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Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Announces 2023 Best Books for Babies List

Pittsburgh, PA  –   – 

Every year, new data is found that supports the critical importance of reading and introducing babies to five simple early learning activities that can help a child be ready to read: talking, singing, reading, writing and playing. It’s never too early to start sharing books with your baby, as clinicians have found that when caregivers read and speak to babies, the speech and language parts of their brains are stimulated and nurtured in development.

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (CLP) has released its 2023 Best Books for Babies list. Curated by a panel of local librarians and child development experts, this nationally recognized guide assists parents, teachers and caregivers in selecting quality materials to share with babies ages birth to 18 months.

“A parent is a child’s first and best teacher,” said Lisa Dennis, Coordinator of Children’s and Teen Collections at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and co-chair of the Best Books for Babies committee. “You don’t have to be an expert to share a book with a baby. Reading aloud is helpful even before babies can understand the meaning of the words. Word by word, book by book, parents and caregivers can prepare their child for educational success and lifelong enjoyment.”

A panel of local librarians and child development experts shared the following reading tips to accompany this year’s list:

  • Books with simple black against white pictures are easiest for babies ages birth to 6 months to see. Young babies also like patterns and pictures of people’s faces.
  • Babies explore their world through touch and taste. Share sturdy books and books that offer different textures and sensations.
  • Babies learn through repetition. Read stories over and over again.
  • Young children are wiggly! Share books when your child is relaxed but still alert.
  • Share new words every day! Point to pictures on the page as you describe them. Make connections to things you see and experience in real life too.
  • Children learn from everything they experience. Talk, sing, read, write and play every day.

2023 Best Books for Babies

Baby Says & Tummy Time (Flowerpot Press)
Bright, clear photos of adorable babies illustrate familiar experiences from smelling something “Stinky!” to laughing and playing.

Bear Has a Belly (Pajama Press)
by Jane Whittingham
Appealing photographs of animals and children focus on different body parts while the straightforward text encourages interaction.

Grandma and Me (Sourcebooks Jabberwocky)
by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrations by Ashleigh Corrin
A variety of young children celebrate their grandmas in this board book with simple child-like illustrations.

Hat On, Hat Off (Pajama Press)
by Theo Heras, illustrations Renné Benoit
Getting ready for an outing is pure fun in this look at all the choices a cheerful child has for bundling up.

I’m Still Up! & I’m Up! (Clarion Books)
by Antoinette Portis
Energy radiates from the words and pictures in this funny pair of stories about getting up and (however reluctantly) going to bed.

A Kiss Is Coming (Tyndale Kids)
by Marilyn Janovitz
Cuddly animals and rhyming words fill this cozy story meant to prepare listeners for bedtime and remind them of their parents’ love.

Listen Up! Train Song (Pajama Press)
by Victoria Allenby
Crisp photographs and rhythmic words highlight all kinds of trains.

Now You See It! – Meadow, Ocean, Rainforest, River (Child’s Play International)
by Sarah Dellow
Vibrant patterns will draw the attention of young infants; clever cutouts create images of animals that offer plenty to talk about as baby grows.

Sea, Sky (Child’s Play International)
by Charlotte Archer
These books can be enjoyed page by page or fold out for play or tummy time; varying textures and patterns encourage touching as well as viewing the brightly colored designs and pictures.

You Are Getting Sleepy (Cartwheel Books)
by Lori Alexander, illustrations by Monica Mikai
Charming soft illustrations focus on a smiling infant who is enjoying familiar bedtime routines with loving parents.

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s Best Books for Babies initiative is intended to encourage reading beginning at birth and recognize publishers who create excellent books for the very youngest listeners. Throughout the year the Library will collaborate with local organizations to provide Best Books for Babies book bundles to families with children ages birth through 18 months. More information about Best Books for Babies can be found online at bestbooksforbabies.org.

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About Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh - To Foster Literacy, Enable Exploration and Create Connections with Our Neighbors

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh supports individual and collective achievement, access to knowledge, and a sense of joy and belonging. Through the community’s investment, the Library is enhancing the lives of people in the greater Pittsburgh region with dynamic and diverse resources such as creative learning programs for children and teens, job and career assistance for our community's workforce, and free computer and Internet access for all. Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh builds community, enables learning, provides access and values people.
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