With both gift giving guides and “Best of 2015” articles flying at us from every direction, I think it’s safe to say that you are going to see at least a few lists of recommended book titles at this time of year.
But rather than try to convince you that I know which specific books are going to work best for you and your baby, I am going to ask you to think about which books meant the most to you when you were very young. While most of us will have no memories going quite that far back, maybe there is another family member you could ask. Or even if you can only remember the books you enjoyed as a preschooler or from your first few years of school, those books could do the trick if you remember them fondly.
In Books for Babies, we talk about a number of different aspects of books that will appeal to babies, but sometimes nothing will matter more to a baby than the things that are important to you. They can see it in your face and hear it in your voice when you are sharing a story that is special to you. They might not even understand what you’re talking about, but they can be irresistibly drawn to that kind of genuine warmth and care.
That, in my opinion, is what will make a book a classic to your child. And while nostalgia probably isn’t the best measure of literary greatness, it is a perfect demonstration of how we learn everything through relationships.
If you ever ask someone about their favourite book, they will probably defend it as if they are defending a part of themselves. That doesn’t just happen. That kind of bonding is very similar to the bonding that happens between close friends. By sharing books with babies, we are teaching them to relate to books in a way that connects to them personally.
I know not everyone has had a positive experience with books in their past, so I won’t try to tell you that a best-of list is not a useful tool. We even have our own lists of recommended books available on our website.
But don’t limit yourself to books either. If there is a family story or memory that you hold close, that is a perfect gift to share with your baby, even if it was never written down.
Books for Babies Edmonton program schedule