Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Cloth/Board Book Reviews - Daytime

"Can'talk. Busy reading."

Maya and I enjoy reading time every day. I usually try to read to her one book during the day, and two bedtime books as part of our night routine. Now that she is almost five months old, I thought I would give a rundown on the board and cloth books currently in our home library.

7. Pat the Bunny - Guess Who? - Golden Books
This book was inspired by the classic Pat the Bunny book by Dorothy Kunhardt. We don't have the original, but Maya's not a big fan of this one. The simple story line is cute: Who is hiding in the toy box? We go through a variety of possibilities: clown, ballet dancer, reindeer, before finding out it's bunny! Connected to the book is a little mirror for Baby to see her own reflection. But she doesn't. The mirror is way too small for Maya to easily see herself, and the images have never really captured her attention. More often than not, this one stays on the shelf.

6. Look, Look by Peter Linenthal
This was the first book I bought for Maya, after I read that newborns love to look at high contrast black and white images. This book is designed for the littlest of babies, those just learning to look at the world around them. I love the images: big hands reaching up to a butterfly, a sun shining over corn stalks, flowers blooming, a cat stretching. Maya's favorite is the two pages with the image of a smiling child. She likes to 'kiss' their face - the same thing she does when she sees her reflection in a mirror. The book is a great concept, but in practice it wasn't well received (except for the page with the children). Maya was not interested in books until she was about two months old, and by then she responded better to simple books with lots of bright colors.

5. The Busy World of Richard Scarry: Bananas Gorilla's Sounds - Richard Scarry
My husband loved Richard Scarry books when he was a kid, so I picked this one up when I saw it at Goodwill and it looked like new. There are a lot of things happening in the story: Bananas getting ready for the day, eating breakfast, fixing a flat tire, going to school. When Maya is a little bit older, there will be a lot to talk about when we read this book. For now, she enjoys all of the sound effects the story line encourages, like the Brring of an alarm clock, the Vroom Vroom as Bananas leaves in his car, and the Whoosh of the wind.

4. Jamberry - Bruce Degen
We received this one at Maya's baby naming ceremony. I love this book! In the world of board books, it is rather full on text, and we don't always make it to the end. The story reads like a song, so half the time I sing it to her as we read (my husband likes to read it with a British accent). We follow a boy and a bear as they take off on a journey through Berryland. The pictures hold lots of secret surprises if you look closely: toast on trees, crumpet lily pads with pats of butter inside lily flowers, and marshmallow marsh reeds are a few examples. It's a nonsense story with lilting rhymes that are a delight to read: "Quickberry! Quackberry! Pick me a blackberry! Trainberry Trackberry Clickety-clackberry"

3. I Know a Rhino - Charles Fuge
This story is a great example of the power of creative play and using your imagination. It's a cute story. A little girl spends the day with whimsical animal characters who turn out to be her stuffed animals. The illustrations are bright and simple, and catch Maya's attention. This one is already looking a bit worn around the edges.

2. Little Lamb - Chronicle Books
You can't go wrong with finger puppets, and a little lamb poking through every page is adorable! Maya can grab the little lamb, and loves watching him look around at the scenery on each page: sniffing the flowers, looking up at the sun. The illustrations are great, and my personal favorite is the page where the lamb resembles a cloud passing by. 

1. Fuzzy Bee and Friends - Roger Priddy

As much as I love some of the other books, this is the current favorite in our household. Roger Priddy makes so many wonderful books, I wanted to buy them all when I was pregnant. I finally settled on this one. Fuzzy Bee features nine interactive illustrations all with something fun for Maya to explore. Her favorite page is the beetle bug with blue iridescent wings and butterfly with bright red wings. This is one of the few books we have that she can turn the pages, and she always manages to find the beetle bug! We now keep this as a car book, and it easily keeps her entertained while I am running errands. I love hearing the crinkle, crinkle of the front page coming from the car seat as I drive along!


Lisa said...

What a cute picture! That's a good idea to include Maya's books in the blog. I'm sure parents with little ones will be interested in reviews. Maybe in a few years Maya can contribute her thoughts on the blog, as well. :)

Iliana said...

Maya looks adorable! Such a little bookworm already :)

beastmomma said...

I too love the picture and agree that it is good to share children's books on the site. Maybe I will incorporate those books as a reading before bedtime ritual. I am sure that it will help me relax from law school :)


Anonymous said...

When my oldest daughter was a baby I read to her all the time - now she is a beginning reader and loves books! Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Jamberry sounds so cool! I have never read it, but I always used to come across it when shelving books at my first job at the local library. Your description of it reminds me of one of my favorite picture books, "Rain Makes Applesauce." At least I think that's what it was called. It was like a song too, and nonsensical and food-related too; the refrain was something like, "The stars are made of lemon juice, and rain makes applesauce. / You're just talking silly talk!"

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