When I learned that I was pregnant with Ellie, one of the many things that I started doing was reading to her every night. Even if she was still in my tummy, Mike and I made it a habit to read to her at least before we go to bed. When I gave birth to her, we continued with that routine and until now, we would read to her at night. We saw the many benefits on Ellie and so, we continued with the same tradition when we had our second child, Julia. And again, we saw the same effect on Julia. (I’d blog about this some other time).
Because I am a preschool teacher, I already have a collection of storybooks to begin with. So it wasn’t difficult to select the books that I would expose my children to. But most of my books were more appropriate for the preschool-aged children (since I also spent sometime teaching 3-5 years old). It was when I become a mom, that I really started building my library of books for younger children, particularly, for babies and toddlers.
What are my personal favorites? Let me share with you the ones that I really, really love the most.
- Board books written by Filipino authors
I’m happy to see that there are a lot of board books available in Filipino already. When Ellie was still a baby, there were very limited choices. I like how the books focused on real-life scenarios as to what is relevant to a baby’s discovery of himself: his body; the people who are taking care of him (his family); how he feels (emotions); how he communicates with others and the different things he sees around him.
2. Board books by Karen Katz
I came across Karen Katz when I was assigned to the toddler class, 7 years ago. My toddlers loved her books. They especially liked the touch and lift the flap ones as they get all excited when it’s their turn to lift the page/s. Through the years, this author added more titles that cater to various situations in a toddler’s life (from biting to hitting), values and manners that are learned during this stage (Sharing, saying “excuse me”), and how to empower a toddler in the many tasks that he can do at this stage (learning to use the potty, and trying out the scooter, etc.) and special events (Birthday, Chinese New Year, etc.) and seasons. I love also how Karen Katz wrote about the important people in the life of a toddler (grandparents, brother, sister).
One of my concerns when I was exposing Ellie and Julia to books was that they won’t get to bite off the material from the books and that it’s safe. I found myself checking on the books at night, cleaning them just to make sure they are okay to be played with the next day.
I’m happy that a friend introduced this line of books called: Indestructibles. Such books are: rip-proof; chew-proof and printed on 100% non-toxic paperlike material. The topics of the books range from: animals, to different things/places that a baby goes to.
I haven’t seen any copy of it here, so I had to order from amazon. I hope our publishers would consider printing something like this too.
4. Classic Books
There are 2 classic books for young children that I included in our library. We have been reading these books for the past 3 years and my daughters really know the story by heart. They know it so well that I would at times, intentionally “forget the last word” and they would end up saying the word that I forgot to mention. Good Night Moon was written in 1947 while The Going to Bed Book was written in 1982. They are a perfect bedtime story. These books are good for building the bedtime routine.
I’m sure that you all have your own favourite books as well. Hope you can also share in the comments section your personal favourites as well. I’m sure it will be a great addition to my growing children’s library.
Happy reading everyone!