Even the tiniest of tiny tots love to snuggle on a warm lap for storytime. Those looking for books to engage babies can find stellar choices in this newly compiled book collection.
The 2017 Top 10 list of Best Books for Babies was created by a panel of Pittsburgh librarians and child development experts. This nationally recognized guide assists parents, teachers, and caregivers in selecting quality materials to share with babies age birth to 18 months.
Best Books for Babies is a cooperative project of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, The Fred Rogers Company and the Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children. The committee’s hope is to identify books that will delight and engage both babies and the adults who care for them.
“Blocks,” by Irene Dickson (Nosy Crow/Candlewick). This appealing mini-drama about learning to share uses only a few words and large, simple pictures to convey the experience of two young children as they sort out how to play happily together.
“Cars Go,” by Steve Light (Chronicle). Wonderfully unusual noises, bright splashes of color, a variety of vehicles, and sturdy, elongated pages make this ode to automobiles and trucks an engaging read-aloud.
“Clip Clop” and “Wibble Wobble,” by Catherine Hnatov (Star Bright Books). Crisp black and white pictures of animals are perfect for the developing vision of the very youngest listeners. Descriptive sound-words for their movements give the brief text a percussive rhythm.
“Counting” and “Shapes,” by Fleur Star (DK Publishing). These touch-and-feel board books feature basic concepts, bright colors and braille translations that can be shared and enjoyed by sighted or vision-impaired readers and listeners.
“Eat, Sleep, Poop,” by Alexandra Penfold, illustrated by Jane Massey (Alfred A. Knopf). This appealing picture book covers a baby’s primary preoccupations with humor and affection. Clever pictures combine an airy, open design with just enough detail to ensure that parents and older siblings will also be entertained.
“Leo Can Swim,” by Anna McQionn, illustrated by Ruth Hearson (Charlesbridge). Babies who like to “swish and swoosh…splish and sploosh” safe in their parents’ arms will enjoy this brief, cheery account of Baby Leo’s outing with his father.
“Look at You” (Star Bright Books). Babies love to look at babies, so these crisp, close-up photographs of babies with a variety of expressions will capture their interest; the mirrored surface at the end offers a fun surprise.
“One, Two, Three Mother Goose,” edited by Iona Opie, illustrated by Rosemary Wells (Candlewick). This padded board book, featuring rhymes both familiar and obscure, will charm listeners with rollicking rhythms and cheery illustrations of adorable animals.
“Sunrise, Moonrise,” by Betsy Thompson (Little Simon/Simon & Schuster). Artfully drawn animals frolic from morning to night as simple rhyming phrases describe their activities. Black outlines make the illustrations easy to distinguish while varied textures add interest.
“You Are One,” by Sara O’Leary, illustrated by Karen Klassen (Owlkids Books). The friendly, conversational tone of this affectionate catalog of familiar activities and developing abilities encourages readers and listeners to interact as they consider all the progress made between birth and baby’s first birthday. Realistic illustrations of babies will appeal to little listeners.
And a new Baby Books event
A Baby Book Shower will be held for parents-to-be and parents of babies ages birth to 18 months from 10:15-10:45 a.m. May 22 at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Main in Oakland. Participants will enjoy a Best Book for Babies storytime, meet other parents and parents-to-be, share books and simple learning activities with your baby, and explore this year’s 10 Best Books for Babies. RSVP at 412-622-3122, [email protected], or in-person at the Children’s Room at CLP-Main.