It is never too early to start reading to your children and is a great opportunity to bond even more with them, but there are so many books to choose from. So, which ones do you choose?
Do you read them an actual baby book, an older child’s book, a book that you like reading, an educational book, a picture book?
These, in my opinion, are the best books to read to babies; and are the ones that I read to all four of mine when they weren’t old enough to even understand.
Pat The Bunny By Dorothy Kunhardt
Pat the Bunny is a “touch and feel” book for small children and babies and was published in 1940. It is not a book in the traditional sense, but more a collection of things to do, such as pat the fake fur of a rabbit on one page, feel a bit of sandpaper on another, and look in a mirror (this one was one of my children’s favorite pages.
It was written and illustrated by Dorothy Kunhardt, who was a successful children’s author who created this book for her 3-year-old daughter, Edith.
One of the other things I like about this book is that all the proceeds from Pat the Bunny support “I Am Your Child”, a national public awareness campaign that was created by the Reiner Foundation to stress how important early brain development is.
Corduroy By Don Freeman
Corduroy was another one that my children liked when they were little and also had some shows created that me and my children watched together. It is a pretty beautiful story and, in my opinion, teaches a little about not giving up and friendship.
It was created by Don Freeman in 1968 and was actually turned down when he first sent it to his publisher, but was then published and eventually listed on The Teachers Top 100 Books For Children’s list.
The book tells the story of a teddy bear named Corduroy, who is displayed on a toy shelf in a department store. One day, a young girl named Lisa arrives at the store with her mother and sees the bear. She is eager to buy him, but her mother doesn’t want to spend more money and notices a button on his overalls is missing, so she doesn’t allow her to get it.
After they leave, little Corduroy decides to find the missing button himself and goes on a trip around store after it closes. He goes upstairs and finds furniture he had never seen before, including beds and mattresses. Thinking that one of the mattress buttons is his missing button, he pulls hard on it and ends up falling from the bed, knocking over a lamp. The security guard hears the noise and finds the bear and returns him to where he belongs.
The next day, Lisa comes back with the money she found in her piggy bank and buys Corduroy. At home, she sews a button on his shoulder strap and the book ends with them saying that they had always wanted a friend and hugging each other.
Guess How Much I Love You By Sam McBratney
Guess How Much I Love You was actually one of my favorite books because it portrayed how much I loved my children. My kids like it just as much because of the quality time and the feels this book gave all of us.
It is a British children’s book that was written by Sam McBratney and was illustrated by Anita Jeram. It was published in 1994, in the United Kingdom and then in 1995, in the United States.
It follows the true story of two Nutbrown Hares, Big Nutbrown Hare and Little Nutbrown Hare. The two are never stated to be father and son in the original storybooks. Little Nutbrown Hare asks Big Nutbrown Hare the title question, “Guess how much I love you?”, and the book continues as the two use larger and larger measures to quantify how much they love each other in answer to the question. The story is simple, but effectively shows the love the two share for each other.
How many times have you gone through the, “How much do you love me?” “I love you thiiiiiiiiiiiisssssss much” with your children?
Are You My Mother? By P.D. Eastman
Are You My Mother? is the ultimate classic that I see my children still read now, and they are teenagers. They think it is cute and silly and will pick it up whenever they are bored.
It is a children’s book by P. D. Eastman and published by Random House Books for Young Readers in 1960.
It is the story about a hatchling bird (though it’s not identified what kind of bird species it is). First it starts off with the mother bird who sits on her egg. The mother (after she hears it jump) tells herself that her baby is going to be here and may want to eat. Then, she tells herself she should get something for her baby bird to eat. Then she leaves her egg and hopes it stays in her nest where she left it. She flies off to find food. The baby bird hatches. He does not understand where his mother is so he goes to look for her. Without the ability to fly he has to walk; and during his search, he asks a kitten (who does not speak), a hen, a dog, and a cow if they are his mother, but none of them are.
Refusing to give up, he sees an old car, which he realizes certainly cannot be his mother. In desperation, the hatchling calls out to a boat and a plane (but neither responds), and at last, climbs onto one of the teeth from an enormous power shovel. When he calls it his mother (saying, “Mother! Mother! Here I am, Mother!”), it belches “SNORT” in response from its exhaust stack. This prompts the bird to say, “You are not my mother! You are a Snort! I better get out of here!”. As the machine shudders and grinds into motion, he cannot escape. “I want my mother!” he shouts.
At that moment, the Snort drops the baby bird into his nest (to where the baby bird slides down from the Snort easily and into the nest on the tree). The baby bird was finally home. Just then, his mother returns. The two are reunited, much to their delight. The mother bird asks the baby bird if he knows who she is. The baby bird says, “I know who you are. You are not a kitten. You are not a hen. You are not a dog. You are not a cow. You are not a plane, a boat, nor a Snort. You are a bird. And you are my mother”.
This book was and is still one of mine and my children’s favorites and tells a story of not giving up until he finds his mother. He tells a story of perseverance, courage, and determination. He tells a story of a mother’s love and importance. Well that is what I got from it anyway.
There Are So Many More
Reading to your children while they are young is an important part of their life and development and the best bonding moment you can have when they are small. The more you read and the earlier you start reading to them, the more likely they are going to grow to love reading themselves.
I started reading to my oldest daughter before she was even born and I swear I bought so many books as she grew up, that her bedroom must have looked like a library.
She grew up loving to read and she even started writing her own books and had a small paperback one published when she was just a young teen.
It is never too soon to read to your child, but what you read to them is going to be based on what it is you are looking to get out of it; and is completely up to you.
You can do your research and do what the so called baby gurus out there tell you to do or you can go with what you feel is best for your baby; because you are the expert of your own child not someone else.
I hope you enjoyed this little read!
Have a question, book idea of your own, or want to get some other book ideas? Leave your comment below and don’t forget to check out our Parent’s Corner here.