Guest: 5 Books You Must Read To Your Baby – Charlotte
I am delighted to welcome Charlotte, a Secondary school English teacher currently on maternity leave with a 5 month-old little girl to our blog. Here she lists her 5 top books that you must read to your baby:
Although you might feel silly reading to a baby who doesn’t yet understand words, the power of being exposed to them is vital for their future development. To begin with, they will just love to hear your voice. Soon they will recognise your intonations and patterns of words, then begin associating objects and images with these words. For example, if you go to the zoo or farm, make link to the animals and stories you have read about at home. This allows the books and their narratives to become part of their reality.
Geeky bit? [There is something is language development known as The Matthew Effect and it posits the theory that early and frequent exposure to words, rhyme and language give children a necessary foundation for when they begin to learn to read. The idea is that they have always known reading and stories and they enjoy it. Progressively they become much better at reading, because of this enjoyment, much more quickly than their peers who haven’t had as much exposure to words. They begin to relish reading rather than avoid it and consequently their literacy levels continue to improve. ]
Reading early on embeds this routine and below are some brilliant books you can read to your baby. You don’t need to wait until they understand:
you can begin from day one: the sooner the better!
Rabbit’s nap- Julia Donaldson & Axel Schiffer. We always conclude our bedtime stories with this every night. A rabbit is trying to find somewhere to sleep and her various animal companions are making too much noise. The writing is in rhyme so it can also double-up as a song. It’s lift the flap which you can do until they can!
A fab quick book for short baby attention spans.
A Bit Lost by Chris Haughton. This book is simply a delight with a wonderfully helpful squirrel trying to locate an owl’s lost mummy. It’s just the sweetest little book teaching kindness and how mummies worry when their baby owls are missing! Oh No George by the same author is excellent too: a naughty dog has promised to be good- but is he?
I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen. This book’s dry humour makes me laugh without fail every night. The bear’s expression, his blind unawareness of his hat’s whereabouts… if you enjoy reading a book to your baby, they will be able to tell in your voice and so enjoy it themselves.
Couple this with its simple, striking images and it makes this book a fantastic choice.
Little People, Big Dreams (We have the Maya Angelou and Marie Curie ones). These books, exquisitely designed, are about young women with dreams and determination. These books show there is more to being a girl than being a princesses: there are novels to write, planes to fly and scientific discoveries to be made. Babies will love the bold and engaging graphics whilst there is only one sentence or so on each page.
Books to be treasured, for sure.
Get Out Of My Bath by Britta Teckentrup, is an interactive (in the old-fashioned sense) book where an elephant called Ellie needs our help to have a well-earned bath in peace without being interrupted by various other animals. We read this before bathtime as the story finishes on the line ‘Maybe it’s time for your bath now?’
Charlotte can be found on Instagram: @charlotteanne_88.
Which books have you read to your babies? Have you got any other recommendations?