Good morning! Miss Jillian is back to blogging and is excited to share her top 10 books in this edition of Jillian’s Favorite Things. It was hard for her to narrow it down to just 10, so she’ll be back soon with more great books to share. As an almost one-year old, Jillian has specific criteria for what makes a book “good.”
A) Textures and vivid colors/illustrations
B) Must taste good (all of her books go in the mouth)
C) See above
In all seriousness though, reading time together is something we look forward to, as a family, every day. We hope that you enjoy the list she has put together and that you find a book you may not be familiar with. If you’re a parent, caregiver or teacher and you’re looking for ways to enhance your story time experience, there’s a few tips at the end that may help you revamp your routine.
From Jillian: My mommy reads this book to me every day during quiet time before I take my naps. I love it because of the lovely water color illustrations, the simple, but beautiful rhymes, and the fact that my copy is “lap size” meaning it’s bigger than your average board book. I can sit on it, push it around the room, and easily turn the pages for mommy.
From Amazon: “Darkness is falling everywhere and little ones are getting sleepy, feeling cozy, and being tucked in. It’s time for a wide yawn, a big hug, and a snuggle under the covers–sleep tight!”2. What Sound Do You Make? by La Coccinella (Look & See Series books)
From Jillian: I’ve been enjoying this book since I was a newborn. I love the different size holes on each page because I can stick my fingers through them. Sometimes my mommy sticks her fingers through them and I can touch her hand on the other side. The upbeat rhymes are perfect for singing, chanting or clapping along the way. I love animals and I like hearing the different sounds they make.
From Amazon: “Chirp chirp, squeak squeak, bow wow wow: kids will make merry noises as they meet a menagerie of animals and discover what sounds they make. A die-cut of colorful spiraling circles turns this book into a vivid visual and aural treat.”
3. That’s Not My Kitten (Usborne touchy-feely books)
From Jillian: Usborne touchy-feely books are so fun and perfect for little explorers. I like touching (and tasting) the different textures on every page. My mommy has a few books from this series and I always have one or two out in rotation. These books are very well made and the “touch and feel” elements are high quality and eye-catching.
From Usborne: “Fabulous board book with glossy pages and textures to touch and feel on every page, including rough paws, fuzzy tongues and fluffy kittenish tummies. Designed to promote sensory awareness and language development in very young children.”
4. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt Lap Edition by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury
From Jillian: There aren’t any bears in my neighborhood, so I like to live vicariously through this family’s adventure on their bear hunt! I’m not sure what I’d do if a bear chased me back home. I guess I’d hope my brother, Zeppelin, would scare him off! 🙂 This lap edition book is so nice and easy for parents and children to hold. The descriptive rhymes and beautiful illustrations make me feel like I am included on this exciting quest.
From Amazon: “We’re going on a bear hunt. We’re going to catch a big one. Will you come too? For twenty-five years readers have been swishy swashing and splash sploshing through this award-winning favorite. Now fans of this classic story from Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury can celebrate and share with this special oversize lap board book edition that has an updated, colorized cover.”5. Someday by Alison McGhee
From Jillian: My mom made the mistake of reading this sentimental book to me when I was a newborn. I say “mistake” because she was really hormonal and everything made her cry! This book, a tale about a mother’s dream for her child to live a wonderful and meaningful life, is so beautiful and pure. My mom still gets teary every time she thumbs through the pages. Though the days are long, the years are short and I know this will be a classic I will want to read my children one day.
From Amazon: “A mother’s love leads to a mother’s dream — every mother’s dream — for her child to live life to its fullest. A deceptively simple, powerful ode to the potential of love and the potential in life, Someday is the book you’ll want to share with someone else…today.”
6. Frere Jacques by Jonas Sickler (Indestructibles series)
From Jillian: As my mom mentioned, my favorite books have to taste good and have beautiful illustrations. This Frere Jacques book from the Indestructibles series meets all of my criteria. You see, books from the Indestructible series are rip proof, nontoxic and cannot be destroyed. I’m very physical with my books and there’s nothing I love more than giving Frere Jacques a big tug, bite or pull. The bright colors draw me in and I spend lots of time looking at each page. Also, who wouldn’t want to take a big bite out of all of the sweets and goodies in the book? So if you’re tired of picking up shreds of catalogs, paper or cards from your baby’s wake, invest in a good set of Indestructible books. They will meet your child’s sensory needs and are mess-free.
From Amazon: “Indestructibles are the 100 percent baby proof, chew proof, rip proof, completely washable, and nontoxic series of books. Books built for the way babies read, Indestructibles are printed on an amazing nontoxic, paperlike material that holds up to endless chewing, gumming, gnawing, grabbing, bending, and pulling. Then, once the books get dirty, parents can throw them in a dishwasher or washing machine to make them clean as new.
