Monroe Library Blog

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Babies and Books

We all know that reading to children is important, even to babies who seemingly can't understand what is being read to them. Studies show there is a lot going on in a baby's brain while they are listening to books, hearing songs and "participating" in bounces and fingerplays. The speech and language parts of your baby's brain are stimulated when you talk, read or sing to them.  Other benefits of talking, singing, reading and playing with your baby include:
  • It helps them develop a love for reading and introduces them to vocabulary words.
  • One-on-one conversations with your baby help lay a solid foundation for language development. When they gurgle and coo, it is their attempt at using language. 
  • Repeating favorite songs and stories allows babies to absorb more each time.
In case you need further proof, library Mom Rachel Levien describes her 10-week-old baby, Marguerite's, love for black and white board books; "it has come as no surprise to anyone who knows her parents that M loves books. Or, more specifically, she loves this book, which has become a permanent fixture on the changing table."

Little Marguerite is attracted to the simple, black & white images of animals because the stark images appeal to her developing vision and curiosity of the outside world.

The book is "My Animals" by Xavier Deneux. Similar board books with black and white illustrations that can be checked out from Sno-Isle Libraries are:
  • "Black on White" - Tana Hoban
  • "White on Black" - Tana Hoban
Here are some great things to do with your baby to help them develop pre-reading skills*:
  1. Pick a time when you and your baby are relaxed and in a good mood.
  2. Choose primarily board books so that he can touch and manipulate them without tearing or damage.
  3. Put a lot of expression in your voice as you read. Let him sense your enthusiasm.
  4. Choose books with uncluttered, simple, brightly colored artwork.
  5. Babies enjoy looking at pictures of other babies and simple, everyday objects. You can point at these objects and say their names
  6. Read everyday and let your child see you reading too.
  7. Most of all make it a fun, cozy time with your infant!
  8. Come join us at the Monroe Library for Baby & Me Storytime on Tuesday mornings at 10:30 am!

* Elmhurst Public Library - Elmhurst, IL 
Books for Babies