My Favorite Books for Babes

One of my favorite things about teaching first grade was reading picture books.  I love, love reading to kids.  I love the rhyming, the silly voices, the giggles that erupt when something funny happens in the book.  Last year when a plus sign appeared on a pregnancy test, I resigned from my little first graders and I miss reading to them all the time.  When my niece and nephews came to visit this past summer I received a few eye rolls from them after begging for them to listen to The Magic Hat by Mem Fox 'just one more time'.
Now that Luke is here, I get to spoil myself with rounds and rounds of The Very Busy Spider, Goodnight Moon, and Brown Bear, Brown Bear.  Today I wanted to share some of my favorite books for babies.  These books are great for babes aged 0-12 months, but many of them will be loved by your child well into the elementary years.  (For example, Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Eric Carle is an appropriate book for Luke at birth, but my first graders still asked for it time and time again.)  While compiling this list I had some criteria.  First, they had to be semi-short picture books.  When I say short, I mean not more than 3-5 lines on the page on average.  There is a book on this list that I decided could trump this rule, because it is that good, but the rest comply.  They also had to have some sort of rhythm or rhyme...because kids hunger for a book with rhythm and rhyme and research shows it's crucial for early reading success.  And the last criteria is that I have read it.  There are many 'best book lists' out there, but if I haven't read it, you won't find it on this list.  So...here it is (in no particular order), my favorite books for the wee little babes!  What books am I missing?  Comment below to tell me your favorites!

1.  Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Bill Martin Jr. & Eric Carle 
You knew this was coming.  This was an easy pick with bright, simple illustrations and text.  A classic.

luke's eyes light up when we get to this page

2.  Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
This is another classic.  We own the cloth edition, which Luke loves to chew on and play with.

3.  Chicka Chicka 123 by Bill Martin Jr.
Every child loves this book.  I love it, too.  But you might have to hide it after awhile, because it can get a tad, um, redundant after the 100th time.

4.  The Magic Hat by Mem Fox
Mem Fox rocks.  This was my favorite book to read to my first graders.  Luke loves it, too.  The rhyming and rhythm in this book is incredible.

and landed on the head of a warty, old...

5.  The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle
Luke's favorite book, hands down.  The animal noises make his day.

6.  A Wish for You by Matt Novak
This is such a sweet book for both parents and baby.  I wish it came in a board book so Luke could play with it, but hardcover will have to do.

7.  Mr. Brown can Moo!  Can you?  by Dr. Seuss
Who doesn't love Dr. Seuss?  The animal noises in this book are awesome.

8.  Love You Forever by Robert Munsch
This is the book that trumped the 3-5 line rule.  I love it because I'm a Mommy to a little boy...I think I cried the first time I read it to Luke.  It's sugary sweet.

luke will be throwing stuff in the toilet one of these days not too far away

9.  Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Sight by Sherry Duskey Rinker
A take on Goodnight Moon, this is a rhyming story for your little boy or girl.

10.  Belly Button Book by Sandra Boynton
Every kid loves their belly button.  This book cracks me up.

11.  Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault
The same warning applies to this book as Chicka Chicka 123.

12.  Time for Bed by Mem Fox
This is the book Kevin reads to Luke every night.  It's perfect.





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