Board books for Babies on Board
I’ve spent a great many years recommending books to my customers – books for all ages from babies to pensioners. There are books that work, and there are reasons why they work.
I’ve always loved children’s books – as a child myself of course, then as a mother and bookseller. Now as a grandparent I am discovering the wonder that is a baby with a book all over again and it is an absolute delight.
For babies it is important to begin reading early – right from birth. And, it is important to have the right books – books with bright pictures, not too many words, but carefully chosen words that work with the illustrations. That happy marriage between illustration and text that make a book magic.
It is thought that a child learns more during the first five years of life than he will in any other period. Children at this age are just soaking it up – they are developing broad concepts from experiences in seeing, hearing, feeling, touching, and smelling. They are curious and thirsty for knowledge. As parents tell, show and listen to the child, the child thinks, and remembers. This development is enhanced by experiences with books.
Reading to children provokes curiosity about books, and arouses the desire to learn to read. As the child matures books help to enlarge their vocabulary and expose them to new and exciting experiences. Children learn that books are a rich source of information, enjoyment and challenge. Take notice of how important it is to introduce the right books at the right time.
Every grandparent that comes into the shop requesting a book for their grandchild, advises me that the child is “very advanced”, and now I understand. Like all of your grandchildren – mine is also exceptional. Having been read to since birth, he loves his books, and he will sit and listen for a good long time – but perhaps not for a five hour plane trip.
Taking a long plane trip with a child of any age could be a bit of a challenge – taking an energetic boy under the age of 2 is something that requires planning.
So, having a limited amount of space (and strength) to carry the things needed to entertain this child, the selection must be carefully made. Food of course, and the favourite holey blanket and soft toy, and a new big plastic airplane housing a couple of little plastic people – and books. A carefully chosen selection of board books.
Our visit to the great-grandparents will include a trip to the aquarium, so we have Curious George, First Words at the Aquarium. Since we are traveling by plane it is a given that we’ll have a couple of books about airplanes – Planes by Byron Barton, very simple bright illustrations, perfect for a very young child. We have a beautiful big Usborne book Planes – with flaps, a favourite thing for children of this age, and we have Planes at the Airport by Peter Mandel, again nice bright fun illustrations, and not too many words! We know we’ll be reading these books over, and over, and over again.
This child’s favourite thing is dogs, so we are also armed with several books about dogs. Doggies – a counting and barking book – by Sandra Boynton – fun, fun, fun and surely this advanced child can learn to count by now. We also have Curious George and the Puppies, and the best of all dog books for this age, Walk the Dog by Bob Barner – a boisterous parade of sniffing, barking, jumping dogs – your child will be exuberantly sniffing, barking and scratching right along with all of these bright and busy dogs.
Most of you will know Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar – one of those “must have” books for babies – we are taking another Eric Carle, new to this child, The Very Lonely Firefly – same great illustrations (there’s a dog in this one) and a wonderful surprise at the end as the firefly finds many friends and they all light up.
To round out our library in the sky will be The Complete Adventures of The Mole Sisters written and illustrated by Roslyn Schwartz, and a pair of Mole Sister finger puppets. The Mole Sisters are one of the most wonderful of creations – two lively and lovely little black mole sisters who explore and experience their world with delight, love and humour.
My carry on bag will be heavy but it will be full of treasures. When you read this I will be with my parents - and daughter and grandson - looking forward to the flight home. Wish me luck.