I pitched and landed three new stories in Early Years, a special parenting insert produced by the Corvallis Gazette-Times. This story is reprinted with permission of Mike McInally, executive editor of the Corvallis Gazette-Times, and copyright the Corvallis Gazette-Times.
Published: Aug. 20, 2014
Corvallis Gazette-Times: Early Years
Is it ever too early to introduce your little ones to a love of reading?
It’s never too early, or so says the American Academy of Pediatrics. The professional organization in June called for pediatricians to advise parents to read aloud to their young children, even those as young as infants. Reading aloud to little ones improves their language skills and literacy abilities, the academy said.
In light of those recommendations, Early Years asked a local librarian and a bookstore manager for their suggestions for the best new books for babies ages 0-2.
Kristin Starnes, youth services librarian for the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library, recommended the titles below to hook your youngest kids on books. She also summarized why she picked each book.
“Who Can Jump?” by Sebastien Braun. Simple is often best when it comes to books for the youngest listeners. In this interactive lift-the-flap book, the simple question of the title is repeated on each page accompanied by clear illustrations that are just right for toddlers.
“Global Baby Boys and Global Baby Girls” (Global Fund for Children). Babies love looking at other babies. These board books celebrate diversity with photographs of adorable babies from around the world and the message that each baby is important, and can grow up to be anything.
“Honk! Honk! Baa, Baa!” by Petr Horacek. A cow, cat, dog, pig, and donkey join a goose and sheep for a noisy exploration of animal sounds. Bright, colorful illustrations will attract babies and toddlers.
“Planes Go” by Steve Light. Previous popular titles by Light have featured other forms of transportation and encouraged plaiyng with sounds with the onomatopoeic text. In “Planes Go,” busy babies and toddlers can explore the sounds (“wwwwwwhhhhiiiirr) of a variety of winged aircraft.
For a few more choices, Tiffany Jordan, the general floor manager and children’s book buyer at Grass Roots Books & Music, sounded off on her suggestions as well. She came to the Corvallis bookstore with nearly 15 years’ experience managing a children’s-only independent bookstore in the San Fernando Valley of California.
“Books Always Everywhere,” by Jane Blatt, illustrated by Sarah Massini (Random House Children’s Books). In this hardcover picture book, cheery watercolor illustrations depict happy babies and toddlers engaging with books of all sorts. The short, rhyming text (“Book give/Book share/Books always…/…everywhere) will soon have youngsters chiming in as they celebrate the written word.
The bright colors and patterns – a ladybug’s dots, a bee’s strips – in Priddy Books’ “Bussy Bugs” (St. Martin’s Press) cloth book will engage even the youngest babies. Grownups can point and name the insects inside, identify colors and count legs, wings and antennae to their listeners’ delight.
“Zoom, Zoom, Baby!” (Little Simon, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Divisions) is the newest lift-the-flap board book by Karen Katz. Babies and toddlers search for Baby behind big flaps, easy for small hands to lift, in various vehicles – boat, bus, plane, train, truck, and car. Vivid colors and bold patterns add visual appeal in this tactile game of hide and seek.
“Reading aloud can be a bonding experience for parent and child – plus it’s just plain fun for both reader and listener,” Jordan said. “And infants acquire language by listening. Fortunately, wonderful book choices abound.”
(Copyright August, 2014 by the Corvallis Gazette-Times)