Stella-Bucca is now 18 months old and has developed some definite favorites in terms of books, even desiring to “read” some to me as she flips through the pages and recites the lines she remembers from our reading experiences. Here’s a quick rundown of some of Bucca’s recent favorites. I’ve found that all of these have really captured her attention and delighted her to the point of desired multiple readings in one sitting. All except Carle’s book feature a set rhythm that provides a sense of order in the text, which may be a contributing factor in my Bucca’s interest…she LOVES music and dancing, and many of these books can be sung as they’re read.
Our list includes:
Be sure to check them out!
Lindsay (and Bucca)
I’m so glad that Stella loves books. I mean, she LOVES books. Even if she’s surrounded by her train set, blocks, singing tea pot (yes…she has a singing tea pot) and puzzles, she will still reach for the stack on her bookshelf.
I don’t only contribute this to my academic and professional interest in children’s books, but more so to those around me that have fostered a book-friendly environment since before Stella was born.
One of my best friends threw me a book-themed baby shower a month before my Bucca was born. Each guest was tasked with bringing their favorite children’s book to build the baby’s library in lieu of a card. The guests also attached bookplates to their choices with a little message to the baby. I still love reading the bookplates as Stella chooses a book each day.
I know that book showers are no longer a new or original concept…just look at Pinterest. But I can’t overstate the significance that this shower had on Stella’s love of books. She was gifted books that I probably never would have exposed her to otherwise and some of those are her all-time favorites.
Stella has also been the recipient of some unique book-related gifts. For her first birthday, some great friends got my Bucca a subscription to Babybug Magazine for a year. These little magazines are more like board books. Each issue contains songs, stories, poems and colorful illustrations. Stella loves getting a new issue in the mail and goes back to previous issues again and again. This was certainly one of the most meaningful and lasting first birthday gifts she received. Click here for subscription information.
The Imagination Library program has also proven to be invaluable to Stella’s growing library. This program, initiated by Dolly Parton, provides children birth-age 5 with age-appropriate and free books each month in the mail. I’m thankful that my mom has connected Stella with these books, which she is always excited to receive. This program is not available in all areas, but those interested are able to replicate the program in their own community. Check out the website to see if your community has an Imagination Library program in place AND, if not, get information to start one.
All of these things have been used in Stella’s life to establish a strong foundation with books and have allowed us to focus on literature as a significant component of our daily and collective family life. I’m so thankful that those around me have contributed to building this structure. As Gladys Hunt states in Honey for a Child’s Heart, “Don’t let your children live in spiritual poverty when abundance is available! Fill your children up with words, with imaginative worlds, with adventures beyond your ken” (27).
Lindsay (and Bucca)
Along with this blog, I co-author a family and lifestyle blog, Mrs. B & Mrs. V, with my bestie, Miranda. In a recent post, she curated some of her son’s favorite board books and why she feels he responded to them in such a positive and encouraging manner. Take a look at the post here. Perhaps you’ll be inspired to take another look at board books for your family!
Helen Oxenbury (of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt fame) is an expert on babies and books. In an interview about the importance of stories for young children, Oxenbury states, “It would be silly to do a board book with atmosphere and landscapes for a very, very tiny child who has no experience of that. All babies know what happens in their home with their mom and dad.”
I’ve been quite overzealous to expose Stella to stories that are way too complex for her developing mind. Honestly, these reading times have probably been more for me than for her. So, in remembering Oxenbury’s words, I’ve tried to be much more deliberate recently about sharing stories with my Bucca that correlate with her everyday sights and experiences.
We are a cat family, with two furry pals at home. Stella and the cats have become fast friends and she is now trying to say “cat” here and there. So…as I looked through the children’s section at the library last week, I discovered How To Be A Cat by Nikki McClure. The illustrations are in black and white (with occasional pops of blue) which really grabs my Bucca’s attention. Each page features a single word and illustrates the cats performing the corresponding feat; they explore, stretch, hunt and scratch (among other things).
This is not a board book, but Stella has not yet tried to grab at the pages. She is becoming more and more content looking at the illustrations and listening to my voice as I repeat the text. Most of the time, at least one of our cats will join us in the chair to read. This provides a great opportunity to show Stella one of her life experiences on the pages of a beautiful book.
There are so many more connections we can make, and I’m excited to explore more books that will highlight the things she sees each day. Have you made these everyday connections in children’s books? Please share below!
Lindsay (and Bucca)
Oxenbury Quote From:Ways of Telling: Conversations on the Art of the Picture Book, by Leonard S. Marcus.