When Max was little, I used to hear lots of other mums proclaiming how their little ones loved to be read to and they’d reel off all of the books that their baby was loving. Max on the other hand, did not enjoy being read to – he struggled to have the patience to sit down and have that quiet time, he just wasn’t at all interested and would wriggle around until I gave up. But I’m nothing if not determined – I’ve always been a big reader and I believe reading is one of the most important things you can do for your child. So I persevered and sought out books that were more interactive and would capture his attention best. We would read a story at every bedtime so that it became part of our bedtime routine, and gradually as he’s become more interested in books we’ve been able to start reading during the day as well. These are some of the books that have been favourites of ours from 6-24 months.
Dear Zoo was the first book that Max connected with. He loved the lift the flap aspect of it, and I would do different animal noises for each animal (Max was a particular fan of my ‘spitting camel’!). I developed it further, by buying a soft toy for each of the animals and when Max lifted the flap I’d grab the soft toy from under a chair and dance it around. This was a big hit with Max and seemed to really bring the book to life for him.
Dear Zoo is available from Amazon
Where is Baby’s Belly Button?
After Dear Zoo proved to be such a big hit, we moved on to Where is Baby’s Belly Button – another lift the flap book which teaches your child about different body parts. Max loves books which have pictures of babies, and he enjoys lifting the flaps on this one.
Where is Baby’s Belly Button is available from Amazon
This was a more recent addition to our collection, but probably Max’s favourite book to date. Another lift the flap book, by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler (of The Gruffalo fame), it follows Bear as he delivers his party invitations to his friends. Max loves the illustrations, and I love Julia Donaldson’s rhymes which make this a favourite for us both. Although we’ve only had it a short space of time, the flaps are already starting to look a bit worn! This one is part of the ‘Tales from Acorn Wood’ series which includes 3 other books – Fox’s Socks, Rabbit’s Nap, and Hide and Seek Pig.
Postman Bear is available from Amazon
Baby’s First 100 Words
Although this one isn’t a lift-the-flap book, Max adores it. I introduced it once he’d warmed up to the concept of a book, and at first we just read through with me pointing to various pictures and saying the name of the object. Then Max started to get interested and would point to objects to get me to say the name. Then we moved on to me asking ‘Where’s the …?’ and Max would start to point to the object more and more often. We’re now able to work through the book together with Max able to point out most of the objects which I feel is a real achievement!
Baby’s First 100 Words is available from Amazon
That’s not my…
This series of books is pretty well known now and features a whole range from princesses to penguins. Each page has a picture of a different animal / vehicle etc. with a textured bit to encourage your child to touch and feel. They’re colourful, simple and short, so a good length for a baby’s short attention span. I’ll be honest and say that these are a bit hit and miss with us – Max has never particularly enjoyed ‘sensory’ type experiences and although he will engage with them now, he has to be in the right mood. But they’re great for encouraging interaction, and for most babies, they’re a huge hit.
That’s not my… books are available from Amazon
Peppa Pig – My Daddy
There’s something about Peppa Pig that just draws toddlers in, so if all else fails, I’m willing to bet this one will do the trick. We bought this as a Christmas present for Max and soon wished we hadn’t! He would find it wherever we hid it, and bring it up for a story. Unfortunately there’s no story to speak of, and it’s unbearably twee, so it’s not one that appeals to the adults as well!
Peppa Pig – My Daddy is available from Amazon
At two years old, a bedtime story is a big and well loved part of our bedtime routine. Once Max developed a love for these books, he’s become more receptive to other books too. He now has the patience to sit through The Gruffalo and The Very Hungry Caterpillar, which makes me very happy! He loves to be read to now and often causes quite a fuss once he realises his stories are over and it’s time for bed, so please don’t worry if your baby doesn’t appear to like books at first – just keep trying and it will sink in!
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