and as their attention span increases and they become more knowledgeable, add in the additional text.

Jump! by Tatsuhide Matsuoka (Gecko Press, 2019). This engaging board book turns on its side to show different animals jumping with sound effects. This is an easy book to incorporate movement and bouncing, great for delighting little ones who love to move.

Little Plane by Taro Gomi (Chronicle Books, 2019). This little series about different vehicles (there's also Little Boat and Little Truck) is just so super cute. I am a huge fan of Taro Gomi's childlike art and the simple text is short and sweet as Little Plane goes out for a flight, gets dirty, tries to land, and tries again. Consider these for young transportation fans.

You Are My Magical Unicorn by Joyce Wan (Cartwheel Books, 2018). I love Joyce Wan's super cute, affirming board books with their kawaii illustrations and positive messages of love, encouragement, and acceptance. The text is simple, but that makes it a wonderful tool for adults to share with young children how much they are loved. All her books are great (I featured We Belong Together last year), this is one of her newest.

You Are New by Lucy Knisley (Chronicle Books, 2019). This is a great gift for new parents or to welcome a new baby. In rhyming text, the book goes through lots of things that new babies do every day and things they do as they start to grow up.

Need more suggestions? Check out last year's 12 Days of Giving: Books for Babies and Toddlers!