Created 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 age birth to 18 months.
The Best Books for Babies annual booklist began in 2000 as a project of Beginning with Books, a local nonprofit committed to providing literacy and learning to underserved children. Local librarians, educators and children’s literature experts were invited to join in evaluating and recommending titles published in the previous year.
Given Beginning with Books’ focus on reaching families and communities of color, it’s not surprising that selecting inclusive and diverse titles was a goal from the beginning. Indeed, the committee’s criteria includes a specific directive to seek out “diverse and authentic representation[s] of race, gender, ability, culture and family structure.”
Although Beginning with Books closed in 2010, the list lives on, with a number of committee members who have served continuously since that first year. Long standing committee members have been joined more recently by health care professionals, government representatives and other interested individuals.