One of the best baby gifts I received when my first daughter was born was Sylvia Long's Mother Goose. Such beautiful detailed artwork! The cow jumping over the moon, the little old lady that lived in a shoe, the graphic capital letters leading each poem. Piles of books. Shelves of books. Baskets of books. We read to the girls regularly, invent stories, write and illustrate "books" with folded paper, colored pencils, stapler and imagination. We love books!
Following are books to read with your 1-2 year old. Along the way, while you cuddle, you can expand vocabulary, notice patterns, start letter and number recognition, enjoy rhymes, learn how to do things, learn how to read a simple map, solve simple picture puzzles, and stimulate creative and logical thinking.
Richard Scarry's Best Word Book Ever - Our family's all-time favorite children's book! Every topic you can imagine, great for expanding vocabulary, just plain fun. This is a fabulous baby gift or gift for 1st or 2nd birthday. Yes, the book is large, and yes, the book has paper pages, but books are to be read! Tape the rips or buy a second copy!
Bear About Town - Days of the week, things to do, sequences, nicely drawn, and a neighborhood map to explore. You can ask your child to find the way from the Bear's House to the Pool and trace various routes. Unique and beautiful illustrations.
How Will We Get to the Beach? - Lovely story with light, playful illustrations. In addition to a logical puzzle about getting to the beach with all of the things the mom and baby need, and the rhythmic prose, each page has a tiny red ladybug that you can find together.
Bear in Sunshine and Bear's Busy Family - Great launching point for talking about weather,seasons, family relationships. Lovely illustrations.
Zoe and Her Zebra - Each letter shows an animal chasing a boy or girl - learn animals, verbs, names, letters, add your own animal sounds. With detailed sewn fabric illustrations.
Tab Board Books: Color Fun (DK Book) - Great intro to colors, clear photographs, my daughter loved (chewing) the tabs. DK has a number of beautifully photographed books to teach simple words or concepts.
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See and Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? - Companion classics with simple rhythmic words and classic Eric Carle illustrations. Also great for early readers.
Jamberry - A bear and his friend, mountains of berries, neat word rhymes. Wonderful first book to share with your baby, because of the playful and melodic sounds of the words. Gorgeous illustrations.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar - Classic with little holes for little fingers to explore, plus a vivid transformation. Eric Carle's art is unique and fantastic.
Check out the other book recommendations in the Children's Books category!