Spring time in Indiana is juuuuust about officially here. Matter of a fact I’m writing this from my patio in a sweatshirt because I just can’t sit inside one second longer. The sun is out but the breeze is still cool,and my yard is to that awkward stage of not totally needing cut but also lookin’ kinda scraggly. (Mowing the lawn is one home ownership chore I don’t hate, but not yet April. Hold your horses.)
Anyway, with the onset of spring comes my niece’s birthday! Well, my first niece’s first birthday. At the start of 2016 I had no nieces (or nephews for that matter) and today I have three. For each first holiday Eva has been in the family for I’ve given her a seasonal book, so it’s only fitting that I give her a book/s for her first birthday. However as an aunt (and a pediatric SLP) I don’t want to give just okay books, I want to give great books. As far as we know Eva doesn’t have language delay (I only screen her every time I see her) but that doesn’t mean that reading, books, and time spent with her parents and family isn’t important. I am a firm believer that any of these books are appropriate for children developing language, delayed or not. So if you’re a mom, an aunt, an amazing friend, a pediatric SLP with a stale-feeling library, you’re in the right spot.
Alright, now that I’m done underlining text, here’s a list of my Top 10 favorite books/series (right now) for babies and toddlers in no particular order:
1.Mouse Board Books-Laura Numeroff
You may be familiar with mouse & friends from their longer “big kid” book titles like If You Give a Mouse a Cookie or If You Give a Pig a Pancake. I love mouse books for lots of reasons but I like the repeated characters in each book, the small amount of text on each page, the pictures that portray lots of action (and therefore lots of opportunity for conversation) and the problem/solution set-up. Mouse board books are ones I can reliable grab off the shelf each time I see a new one and not even have to look inside, I just know it will be what I need.
2.Duck and Goose-Tad Hills
Oh man, Duck and Goose are my homies. These two are always up to something and encouraging a LOT of language along the way. (Bonus? They have really dry senses of humor which I totally love and appreciate.) These books always target early language skills like spatial concepts and yes/no questions to name a few without being a book solely dedicated to those concepts. Like the mouse books above, there’s typically a problem/solution situation which makes for great sequencing, re-tell and predicting opportunities for toddlers.
3. Touch and Feel-DK
These books have been around for quite some time so while they may not be new books for you, I couldn’t make this list without them. Real life pictures, minimal words and texture opportunities out the wazoo help set the stage for vocabulary, answering wh-questions, describing, and stating opinion.
I stumbled upon this books while on spring break this week for the first time(because of course I was looking at kid’s books) and they became a quick new favorite! Good thing I’m only about 7 year behind things, huh? While on the pricier side ($13-ish on Amazon at the time of this post), these books are clean and full of bright, stimulating colors.
Sandra is another one who probably doesn’t need to be listed, but I included just incase you aren’t familiar with her work. Silly stories featuring animal characters are simple (I’m looking at you, Pookie Pig) but the perfect length for a tiny attention span. She’s written several books, so this series is perfect if you’re wanting to build a library.
This lift-the-flap book features a repeated line (one line of text that repeats over and over again in the book, in this case “I sent him back”.) and is wonderful for animal vocabulary/noises, prediction, and toddler participation in the story.
7. Priddy Baby Books
These are my go-to books. When I was doing early intervention I recommended them to every.single.family., and the were (almost) the only books I would take into homes. The one shown here is my particular favorite. Books are divided into categories and come in a couple of “first words” editions, too. Bonus? They use real pictures in all their books. * insert praise hands emoji*
8. Eric Carle
My man, Eric. Some of his stories can be long which make them tricky for short attention spans/short speech therapy sessions, but the pictures are engaging and the stories are classics. Enough said.
9.Your Baby’s First Word Will be Dada-Jimmy Fallon
So not only do I (really) love Jimmy Fallon, turns out his book is great for animal names and sounds, big/small, yes/no questions, and a repeated word.
10. Finger Play Book-Songs
I could talk to you all day long about why finger play songs are so dang important but just about any book you can find, and a simple Google search will tell you there are approximately a billion, that incorporates these are great for little learners. Wheels on the Bus, Old McDonald, B-I-N-G-O…you can’t go wrong, friend.
Any books you would add to this list? Leave me a comment and let me know!
**Note: at the time of this post, all books listed could be found on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other various book selling websites.