Birth to Five
Read with your baby and build the skills your child needs to learn to read and succeed. Why should I read to my child?
Birth to Five Blog
One commonality among babies of all kinds and shapes is the compulsion to MOVE! Wiggling, squirming, kicking, creeping...well you get the idea. This snappy little book piggybacks, sorta kinda, on the iconic rhyme, Over in the Meadow: "'Swim!'" blurps the baby fish./Deep down dim./So the mama helps the baby fish/splish/splash/swim."
Babies, toddlers, and preschoolers will enjoy the guessing game prompted by the roly poly baby animals whimsically illustrated by David Walker. Phyllis Root has a deft hand with meter and rhyme, and she uses her jaunty verses to hint at what animal awaits at the turn of the page. In Flip Flap Fly!, the language is simple but action packed, encouraging family participation.
At a time in their cognitive development when children are learning to match specific attributes to the appropriate animal, this fun, bright book offers much in the way of visual reinforcement and vocabulary building. Check this charmer out for some entertaining lap time.
You're All My Favorites by Sam McBratney. When mama and papa bear tuck their cubs into bed they tell them, "You are the most wonderful baby bears in the whole wide world." But one day each baby bear begins to wonder if they are as special as the other two. After all, two have patches and one does not and maybe mommy likes patches best. Two were boys and one was a girl and maybe daddy likes boy bears more then girls. And the littlest wondered if he was as likeable as the bigger bears. So the three gang up on daddy one night and ask the inevitable question, "Who is your favorite?" These wise, tender, grown up bears will win you over as surely as they did their three bear cubs. Their answers are honest and convincing, highlighting each of the cubs unique and special qualities. The language is kind and sweet and perfect. Anita Jeram's illustrations will make you smile and warm your heart. Share it with your parenting partner. Share it with your kids. Share it even if you have an only child.
Spring has sprung! Now that winter's over, the child from author and illustrator Lita Judge's Red Sled is in for another surprise in Judge's follow up book, Red Hat.
The story opens with a thorough "swish swash swish swash" washing of the titular red knit hat. The child then hangs the hat on a clothes line to dry. Soon, a bear cub spies the hat with a familiar "Hrmmm?" and the baby bear wastes no time in snatching the hat from the line. (Could this be the cub of the curious bear from Red Sled?) As baby bear runs along, more baby forest animals join in the fun and the hat begins to unravel. This nearly wordless book leaves a lot of room for spontaneous discussion that won't interrupt the flow of the story. On each page the action is highlighted with a simple sound effect that's often quite funny.
Wordless picture books are a great way for children to enhance their visual literacy skills. Being able to extract clues from pictures is a valuable skill in and of itself, and it is also a great strategy for emergent readers first struggling with text. The give-and-take feedback that comes from discussing the illustrations builds vocabulary since the discussion will likely include words that would not normally come up in everyday conversations.
Judge gives her tale a comforting wrap-up. The child's reaction to discovering the ruined hat is puzzlement rather than anger or sadness, and the next scene shows the child contentedly re-knitting the red strand of yarn. The child models a great response to a potentially stressful situation, and the book provides an opportunity to talk with your child about some strategies for handling life's inevitable upsets.
You can borrow Red Hat along with other titles by Lita Judge and also other wordless picture books at your local library branch. Happy reading!