The title is adapted from classic nursery rhymes and illustrated by Jonas Sickler. Sickler’s paintings are whimsical and fun, filled with dazzling textures and eye-popping color. They will grab and keep a baby’s attention, and delight adults. The book offers a multicultural twist on a classic nursery rhyme — in Frere Jacques, a sleeping pastry chef dreams of bonbons and crêpes flying over the streets of Paris. The text for the nursery rhyme is printed on the back cover.”7. Sally’s Great Balloon Adventure by Stephen Huneck
From Jillian: I love doggies, especially cute and adventurous ones, like Sally, the beautiful black lab. The Sally series by Stephen Huneck is perfect for all of the dog lovers in your life. Huneck was a well known wood carving artist, author, furniture maker, and painter. He also happened to be a huge dog lover, so much so that he and his wife hosted dog parties and fests at his studio. All of his talents merge together beautifully in his Sally books. The gorgeous woodcuts are so unique and full of rich color and textures. I’d like to take a hot air balloon ride one day, and when I do, I will always think of Sally and her quest for fried chicken.
From Amazon: “When Sally’s family visits a hot air balloon field, the loyal black Labrador retriever is tempted by the smell of fresh chicken coming from one of the balloons. She follows the delicious scent to a balloon basket, and—whoops—the balloon takes flight! Soon she’s soaring above the ground, looking out at the tiny people below as they try to bring her back down. Beautiful panoramic scenes and Sally’s trademark witty thoughts accompany her latest adventure in the open skies, in a book that is sure to charm dog owners and fans of intrepid Sally.”
8. Baby Born by Anastasia Suen
From Jillian: This sweet little book charts a baby’s first year coinciding with each season. It so happens that the baby is born in the winter, like me. It’s been so much fun for my mommy and me to review my developmental milestones with the ones mentioned in this book . I’m learning all the time and I’m doing many of the things I’ve read about in Baby Born! Baby Born is another book that makes mommy emotional. She’s planning on reading it to me on my first birthday.
From Amazon: “Through lovely verse and winsome watercolors, Baby Born celebrates all babies with love! Perfect for shower gifts or for sharing with siblings of new babies, this sturdy colorful book follows new babies through each season and each new step of development, with a surprise under every flap. Sure to become a family read-aloud favorite, Baby Born will appeal to readers big and small.”
9. There is a Crocodile Under My Bed by Ingrid Schubert
From Jillian: We just started reading this book earlier this week and I love it so much. I literally kiss each page before my mommy can continue with the story. I’m not scared of the dark right now, but if I am in the future, I know this book is going to help me overcome my fear. I like Carl the crocodile and I like that we both enjoy the same things, such as pancakes and playing when I’m supposed to be sleeping.
From Amazon: “Since the publication of There Is a Crocodile under My Bed! in 1980, countless children have overcome their fears of the dark with this ever-selling picture book. But times have changed and Ingrid and Dieter Schubert changed too. So they proudly present a totally renewed There Is a Crocodile under My Bed! The girl who discovers a crocodile under her bed thinks: ‘This is going to be fun!’ She decides to tame the beast with her hoop and that’s the beginning of a special friendship. The new artwork by Ingrid and Dieter Schubert is as firm and fearless as the protagonist herself. With powerful simple prints without superfluous words, they tell the story that will take young readers to bed with self-confidence – at least for the next thirty-five years!”
10. To Market, To Market by Anne Miranda
From Jillian: I look forward to going grocery shopping with my mommy or daddy every week. Each aisle has so many treasures and treats and I take great pleasure in trying to get out of my seat to swat or knock things over. The people watching is pretty great, too. If I ever met a shopper like the one in To Market, To Market, I sure would giggle. After many hapless attempts to bring home an animal to eat, she finally does get to sit down to a good meal, but it might surprise you to see what she actually ends up eating. This book has gorgeous illustrations, fun rhymes and a happy ending for all.
From Amazon: “Anne Miranda’s inventive twist on a classic rhyme tells what happens after a shopper goes “to market, to market, to buy a fat pig.” Back home the pig promptly escapes, and soon the pig’s in the kitchen, the lamb’s on the bed, the cow’s on the couch–and the rest of the animals are wreaking havoc throughout the house.”
Tips for Making Reading to Your Baby FUN
It’s never too early to build story time into your daily routine. Whether you have a newborn who sleeps all day or a fast-moving 1 year old who has a 3 minute attention span, story time is great for your child AND can be fun for you, too! My tips below will help keep everyone entertained, be more interactive and prevent story time from becoming dull or boring.
- Use funny voices and/or accents for different characters. (Jillian thinks it is so funny when I use accents or low voices.)
- Sing the words instead of reading aloud. This is especially entertaining if it’s a rhyming book. 🙂
- Use musical instruments such as maracas, rhythm sticks, bells to emphasize exciting/action parts of the book.
- Dress up like one of the main characters and use props from the story. Think colorful scarves, large costume jewelry, hats, ties, etc.
- Tag team story time with your spouse or another adult/older child and take turns reading different parts.
- Encourage baby to be a part of the experience by letting them turn the pages, “taste,” hold, flip the book.
- Change up your environment. Try reading outdoors or in a different room other than the nursery/playroom.
- To keep things new and interesting, rotate books in the nursery so that you have a good variety to choose from.
- Keep book baskets in common areas around your house so that they are always available and visible to your child.
- If you are bilingual, try reading a kid’s book in the other language. Your child may recognize the changes in inflection in your voice and the other sounds.
Stay tuned for more of Jillian’s book recommendations! I’d love to know what your/child’s favorite books are right now! Please comment below.
I Dream of Pretty Things