I love to read (you can search my Book Club! category for lots of book reviews) and hope to pass my passion for the written word down to Henry. When I was pregnant, I had many daydreams about snuggling up with my baby to read him book after book after book. In reality, itâ€™s almost impossible to get Henry to sit still long enough to make it through a book, even one designed for babies. At eight months, heâ€™s just now getting interested in looking at books.
Some secrets to baby reading: Iâ€™ve got to animate my voice BIG TIME. Funny noises, lots of inflections. I do hand motions and wiggle around a lot, too (like, if thereâ€™s a train in the story, Iâ€™ll stop to making choo-choo noises and chug us around like weâ€™re on the train). Also, Iâ€™ve learned that itâ€™s more than okay to stop halfway through the book if Henry is getting distracted. I used to try to barrel through to the end (â€œDonâ€™t you want to know what happens?!â€) but quickly realized that it doesnâ€™t matter. And last, but not least, I time our readings very carefully. Books work best right after waking up or before going down for a nap. Middle of the day? Forget it.
I canâ€™t imagine that Iâ€™m the only one with a super squirmy baby who finds longer books bo-ring, so I thought Iâ€™d share the few that work for us.
Carry Me: Babies Everywhere: Henry really likes books with photographs of real people inside, and this one is extra special because of all the babies.
Pajama Time: This is the longest book Henry will sit through, and he only does because the book is more of a song than a story. The pages are really bright and cheerful, too. Iâ€™ve noticed the highest contrast books grab his focus.
Peek-a-Who?: This is Henryâ€™s absolute favorite book (you can see in the picture above how worn away it is from chewing). We read it at least twice a day, and I know the entire thing by heart (not hard because there are only five lines). Thereâ€™s a mirror in the back for Henry to look at, too.
Baby Says Peekaboo!: This book is a winner because 1) pictures of babies; 2) pop-up flaps; and 3) the word peek-a-boo. The other day, we were reading this book and Henry pointed to one of the babies and said, â€œBABY!â€ and I just about died. He hasnâ€™t done it since though.
In My Tree: This book has a special hole in the back â€“ you slip your finger inside and the little felt owl turns into a puppet. Henry loves it!
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?: This book is too long to hold Henryâ€™s attention all the way through; however, he likes looking at the pictures (very high contrast) and I hope it is helping him learn animal names.