Summer Reading With Baby I – Recap

Remember this post where I was all excited about doing a summer reading program with Baby I? Good news! She loves me to read to her, and she recently learned how to turn a page. Aww 🙂

We read a lot of books, but here were some highlights (complete with Baby I’s critiques):

Check it out! : reading, finding, helping / by Patricia Hubbell ; ilustrated by Nancy Speir.

Baby I really liked this one. It’s pretty good sized, and very colorful, using mostly primary colors. It’s rhyme-y and about what a librarian does all day, so my formerly-employed-by-a-public-library self could relate. It was warm and cheerful…winner!

Astro Bunnies / Christine Loomis ; pictures by Ora Eitan.

This was one of the best ones we read this summer. It’s also rhyme-y and just about the perfect length for small babies with longer attention spans, or perhaps older babies. The illustrations are interesting and dark with sharply contrasting bright colors. It’s about bunnies in space, so let’s be honest here: it really doesn’t get much better than this. Highly recommended.

Flying feet : a Mud Flat story / James Stevenson.

While this was super cute, it was not Baby I’s favorite because it was really meant for older kids. I decided to try it with her because it was broken up into pieces…it was sort of a picture book crossed with a beginner’s chapter book kind of a thing. But it was still wordy, and the illustrations were small, light, and low contrast, so it just wasn’t enough to hold Baby I’s attention.

Just in case / written by Judith Viorst ; illustrated by Diana Cain Bluthenthal.

This is SUCH a cute story. We did read it several times, but on days when Baby I was fidgety, we could not make it through because it is a longer story. But nights when she was sleepy and wanting to hear my voice for a bit, it was perfect. The illustrations are large and colorful, and I just love children’s books with a line or a phrase that repeats. Even though Baby I isn’t old enough to repeat with me just yet, I feel like she really responded to the rhythm.

Yours truly, Louisa / by Simon Puttock ; illustrated by Jo Kiddie.

Another very cute story that wasn’t great for short attention spans. It was slightly wordy, but we did get through it once. I think the lower contrast, earthy color scheme of the illustrations were not great for Baby I.

The Berenstain Bears storybook treasury / by Stan & Jan Berenstain with Mike Berenstain.

I was excited about this one because I had enjoyed the Berenstain Bears books so much as a kid. It ended up not being what I was expecting, but Baby I and I enjoyed it just the same. None of the five stories in the book were the classic Berenstain Bears stories that I had (they seemed to be written later) but the upside of that is that they were shorter and less wordy than the stories that I remember. One night, we made it through two stories in a row! And even though they weren’t the classics that I loved as a child, they were still cute stories and perfect for bedtime.

No bows! / written by Shirley Smith Duke ; illustrated by Jenny Mattheson.

This book wasn’t particularly memorable, but Baby I seemed to like it okay because of the large, colorful illustrations. I thought it had a good message (little girls can wear whatever pleases them) but the writing itself I found a bit lackluster.

The red book / by Barbara Lehman.

Now this book stood out from the crowd. First of all, there are no words…it is a true picture book. So Baby I and I read it lots of times, because I could make up a different story each time.  Trust me, when you’re reading to an infant, variety and improvisation become SO important. Plus, the book has a lot of red and white in its color scheme, which Baby I loved looking at.

Skelly and Femur / Jimmy Pickering.

I don’t want to officially pick a favorite book from our summer reading experience, but if I did, this one might’ve been it. I am a total sucker for anything Tim Burtonesque, and this was VERY Nightmare Before Christmas/Corpse Bride/ etc. The story was also very fun, cute, and big impact with minimal words. Baby I liked the dark, high contrast illustrations. Two thumbs way up!

We also read some favorites that we own, including but not limited to: Dr. Seuss books, Beatrix Potter books, assorted touch-and-feel books, and Curious George.

I probably would have read to Baby I all along with or without the library’s reading program, but the program inspired me to make a conscious choice to go to the library and pick out books I had never read or seen before to read to her. And I might just be kidding myself here, but I think she’s developing preferences! Conclusion: more exposure to books is always a good thing.

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