Exciting storytime begins with baby books

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record
‘Fifteen Animals!’ by Sandra Boynton is a book worth buying for babies and toddlers.

There is a lot more to reading baby and toddler books than you might think. All that's required is a little imagination to get your child to really look at the book and begin to experience the joys reading can bring.

The typical baby or toddler book is short on text, but just because the page might only have one word or one sentence, there is a whole array of things you can do to entertain your child with every page you turn.

Take colors, for example. Ask your child where she might see something red on the page, or blue, or yellow. If your child can speak, ask him what color the different objects are.

You can also do object identification and count objects. If your child can't speak yet, ask him to show you where the kitten is or where the flowers are. If your child can speak, ask her to identify specific objects or count them.

Another idea is to ask your child what he thinks the animal or child (whatever character is in your book) is thinking or might do next.

Whatever avenue you choose to engage the child, be creative and use enthusiasm when you read aloud. After all, no one likes a dull storyteller. And use your imagination when you're reading books to your child. Before you know it you'll be coming up with all sorts of creative ways to get more miles out of those baby and toddler books than you ever thought possible.

The following book is available at many public libraries.

"Guess How Much I Love You" by Sam McBratney, illustrated by Anita Jeram, Candlewick Press, 32 pages. Read aloud: birth to age 4. Read yourself: age 7 and older.

Can the love between a child and parent be measured? Little Nutbrown Hare tries to do just that when he compares his love for his father to as many things as he can think of. He loves his father as much as his arms can stretch wide, as high as he can reach, as far away as the river. Each comparison Little Nutbrown Hare makes is countered with a comparison of even greater measure by his father, who also wants his son to know just how much he loves him.

A warm and tender story that is certain to make readers feel good all over, this selection successfully demonstrates that so great is the love between a parent and a child, it is truly immeasurable.

Newfoundland Area Public Library, Newfoundland

Director: Denise McManus

Children's librarian: Linda Liddell

Choices this week: "Snappy Little Hugs" by Dugald Steer; "Daisy 1, 2, 3" by Peter Catalanotto; "Are You My Mother?" by P.D. Eastman

The following books are available at favorite bookstores.

"Shake It Up, Baby!" written and illustrated by Karen Katz, Little Simon, 2009, 12 pages, $7.99 board book. Read aloud: birth-age 2. Read yourself: age 6-7.

"Touch your nose, rub your tummy. Shake your rattle "¦ isn't that funny?" Each double-page spread encourages your little reader to shake the rattle, and the cool news is that you don't have to look for a rattle — there's a rattle already built into the spine of the book!

Interactive and loads of fun, this little gem is perfect for the tiny reader in your life.

"Fifteen Animals!" written and illustrated by Sandra Boynton, Workman, 2008, 24 pages, $6.95 hardcover. Read aloud: age birth-age 2. Read yourself: age 6-7.

The first human to ever appear in Sandra Boynton's books — a little boy! And this little boy likes animals a lot. In fact, he's got 15 animals, and he's given each one a special name. His cat is named Bob, his dog is named Bob, his two fish are named Bob and Bob. As you might guess, they are ALL named Bob, except for his little turtle. (And if you want to know the name of pet number 15, you'll have to read the book!)

Lively language, wonderfully funny characters, and a counting book make this little gem irresistible. What's more, you can download a free song!

Go, Sandra Boynton!