Monday, January 19, 2009

Baby book gift ideas for new mothers and newborns

I love to give books as gifts for pregnant or new mothers. It's something that most people haven't starting stocking up on yet, so you're not likely to get something they already own, and they always seem to be appreciated. Plus, you get the feel-good bonus of knowing you're helping to create another baby bookworm. I thought I'd review the ten or so books that were most appealing to our bibliophile from birth through about six months. It's a tough call, because before he could express much preference, we could of course read him anything. I enjoyed reading him books -- like the classic Winnie the Pooh stories, the Cat in the Hat, and Green Eggs and Ham -- that are difficult to get him to sit still for at this point.

The books I'm listing below are the ones that HE really loved, for one reason or another. These were all slightly before he had the dexterity for the flap books, which I might cover in another post. It's worth mentioning that while these were his favorites at 0-6 months, almost every one of them is still a hit now, meaning he never refuses the offer of a read. Now that's the sign of a good book.

In no particular order, here are my suggested top ten (12 really, but who's counting!) baby board book gifts for 0-6 month olds:

1. Dr. Seuss's ABC: An Amazing Alphabet Book! (Board book), by Dr. Seuss. We have the board book and full versions of Dr. Seuss's A, B, C, and mom and dad know both versions by heart. This is quite possibly the book we've read the most since our bookworm was born. At times, we've had to hone our speed reading skills to keep pace with the frantic page turning, but it has remained a consistent hit in our house.


"Big A, little A, what begins with A? Aunt Annie's Alligator, A, A, A."

Parent's Peeve: I'm not a big fan of the Zizzer Zazzer Zuzz. Why not a zipped up zebra zooming through the zoo? But I love the rest.

2. Big Board First 100 Words (Bright Baby) (Board book), by Roger Priddy. This large board book, which features nine objects per page, was one of his favorite books to flip through by himself while we ate breakfast in bed with him. Now he loves to point to and identify objects in it, practicing his words or sign language. The pages are full of a wide variety of fun photographs, organized by topics like "things that go," "bathtime," "bedtime," etc.

3. Fuzzy Bee and Friends (Cloth Books), by Roger Priddy. This (along with Fluffy Chick and Friends by the same author) were the only cloth books Kevin liked much. The rhymes are cute, the cover is nicely crinkly, and the pages contain different tactile sensations, like a satiny butterfly and net-like dragonfly wings.


"Don't be fooled by a scary name./The dragonfly is really tame."

Parent's Peeve: Fuzzy bee isn't actually in the book.

4. Itsy-bitsy Spider (My First Taggies Book) (Board book), by Jill McDonald. This is a short, simple book with text that will be familiar to every parent already. K has always liked it. He doesn't pay any attention to the tags on it, though, which I admit makes me a bit proud.

5. My Little Word Book (My Little Books) (Board book), by Roger Priddy. Much like First 100 Words, My Little Word Book is stock full of photographs. K really enjoys flipping through it. Categories include "food and drink," "your body," and "things we wear," among others.

6. One Fish, Two Fish, Three, Four, Five Fish (Dr. Seuss Nursery Collection) (Board book), by Dr. Seuss. K has always liked the board book version of this book. The little plastic fish on the top are a bonus, but the book is what keeps his interest.


"Three fish/four fish/Here come more fish!"

7. Open the Barn Door (A Chunky Book(R)) (Board book), by Christopher Santoro. This was the first flap book we owned. The book itself is very small (perfect for tiny hands), and the flaps are even smaller, so parental assistance was definitely required to operate them for awhile. But that didn't damper his enthusiasm for this book, which we read over and over (and over and over and over...) again.

8. Peek-A Who? (Board book), by Nina Laden. Peek a Who was an instant hit. The rhymes are cute, the images are simple, the pages are thick and perfectly sized for small hands, and best of all, the last page contains a mirror. Just keep a washcloth handy in case your bookworm develops the habit that ours did -- a kiss on the mirror after every read. And there were MANY reads of Peek a Who.


"Peek a/ZOO!"

Infant's Interest: All, but especially the mirror at the end.

9. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? (Board book), by Eric Carle. This was the first book that K seemed to focus on (the black and white page with the dog), which was so exciting that it earned its way into the top 10.

10. A B C Board Book (Board book), by DK Publishing. This very small, sturdy book was the first free book we got at the doctor's office through the Reach Out and Read Program. The images are actual photographs, and our bookworm loved it. He always, for some reason, loved teething on it more than any other book, but it held up well to the abuse.

It was difficult to limit it to just ten, and I had to cheat a little to do it. Did I mention the best part about buying books as baby gifts? Picking them out!

1 comment:

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