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The best baby shower books | My Baby My Star

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Many baby shower hosts ask guests to bring a favorite baby book as part of the gift or in lieu of a card. (Why do people always ask for that?!) This inevitably leads to multiple copies of good night moon and Where the wild things are. As great as these are, I want to give something that the parents-to-be are not yet familiar with. What are some of your favorite non-obvious books that babies love and adults never get tired of reading?

I love the idea of ​​using a baby shower to get a library going for the new arrival. It’s a sweet practice that’s also a chance to make a gift more personal – not that a diaper pail, nipple cream, or NoseFrida couldn’t be. You’re right that most people already have Eric Carles, Sandra Boyntons, and other classic board books in their nursery, so here’s a list of some of my favorites and a few other Strategist collaborators that are a little more unexpected (with a few Tips from our children’s book coverage). The list includes titles for both the youngest babies and toddlers, because it’s never too early for a child to start their reading journey, and many of them happen to fall under the old classics category, which I personally prefer, but there are a few more contemporary books too.

Strategist Senior Editor Jen Trolio, whose daughters are 6, 5 and 4 years old, loves this Janik Coat cardboard book that she received at her own baby shower. “Not only did it stand out as one I’d never seen before (and importantly not received duplicate copies of it), it’s the perfect blend of simple concepts, good design and clever, minimal text – an invaluable combination for parents , which they may need to read over and over once their child starts picking favorites,” she says. Another nice element is that many of the illustrations are structured, which she notes her daughter “loved to touch and interact with from about 6 months”.

Babies love to look at other babies and this book is full of all kinds of adorable babies. It’s another Trolio favorite, with “illustrations that are really layered and thoughtful to represent all types of babies and parents.” Also, “it has a really nice rhythm and rhyme structure” that her kids loved (her 4-year-old still begs to read it sometimes).

Here’s another one that Trolio swears by. Like the others, it has “very little text, cool illustrations, and tons of ways to describe what’s happening without going crazy reading the same rhymes over and over”. It was first published in the 60’s and tells the story of Rosie, a hen who goes for a walk while a fox silently follows her. The illustrations have this decidedly retro vibe, and as Trolio notes, “there’s a lot happening in the pictures” to keep young readers engaged.

This black and white book by Loryn Brantz (author of Feminist Baby) is Ailbhe Malone, Editor-in-Chief of Strategist UK. Because of the high-contrast coloring (with red accents), the illustrations are “easy for babies to identify,” she says. Also, the lyric is a love poem to the child that is as soothing and sweet as a lullaby.

These two books by Japanese author and illustrator Taro Gomi are among our family’s favorite books. (They’re also loved by a few Strategist employees, including senior writer Liza Corsillo.) We got them for our toddler when he was 10 months old after I reported this story in logbooks, and they’re still in Rotation (he’s 3 now). My friends follows a little girl as she travels through her town and meets animals, her teachers and her classmates, all of whom she calls her friends. She learns various skills from them including walking, jumping and playing. The writing is simple but mesmerizing, and the artwork is exquisite, endearing, and sassy. The same applies to bus stops. In this story, a bus travels its route, dropping off vendors, a baseball team, a movie actor, a family, and other characters before ending its day at the bus depot. We can’t get enough of them. And the fact that the characters are Asian makes the books even more meaningful to us.

For kids like my son who are obsessed with vehicles, this classic from Richard Scarry and his Busy World is messy in the best way. There’s a very minimal plot about a family of pigs going on a day trip, but the real excitement is looking at all of the crazy cars, trucks, planes, buses, trains, and Scarry special vehicles – and their drivers – that they come across in the Path. You’ll see a pickle truck, an alligator car, a three wheeled turnip truck, and “a wrecked car being towed by a LARGE TOW TRUCK being towed by a small tow truck” which is pink and belongs to Mistress Mouse Repair. You don’t read this book so much as you experience it.

A friend gave this and a few other books as gifts when Augie was first born and it’s still a favorite. (We had put it away recently, then Augie suddenly asked about it and we had to dig it up again.) It was written by Ole Risom and illustrated (in a much gentler, baby-friendly style) by Richard Scarry. and tells the story of Nicholas the Rabbit through different seasons, but it’s really about appreciating nature. Augie loves the fact that he lives in a cozy, hollow tree.

Here’s another of my son’s favorites, but much more subdued. Sparing and minimalist in art and text, the Caldecott Honor Book, written and illustrated by Donald Crews, follows the journey of a freight train and all of its carriages until it rolls off the page into the distance. It’s also a good way to learn all the different names of wagons (station wagon, tender wagon, freight wagon, etc.).

Colourful, flavorful and just plain adorable, this book by Nigerian-born author and oral storyteller Atinuke is about a baby taking a trip to the market on his mother’s back. Because he’s just so cute and curious about anything on offer, vendors sneak him treats like juicy oranges, coconuts, and cookies. It’s a counting book, so the language is rhythmic and really fun to read aloud (Augie loved it and we never got tired of reading it night after night).

This is obviously a classic (and a Caldecott Honor Book) but let me argue that it’s a wonderful book for the under 3 year old. My order history tells me we got this when Augie was 3 months old and while we probably didn’t read it to him at the time, it was a favorite of his when he was 1 and 2 years old. It’s a (very short) chapter book, so a lot more text-heavy than any of the others on this list, but the stories are just so hilarious and entertaining (and moving) that they really capture a little tot’s imagination. The illustrations are amazing too. My husband and I probably love this book and the others in the series more than our child.

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This is a beautiful boxed set containing the complete stories of Peter Rabbit and would make an excellent gift on its own. It comes with 23 palm-sized hardcover (adult) books (which accounts for the price) illustrated with Beatrix Potter’s original watercolor art. Some of the stories are definitely dated and a little scary – there’s guns and corporal punishment, and more than a few characters meet brutal fates – but it’s the old fashionedness that makes them so whimsical. Augie especially loves the original Peter Rabbit story as well as the Fierce evil rabbit (about a naughty rabbit who steals a nice bunny’s carrot and has his tail blown off by a hunter – we pretend the weapon is a stick). Other stories are much longer with just a few images, but I hope Augie grows into them. If I’m being honest, I’d say I wanted this more for myself than Augie.

Here’s a contemporary book from Corsillo’s story about books to read during Black History Month (and throughout the year) that she personally would like to have in her library. As one of the experts she spoke to for the story told her, it’s around 2 years old when children start to understand similarities and differences, so starting the conversation about race early can help children develop empathy. “This board book is the first in a series of books designed to help parents start important conversations with clear, concrete language and beautiful pictures that young children can understand,” writes Corsillo.

If you want to convey the wonders of our planet to a young friend, this beautifully illustrated book by the illustrator of The day the crayons stopped is another popular baby gift, and one that strategist Jen Doll has placed at the top of her roundup of the best books for aspiring environmentalists. Written for his own son, Oliver Jeffers took him (and the readers) on a journey through water, earth and sky, introducing us to the creatures and people that make up the earth.

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