I started reading to my first son as soon as he came home from the hospital and by about 6 months old he would sit and read with me all the time! Baby X however has ants in his pants and just now, at 12 months old, has started to sit and read (phew, I really was getting worried)!
It’s amazing how many books a toddler actually needs though! It seems we read the same board books over and over and over. I know little ones love repetition, but man, I don’t know how many times I can repeat the same lines (a LOT, apparently). So, I recently set out to buy some new books, much to my dismay: any bookstore is just too expensive to build a collection of books; Winners has a great selection, but almost every single book I picked up was ruined; big bargain stores like Zellers and Walmart have limited selections (unless you want Baby Einstein or Dora books – NOT); and Value Village is awesome if you go on a great day.
PARENTING HACK: Find second hand books at thrift shops
And that’s what happened – I walked into Value Village on a great day and scored! The baby board books are bundled into little baggies priced at $3/bag and you don’t always know what you’re getting – but I would easily pay $3 for ONE great book. On this particular day, we found near new Eric Carle books, 2 Elmo’s World books and some perfect touch and feel books. I must remember to go to Value Village more often – seriously, the selection changes all the time and you need to go often to find great stuff.
Some of our most favorite books at 12 months old:
1. Goodnight Moon – Babies and toddlers love this book. Not sure why, but maybe it’s because of the simplicity and repetition. The picture of the “great green room” is repeated half a dozen times at least, as well as many of the things in it. A definite must have!
2. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See – There are a few spin-offs of this popular favorite but this original Brown Bear… is the best! Again, it’s easy for tots to follow, is repetitive and has simple pictures of loved animals.
3. Elmo’s World Lift the Flap Books – Admittedly, I usually change all the words in the Elmo’s World board books, but all the more reason my little guy loves them! The pictures are great, the topics (Dogs, Food, Balls) are so geared to baby and the words don’t really matter anyhow when mama can just point to the pics and make it all up.
4. Books with Babies/Animals (Priddy Books) – We love most of our baby board books with photos of babies playing, bathing and eating, published by Priddy Books – but now that Baby X is learning about animals, he loves his farm book even more! Realistic photos of the animals are way better than little illustrations.
5. You Are My Cupcake (Joyce Wan) – Ok, so Baby X doesn’t love this book as much as I do and there isn’t much to it, but You Are My Cupcake makes this list for its adorability! I mean, ‘You are my cupcake’, ‘You are my mushy sweet pea’…. What mom wouldn’t be tempted by the sweetness of this delectable little illustrated little board book?!
Do you have some absolute favorites?!