• By Melissa Lavely
  • Posted Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Books We Like

As a new mom, I have been spending far more time lately reading picture books with my new little guy than anything else. While I seriously miss reading books from my favorite genres, I am constantly rediscovering the joys of children’s books. People of all ages find that reading children’s books--with or without children--enhances their lives, even If only by conjuring up ephemeral memories of their own childhood. Here are a few of our favorites to get you back into the habit.

Love Is by Diane Adams is like a celebration of new motherhood and all the lovey dovey emotions that go along with it. I fell in love the first time I read this sweet and endearing story of a girl growing in her understanding of the meaning of love as she takes care of a little duckling. The beautiful illustrations alone tell a story as a little girl finds a duck and faithfully looks after it from early morning (oh how I relate!) to close of the day. The words on the page, however, describe a journey that takes the reader through the different stages of love that develop as children grow up and spread their wings.

Just as sweet, Hey Little Baby by Heather Leigh will have new parents envisioning the future and what their growing baby might eventually be doing with those “beautiful hands” and “adorable feet.” Each new page names a different part of the body, presenting the perfect opportunity to name them aloud with your little one, and touch that “darling nose” and “delightful mouth.” As a bonus, the rhythmic, sing-song text and the cozy, warm illustrations might even soothe baby right to sleep in your arms.

While you are glimpsing into the future with baby, don’t forget to pick up Baby’s First Year by Rick Walton and Caroline Jayne Church and get a peek at the upcoming milestones your baby will be going through during their first year of life. All of baby's milestones--first smile, first tooth, first steps--seem to go as fast in the first year as in this book!

Kiss, Kiss! by Margaret Wild and Bridget Strevens-Marzo is one of my favorites of the countless picture books I’ve read to my son about baby animals and their mamas. This particular story is about a baby hippo who forgets to give his mama a kiss before he runs off to play, and can’t forget about it as he wanders through the jungle hearing all the other mamas and babies saying “kiss, kiss.” With enough repetition, baby will start vocalizing the animal noises and name the types of animals. Even picture books without words such as The Lion and The Mouse by Jerry Pinkney are a lot of fun for babies who like to practice their roar!

As quickly as the baby stage goes by, I intend to read as many picture books about mamas and babies-whether human or animal- as I can get my hands on. I know it won’t be long before my son is choosing books himself, and I expect that they will be far less sentimental than the ones I chose for us to read together. I already see him gravitating toward certain topics. Next year, I may be able to recommend all kinds of great picture books about cars, trains, and dinosaurs. Oh boy!