By Casey Corey
When Alice was born I questioned whether I should be reading to this really cute, but kind of a sleep, eat, poop/fart machine. I felt kind of silly talking out loud to myself- even sillier when I made up voices for the characters. She didn’t smile or give any indication that enjoyed the activity. But, I embraced the notion that kids are sponges and kept on. I can tell you that both of my kids now love books. At 3.5 years old, Alice will have you read all day to her. At 1.5 years old, Dylan loves to rip the pages out. You gotta start somewhere.
If you’re embracing the books, then when do you read to your kids? Do you follow the popular “Bs” sleep routine: bath, book, bottle or some version thereof? Do you make-up your own story time circle when you’ve done all the activities and its only 10 am. Do you go to the local library’s story time? Maybe after nap #4 of the day? We’ve dabbled in all of the above.
What I read largely depends on the time of day. Am I desperate for a quick bed time so I can go rest for 15 minutes before cleaning up from the day? If so, then I reach for a quick book- Sandra Boynton is always good to me in that regard. If I’m starting nap time early because we’ve done all the things and the kids are destroying the house, then I’ll go for a longer one to stretch us to nap time. Maybe some Berenstain Bears. If it’s a middle of the day circle story time, then a long one with lots of characters to act out. Love the George and Martha collection.
However you break it down- books are such a big part of our everyday lives. There are lessons to learn, heroes to love, villains to hate, dance moves to try out… stories to be told. I find them downright inspiring. Hello, Where the Wild Things Are and Pout Pout Fish collections. Even if you’re not purchasing from one of story-inspired collections, there are some really great books that might go with one of our bib sets for a unique and truly thoughtful gift (baby shower gift? new baby’s arrival gift? momma is finally accepting visitors gift? can’t visit but want the parents to know you’re thinking of them gift?):
1. Tiny T. Rex and the Impossible Hug by Jonathan Stutzman
A small T-Rex wants to give his sad, very best friend a hug, but his arms are so small. He spends most of the book working at it until he figures out how to best give his friend a hug. Doesn’t that just pull at the heart strings? The Orange and Purple Dino Babies are just waiting to give your babe a hug and comfort (I feel like I have to plug how soft our fabric is here and how the both Fleece and Terry Cloth backings are organic cotton).
2. Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You by Nancy Tillman
My doula gave me this book the morning Dylan was born. It’s a really sweet read on the unconditional love between a parent and child. The artwork is so good, too. The Pink Rainbow Babies sends a similar message with the sweet pink and gold rainbows. Hope, love, and growth. As Mr. Rogers says, “Everyone longs to be loved. And the greatest thing we can is to let people know they are loved and capable of loving.” Oh baby, you are so loved.
3. Big Dog…Little Dog by P.D. Eastman
Two friends (okay, dogs) who are very different in their physical attributes and have opposite tastes love to go adventuring and spend time together. One night, they’re both in beds that are not quite right (a la Goldie Locks) and a helpful, observant bird swoops in at the end to point out the simple solution (switch beds). The Party Babies Bib Set sends a similar adventure friendship vibe. Lots of balloon animals that are different in color and facing different ways, but they’re all there having a party and enjoying their time with you and babe.
Let me know if you have a particular book or bib in mind that I didn't mention here. Happy to help pair them up! Just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, I am really excited for when I get to start chapter books with the kids. I’ve been waiting and waiting to introduce Alice in Wonderland to her namesake.