Monday, April 24, 2017

Spring Books for Babies and Young Toddlers

Here are some of my favorite books for babies and toddlers that I've read this April storytime session!


Ducks Quack by Rebecca Glaser

This is an adorable nonfiction board book for babies with clear, bright, darling photographs of real ducks! It also has short words and simple facts that make it perfect to read at storytime. "Waddle, Waddle. There go the ducks!" are the words on the first page, paired with a cute image of 14 ducks waddling in a row. The next page features an insanely cute photograph of two baby ducks. The third page has the word "SPLASH!" in big letters over a photograph of a duck splashing into the water. This book shows ducks in a variety of places and in a variety of poses, including a close up of their webbed feet! What's not to love? 

I Kissed the Baby! by Mary Murphy

This is another really cute board book featuring ducks. This book is also perfect to read around Valentine's Day. The high contrast board book is mostly in black and white, with the last few pages showing the yellow baby duckling. This visual stimulation is an important developmental stage which librarians and caregivers can help strengthen very easily by reading books like this!  The book features a sequence of several different animals (shark, frog, mouse, for example) asking one another if they saw, fed, sang, tickled, or kissed the baby. The animals respond excitedly, "yes!", and explain what they did to the baby. The momma duck is the last one in the sequence to respond, "Of course I kissed my own amazing baby." // "And I'm going to do it again!" The next illustration shows the momma duck kissing the adorable little yellow duckling, with the words "PPfffwah!" The final two pages of the book show the duck happily quacking! This is definitely a favorite which I will read again and again.

Spring Animals

Love by Emma Dodd

This is my new favorite book by Emma Dodd. I think I just happen to have a real soft spot for bunnies. Growing up, my mom read to me Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown & I think that's why I gravitate towards reading books with bunnies in them. This picture book has very sweet illustrations very reminiscent of Runaway Bunny, showing an adult bunny doing typical bunny things with their baby. There is really unique gold paint speckled into the background on some pages, which adds a magical element to the illustrations. The book is also nice to read during the spring and/or summer because of the nature scenes showing: yellow and white daisies against green hues of grass,  yellow-gold wheat fields, blue skies and white fluffy clouds, and a rainstorm paired with the words, "Love is when we huddle close and shelter from a shower." The last page is truly heart-warming, showing the adult and baby bunny cuddling close with the words, "I love you so, and when I try to count the reasons why . . . I find there are more reasons . . . Than there are stars up in the sky." The final illustration features the two bunnies cuddling inside a burrow with a gold moon against a navy blue sky with gold and white stars. Absolutely adorable!

I Heart You by Meg Fleming

I have been focusing a lot of my Read and Play Baby storytimes on spring animals and this beautifully illustrated picture book shows just that! As I mentioned above, I have a real soft spot for bunny books so of course I was immediately captivated with this book. The first page of the book reads, "I see you. I miss you." and shows an adult bunny looking out into the grassy field for her baby bunny who's running through the field with a carrot in its mouth. The second page shows the bunnies in a burrow, cuddling together, paired with the text "I hug you. I kiss you." A red barn and a fuzzy outline of two people are shown in the background too, leaving readers wondering about them. As the story continues, many other animals are shown with their offspring - foxes, bears, ducks, birds, and deer. The soft, dream-like pencil and gouache illustrations evoke a nostalgic feeling of being young and spending precious time with loved ones. Through many short phrases such as "I start you. I stop you." and "I sway you. I swing you." we're reminded of all the ways in which parents guide us through life and it definitely pulled on my heart strings! The story comes to an end with very sweet illustrations of a mom and daughter against a setting sun. Illustrations show the mom pulling barrels of red berries and her daughter in a little red wagon with the phrases, "I pull you. I tug you." ... "I hold you" ... "I love you." This was truly the perfect picture book to read to my babies and toddlers because it introduced a wide variety of animals, it evokes feelings of love, it was short enough that I didn't have to skip any pages, and since it's a larger picture book, the group was better able to see the illustrations. Highly recommended as a spring or summer read-a-loud and also perfect for Mother's Day. 

After reading this story we listened to the song "Little Red Wagon" from the CD Wiggleworms Loves You. 😄

Early Bird by Toni Yuly

A sweet read-a-loud for babies with an adorable bright red-orange bird as the main character. Against a navy blue sky, the bird is shown taking a deep breath of fresh air (and I even instructed the parents to all take a nice deep breath in). Then the cute little bird is shown zooming off the page with a winking sun in the background. Our bright bird is next shown walking across the green grass with three lady bugs in the background - which you can certainly count with children as an added math practice. Next, our main star is peeking through the flowerbed where he soon sees a spider web. Next, he's shown being surprised by a large blue-gray cat, which he flies away to escape from. Towards the end, the book shows our bird coming upon a lovely little garden "where she finds... the early worm!" and our bird is shown hilariously holding a wiggly brown worm between her beak. Next, she lays the early worm on top of a big, fat, juicy strawberry... "and together they share an early breakfast." The last page shows a beautiful orange sunny background, a white picket fence, the bird and worm, with music notes in the sky, indicating our sweet pals singing musically in the sunny day. 

Other Excellent Spring Books:

A Seed Needs Sun by Kate Riggs

An excellent board book with detailed illustrations and simple text that introduces young ones to the growth cycle of a seed, from its planting to flowering. 

Baby Loves Spring by Karen Katz

An adorable lift-the-flap book that makes reading about the Spring season very interactive for young toddlers! This book features all my favorite spring things: birds, worms, butterflies, rain, frogs, and flowers. I really love all the lift-the-flap books by Karen Katz!

What are your favorite books to read to babies and young toddlers? Share them in the comments!

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