Reading aloud to a child too young to understand your words might seem like a waste of time. But actually, it’s the best way to prepare your child for life-long learning.
Along with other everyday activities, sharing books together is one of the most effective ways to support the development of early literacy and language skills.
Enjoying books also encourages the formation of strong parent-child attachment, a crucial step in healthy child development, and helps to enlarge your child’s vocabulary.
And besides it’s fun and easy.
You don’t have to be a read-aloud expert to share a book with a baby. In fact, with titles like Black White you don’t even have to read. Perfect for the very youngest babies whose sight is still developing, this wordless book allows parents and babies to linger over individual pictures and, if they wish, even make up simple stories about them.
Titles like 100 First Words and Getting Ready showcase familiar objects, sometimes with an interactive twist. These point-and-say books are a wonderful way to develop vocabulary and reinforce everyday routines.
Babies on the upper end of our age range will enjoy the bouncy rhymes and cheerful illustrations in Littles and How They Grow. This picture book is also a sure bet to bring a sentimental sigh from parents, grandparents, and other caregivers.
These and six other titles make up this year’s Best Books for Babies. Other books chosen for the list include a board book with appealing photographs of diverse babies, a lively game of peek-a-boo with zoo animals, and a bilingual Spanish/English board book that features a bus ride through a busy city.
The Best Books for Babies list has been created annually since 2000 by a committee of local librarians, child development experts, and community members. They read, share, and evaluate books published in the previous year in order to identify those that they believe offer the most to the youngest listeners, babies birth to 18 months.
Funding for Best Books for Babies is made possible by Jack Buncher Foundation and The Gismondi Family Foundation.
Lisa is the Coordinator of Children’s Collections at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. She’s the lucky person who gets to pick out all of the cool stuff for kids that the Carnegie has to offer. Although she understands the importance of technology and selects e-books and audios along with books, movies, music and more, she remains cheerfully low-tech in her off time.