This week we have a guest post from Justine Crow from the Bookseller Crow, who has sent us her round-up of the best books for babies at the moment.
Have you ever watched a baby lift an apple? Treat yourself. Slide the snapper a hefty fruit – English variety, naturally – and watch them try. To a baby an apple is no such thing. It is irritatingly, almost impossibly heavy, lip-liftingly pungent smelling and absolutely too bald to get a decent grip on. How different to our own maternal opinion. Nutritionally, we may think we know what books are ripe for our little ones but as the old saying goes, baby knows best. Here's five recommendations right out of the fruit basket.
Things That Go – Usborne rrp 7.99
Out of the big publishing guns, I really rate Usborne. And baby does too. Baby doesn't see 'book' here, baby sees a long bendy narrative featuring those most magical of things, wheels, and I know I'm in danger of igniting the ole nature vs nurture spat but truly, as the proud possessor of one of a male of the species, I can tell you now, he could roll a toy tractor before he said his first word.
Baby's Very First Book, Night – Campbell rrp 4.99
Another one for the cot, trusty Campbell, at the forefront of buggy book technology, are also fully versed in the black and white theory and have produced a series of padded, light weight cloth books with simple faces and crinkly pages and patterns to encourage focussing skills and hand-eye co-ordination. Not forgetting, the handy buggy strap.
Baby's Busy World – DK rrp 7.99
Too big to handle but excellent for laying flat on a high-chair tray or comfy rug, it is those super-real baby grins within that grab the attention. My brother-in-law Bob says babies have inbuilt lock-ons, like guided missiles, when it comes to other kids. Here there is a whole armoury of expressions and activities for them to fix on. And chew. And bash. And dribble.
The Very Lonely Firefly by Eric Carle – Puffin rrp 5.99
Not so much practical as fascinating, this lesser known gem from King Carle (author of the Very Hungry Caterpillar), is as beautiful as it is beguiling. And, importantly, the story of the wee creature's journey is a pleasure to read aloud and baby, while not necessarily understanding a word will love your impressions of fireworks and howling cats before being rewarded with flashing lights on the final page. Gorgeous.
The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr – Harpercollins rrp 5.99
My sixth choice, in fact because my fifth, The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown is criminally unavailable in a board book edition in the UK. However, Kerr's seminal tale is ideal for small babes – not because they can follow the text, but because of the familiar objects on every page: bike, keys, cups, taps, shopping, little girl, mum, dad and, most important of all (cue best parental growl) tiger!
Check out the Bookseller Crow blog for more great book ideas.