Good news... not only is my blog going to be about DIY tutorials, but I'm also going to sprinkle in a little mommy stuff here and there, along with family posts, budget-y posts, and healthy eating goodies!
So straying from the sewing posts a little, I wanted to share with you my totally unprofessional and uneducated mommy opinions on the best baby books around. Ok...here we go.
Not unlike a lot of mommies I know, I love to read. Seriously, I LOOOVE to read. I have always been a "bookworm",known to devour one book after another. My poor hubby knows that when I start a book, there will be very little bonding time or even talking time till it's finished. But let's go back to the beginning. The story of my learning to read is actually quite comical. So comical in fact, that I feel it necessary to share with you all.
Rewind to 1990ish. According to my parents, when I was a little tot, I would memorize my favorite books after hearing them over and over again. Once I had them memorized, I would sit by myself in my room and "read" my books aloud. Funny part is, I was genuinely convinced that I was indeed "reading". I'm sure you can picture that scene..., me sitting there, probably holding the book upside down, babbling off all sort of nonsense, feeling self-important and awesome. I was "reading" and I loved it.
Then kindergarten rolled around and part of the curriculum was actually learning to read...go figure! The irony of this was, I couldn't learn it! No matter how hard I tried to learn to read, I had A LOT of trouble. My parents think that as per my personality, I was just too impatient to get to the reading part to hunker down and learn my basics. In other words, I didn't feel it necessary to bother with the alphabet and learning what letters made what sounds. That was a waste of time, I just wanted to look at a page and well….read it! If you know me, this is hilarious. Because 21 years later, my personality is EXACTLY the same. Little to no patience, focused on the end result, and blatant disregard for the basics! These days though, I really try to step back and take my time to do things the right way. The saying "haste makes waste" rings true to me. But no matter, I digress. Back to little ole illiterate Mary.
So after nights and nights of working on my reading with no improvement, my parents caved. What I'm about to reveal to you all is outstandingly embarrasing...but it must be said. I know all of you 90s kids will know what I mean when I say…. I Mary Grace ..... was hooked on phonics. There it is, I said it! Hooked-On-Phonics...... The combination of that and my two patient parents finally got the reading thing to happen for me. Thank the lord because I was almost a lost cause. So to wrap up my long, seemingly irrelevant story, I eventually mastered the whole reading thing and the rest is history. Since kindergarten, I've read hundreds and hundreds of books, and I wish I had more time in my days now to read more!
But fret not! Since having Noah, I've entered a whole new genre of reading material….baby books! And let me tell you what the secret to the baby books is, the baby doesn't care what you are reading. Well, not yet at least. So since the baby doesn't care what you are reading, be a little selfish and pick something you want to read. Seriously, why bother with those dull 2 word sentences books that are supposed to be developmentally appropriate. Or those black n white books with one word per page. Not only are books like those tremendously uninteresting to you, but they are also a complete waste of energy (in my unprofessional and uneducated mommy opinion) Let me explain...to read one of those one-sentence-a-page books, it'll take you all of 20 seconds. Twenty seconds of frantic, pointless page flipping while your baby flails around restlessly in your arms waiting for something more interesting to happen. Now don't get me wrong!!! I'm sure those books will be great and educational at some point in Noah's young life, but for a 0-6 month old, I believe not so much.
So this brings me to the types of books that are AWESOME to read (in my unprofessional and uneducated mommy opinion). Number 1, I like books with rhyme and Noah does too. He enjoys the inflections I create with my voice while reading them and the musical quality of the reading grabs his attention more easily. Number 2, I also like books with some colorful illustrations. I've seen more than a few baby books with black and white pages and weird sketchy drawings. Now I'm sure that some genius somewhere has a perfectly good reason for why these books are developmentally appropriate and preferred, but I'm not buying that my 6month old son would rather look at a stick figure then a page full of wonderful, colorful, woodland creatures. And lastly, isn't early reading supposed to be familiarizing baby with different sounding words, sentence structure, emotion, conversation, etc? How are you supposed to get all that from the aforementioned one-sentence-a-page books?
So that brings me to what I believe are the most awesome (to date) baby books for you and your bambino. But before I get to my list, I must reflect on what I've written and say that it's entirely possible that I'm just encouraging you to be selfish and read what YOU like with complete disregard for what may or may not be developmentally appropriate for the reading age of your child. But to that thought I say pshhhh, ANY reading is good! (within reason people)
Number 5! Moo Baa La La La
This book was recommended to me by one of my fellow mommies. I love the simple noises, rhymes, and animal sounds in this book. I'm sure as Noah gets older, he'll love it more too. It is a little short for my tastes, but it makes the list nevertheless.
Number 4! Ten Tiny Toes
Now this book is just priceless. Noah and I found it one day at Barnes N Nobles. I was immediately drawn to the sing/songy rhyming words. Plus it was just too freaken adorable to pass up. "And nothing on earth you could even suppose, can ever be loved quite like Ten tiny toes!?" How stinkin cute. SOLD.
Number 3! Little Blue Truck
I got this book from one of my childhood neighbors. Love. love. love! There are a lot of things I love about the Little Blue Truck book. The illustrations are fantastic, the rhyming and sentence structure are so fun, and the animal noises are a blast to sound out for Noah. He almost always starts shouting and babbling along with me when I read this book. When I found out that it had a companion sequel...we bought it instantly. Not quite as great as the original, but still a fun read.
Number 2! Wherever You Are, My Love Will Find You
Ok now this book is just a must-have for every mommy out there. The first time I read it, I had tears in my eyes. This author so beautifully describes the love a mother/father/whoever feels for their "baby". And she does it in beautiful rhyme. What I love most about this book is the truth and meaning behind the words. As Noah gets older I want him to remember that "My love can find him, my love can fly". Insert tears.
Number 1! Bear Snores On
Oh gosh, this book is a gem. Dan and I found it on date night at Barnes N Noble. Another fun rhyming book with great illustrations. The book is complete with fun rhymes, different voices, sound effects, suspense, fun, and a fantastic ending! Imagine our elation when we went to Barnes N Nobles just the other day and found that there are more diamonds like this one! (Yes, we bought them all) Hallelujah! Fun, exciting, reading ahead!
There you go people. Let me know if you know of any books I should reconsider ranking into my top 5. I'm always on the lookout for the next great book to read to my Noah bear!
But in all seriousness, you are bombarded with advice to read to your child daily, so why not make this a fun time for both of you by finding exciting books that you look forward to reading. I'm hoping that as the experts say, daily reading will set the child up for success in their future learning. Because I for one, do not want Noah to be hooked on phonics. =)
Disclaimer: As I said, this is (in my unprofessional and uneducated mommy opinion) and mostly meant to offer some mommy suggestions for wonderful reading material. I am not in any way educated in early childhood learning, nor do I pretend to be. So Please do not be offended by my sarcasm =)