Books For Babies – top 5 – a UK perspective

Books for babies are really important for their future development. They can set a little person on the road to becoming a reader with very little effort on the part of a parent.My twitter pal Sandra Foyt has a cute new nephew and she has chosen her top 5 baby books she’s looking forward to sharing with him:

Top Five Books For A Baby
I’m putting together a gift basket of our favorite read aloud baby books. These are books that we truly loved reading over and over again.

I like her list but as my own favourites varies slightly I thought I’d share it here. The books I’ve chosen reflect a more UK perspective. It helps if babies and toddlers can make the connection between their own surroundings and what they see on the page.
I am a great believer in starting to read books to babies as soon as possible, hours or days not weeks! At first it doesn’t even matter what you read, just read something you enjoy 🙂 . It’s that feeling of cosy closeness and the sound of the voice that matters at first.

Books for Babies – The Essential Collection

100 Best Loved Nursery Rhymes
Reading poetry works well so a good quality collection of nursery rhymes is a must. This is a lovely collection with simple illustrations of all the best known and loved nursery rhymes. There’s lots of research to suggest that children who learn nursery rhymes at an earlier age learn to read faster and a book like this makes that a real pleasure.

Soon, though you need to build up a small library of what will quickly become favourites. It’s best if you like them too – you are going to be seeing a lot of them!

Now for my books for babies top 5 in no particular order:

The Baby’s Catalogue
This is the Ahlberg’s glorious list of everything a baby might use. Perfect for endless pouring over this book will eventually bring cries of recognition as little ones look and with your help make the connection between line drawing and real things. Powerful stuff! Expect to spend ages on this one and get used to ” ‘gain, ‘gain”!

Toddler Time:
Slightly cheating here. I was really just looking for Buster’s Day when I found this lovely collection of 4 classic Rod Campbell books! You get 4 wonderful interactive board books -“Oh Dear”, “Buster’s Day”, “My Presents” and “It’s Mine”. You’d be amazed how quickly babies learn to be gentle with pop up and interactive elements on books, with a bit of loving intervention. “Buster’s Day” is another one that even tiny ones will easily relate to as Buster goes through his day and deals with the work of being a busy baby.

Going Shopping
I could have chosen any of a number of Sarah Garland’s charming wordless books. Her illustrations are full of the detail of everyday life and things familiar to any UK family. I was torn between this one and “Doing the Washing”. I’m particularly fond of the home portrayed in these books as it’s far from perfect and much more real than those in many children’s books!

Where’s Spot? (Lift-the-flap Book)
How could I leave out Spot? I don’t even like dogs but he is excused. No child should grow up without meeting him and the story of his Mum’s search for him. Another lift the flap book that little ones delight in “Where’s Spot?” uses a single repeated question with a variety of surprises under the flaps till at last he’s found and returned to Mum. There’s something wonderfully reassuring about Spot’s Mums search and eventual reunion that is perfect for calming and settling a little person at the end of the day.

Peepo! (Viking Kestrel picture books)
My final choice is the Ahlbergs again. “Peepo” is a lovely book that follows a baby through a day. Each double page has a peep hole through to the next page leading the you on to the next stage of the day, giving a hint of what is to come. Lots of interesting things to look at and talk about in this book.

It’s worth saying that I do mean babies, actual babes in arms, here not toddlers. All these books will carry on being loved long after the baby stage and you’ll be amazed how quickly it’s over! I’ve lots of other favourites but those are best left for another post – Books for Toddlers – top 5! But for now that’s my top 5 books for babies. You can find all these books for babies and more in the Books for Babies book shop


One thought on “Books For Babies – top 5 – a UK perspective

  1. You make a good point. It’s important to select books you like as well, as you’ll be reading them over and over again!

    We’ve loved several of the books on this list, including Spot books and a few Ahlberg books. And, of course, Mother Goose rhymes are an essential item in a baby book collection.

    Good books are like potato chips, you can’t stop at one, or even five!

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