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Baby Buzz: The Best Baby Books

You’ve heard it before, but we’ll say it again: reading it important. More
than just a nightly bedtime ritual, or an opportunity to check off that
weekly reading slip, reading is fundamentally one of the best things you
can do for your child.

Studio 5’s Baby Buzz Contributor Lyndsi Frandsen breaks down the best
books for each age and stage.


You’ve heard it before, but we’ll say it again: reading it important. More
than just a nightly bedtime ritual, or an opportunity to check off that
weekly reading slip, reading is fundamentally one of the best things you
can do for your child.

Reading forms a strong bond between parent and child; it’s also been
proven that being read to at a young age boosts language acquisition,
literacy development, and reading comprehension later in life. It truly is the
gift that keeps on giving, and should begin from day one. (Even before day
one, in fact! According to www.smartmomma.com, if you read the same
books over and over to your baby while they are in the womb, they will
learn to recognize the words and patterns. Hearing those familiar words
and patterns once they are born, can provide a feeling of safety and
calmness for them.)

While any form of reading is good (reading street signs, packaging or
menus all counts, folks!), the age of your child determines the qualities and
characteristics that you should look for in the books they read. I spoke
with Brionne Thompson, an Early Childhood professor at Utah State
University, and she helped me pinpoint the things you should be looking
for in your children’s books.

AT 0-1 YEAR:

• Board, plastic, or other pages that children can easily handle

• Primarily pictures—very few words! (Even wordless books are
wonderful! We have a tendency to overlook wordless books but they can be
just as valuable for language development, since they offer the opportunity
to engage with children about what they SEE rather than just what the
words tell them.)

• Textures

• Real photos (as opposed to cartoons)

• Books that children can put in their mouths without ruining

• Familiar songs and stories

• Rhyme and repetition

Book suggestions for infants, 0-1 year:

“A Kiss For You” by Joan Holub and Caroline Jayne Church

“Peek-a-Zoo” by Little Scholastic

“Colors” by Soft Shapes

AT 2-3 YEARS:

• Picture books with pages that are mostly pictures and minimal
wording

• Rhyme, repetition, and high predictability (These elements can help
children be successful in reading. Even though they may not be able to
decode, or sound out, all of the words – they can use rhymes and
repetitions to help them figure out what wording might be used. By having
books that are highly predictable, children can build comprehension skills
as they figure out what might happen next.)

• Very basic concepts (avoid anything that is too abstract or has
complicated storylines)

Book suggestions for kids 2-3 years:

“I Love You Through and Through” by Bernadette Rossetti-
Shustak

“Where Is Baby’s Mommy?” By Karen Katz

AT 4-5 YEARS:

• Detailed pictures

• Books that contain the sight words your child will begin to read and
recognize in kindergarten (You can see a list here:
http://www.education.com/magazine/article/prekindergartensightw
ords
)

• Storylines can begin to be more complex

• Things that deal with real-life problems and events (ex: going to
school, being afraid, making friends, sharing, having a pet, etc. Make
believe stories that deal with these concepts and that they can relate to are
great also!)

Book suggestions for kids ages 4-5 years:

“How Do Dinosaurs Go To School?” By Jane Yolen and Mark
Teague

“Animal Babies” by Scholastic

“Love You Forever” by Robert Munsch

The most important thing is to read to your children. Bust out those books
any chance you get! But remember, reading with your child is different than
reading to your child! It is a great language-developing tool to actually
engage in conversation with your child about the books.

***All of the books featured in today’s segment can be found at The Three
Little Monkey’s in Bountiful or Fruit Heights. Visit them online at:
www.3littlemonkeys.com.

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