Reading for the Little Ones

Yesterday was a very special day:  it was my eldest nephew Thor Adam’s very first birthday party!  I didn’t think I’d be so excited about having a one-year-old nephew; but I apparently underestimated the power of my uterus.  Yes, I’m blaming my lady bits for my manic obsession with the babies I’m related to.

But back to the subject – my eldest nephew has turned a year old, and I needed to get him a present.  So I got him a book.

What?  Of course I got him a book.  I wouldn’t miss an opportunity to turn anyone on to books.  And the way I see it, it’s better to start them off young.

So yeah, I got him a book.  But knowing very well that he can’t actually read yet, I went for a book that has the potential to turn him on to the CONCEPT of books.

Which is why I got him this:

On the Farm: A Touchy-Feely Book for Babies
Oh look! You don’t have to meet farm animals in order to touch them!

My adorable nephew may not know how to read yet, but I know for a fact that he likes feeling things up (okay, that sounded wrong – but you know what I mean!); under those circumstances, I thought that a book with lots of different textures has the best chance of  catching his attention.

I was right, by the way.

After his pre-party bath, he was handed over to me for some looking after (I should note right here that Thor only allowed it because he was too sleepy to realize that I was not his Mommy or Daddy; that darling boy can be fussy).  Using that as an opportunity to try out the book, I let him have a look (and a touch).

I discovered two things.  First:  it’s obvious that he likes the sheep page best.

The baby book page with a sheep on it.  It has a spot made of wool.
“FEEL MY WOOL, TINY HUMANS!”

Second, it was pretty hard getting a picture of the actual event taking place when you’re holding a toddler steady on your lap with one hand while helping him turn the pages with another.  But since I was having so much fun watching him pull fake duckling feathers and tug at faux sheep wool, I couldn’t care less that we didn’t get pictures for posterity.

Thor celebrates Iron Man's defeat by holding the helmet between his legs.
But I did find this picture of him celebrating the defeat of Iron Man. His parents post the most awesome pictures on Facebook.

I’m hoping that his apparent interest in this book continues – because it’s a great first step towards making him a reader.  With all the awesome stuff you can get out of books, I really think helping kids love them is a great way to approach early education.

With this being an apparent success, I’m already thinking about the book I’m going to get for my OTHER nephew, Salmo Joel.  From what I can see, he likes sounds AND lights.

…do any of you guys know of of baby-friendly books that have either or both of those?

EDIT:  Thor’s mother reports that Thor loves the Farm book enough to stop fussing when it’s handed to him.  VICTORY! 🙂

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