I have been reading to my daughter Amelia since she was a month old. I haven’t bothered to find out what one should read to a small baby but I know that Amelia appreciates bright colours and severely exaggerated expression. The other day I read her the information appearing on a tourist brochure of Devon (where we were holidaying) and she was enthralled. I managed to make the safety rules one should adhere to when swimming sound as exciting as a Bruce Willis action film. My little jitterbug isn’t always in the mood for story time but when she is I grab the opportunity. Mostly, she stares intently at the pages of the book and other times her gaze wonders all over the place, but I just carry on. Kidshealth states that reading aloud to your baby:
• teaches a baby about communication
• introduces concepts such as stories, numbers, letters, colours, and shapes in a fun way
• builds listening, memory, and vocabulary skills
• gives babies information about the world around them
Other than the above, reading to Amelia is just so much fun. I adore books and I hope to instil the same love of reading in her. I read Amelia all sorts, from soft cover baby friendly picture books to Nursery Rhymes to the likes of Anthony Browne’s Gorilla. At the moment, Amelia (4 months) seems most receptive to Giraffes Can’t Dance, written by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees. The story has a lovely message, the writing is lyrical and the pictures are gorgeously bright and bold. I also have two smaller hard cover books, which Amelia loves to bat with her ever roving hand as I read to her, also by Giles Andreae (and David Wojtowycz) called Commotion in the Ocean and Rumble in the Jungle. Both books feature really funny poems about oceanic and jungle animals respectively and I can already see Amelia favouring certain illustrations over others: the toothy shark and pink Octopus never fail to mesmerise. I love books with a great sense of humour and Giles Andreae seems to have just that. I think that reading stories to your baby that you find entertaining is a great place to start.