So today is the 'BookBumps' due date and as yet we still have no newborn baby photos to share with you all. Apparently he's ju...

Baby's First Books - Summer - Reading is Our Thing

Tuesday, April 18, 2017 BookBairn 6 Comments

So today is the 'BookBumps' due date and as yet we still have no newborn baby photos to share with you all. Apparently he's just too comfortable all tucked up inside! Cheeky wee monkey! Fortunately I'm still feeling ok and not too uncomfortable myself though I am now incredibly impatient to meet the little chap and hold him in my arms. Thanks to everyone who has sent kind messages and are keeping us in our thoughts - I promise I will let you know and share that much anticipated first photo as soon as I can after he arrives! But you could still be waiting a while!

In the meantime, the gorgeous Summer from 'Reading is Our Thing' has written us a lovely post to share about starting to read with you little ones and recommending some of her favourite books for little ones. Summer's blog is truly a work of art - I wish I had her IT skills! And she takes such fabulous photos of some beautiful bairns and books - as you can tell her blog is one of my favourite reads! So I'll hand over to Summer and her superior review skills...

When do you start reading to your child? 6 months? 1 year? When they show an interest in books? The answer is simple. It’s never too early. I read to my children while they were tucked up inside my tummy. I read to them from their first breath. The benefits of reading to your baby are endless. It’s bonding time. One on one attention. They’ll find comfort in your voice, your cuddles, hear different tones, patterns in language, emotions. Their little brains will piece together every single sound and sight.

“Children who are read to during infancy and preschool years have better language skills when they start school and are more interested in reading…In addition, parents who spend time reading to their children create nurturing relationships, which is important for a child’s cognitive, language and social-emotional development.” —AAP

There’s two main points I pulled from this quote, the first, that reading assists a child’s learning, and secondly, that creating a nurturing environment is key. It’s more than just pulling a book out from the shelf and going through the words. How, where, and what we read is of great value. I don’t mean to say that you have to have the perfect reading nook with just the right amount of comfy cushions for reading time to be effective. As a child I would pull my father along with a book in hand to sit on the floor in front of a wardrobe. That was our story spot and it was the world to me. Having good books that are accessible, part of your everyday, and making reading an activity you can enjoy together, these are three essential I focus on.


Don’t hide your books away in a box. Keep them in sight and easy to reach. Spread them out over the floor for your baby to explore on their own. Baby-led reading. BookBairn is an advocate of this, and we love it too. You most likely rotate toys already. Rotating books is equally great.

Because there’s so many books out there to choose from, I thought I’d share some baby’s first books that are tried and true. I started out to find a top ten, but the list kept growing. Always happens. Easily solved, I’ve divided them into groups.

Board Books and Picture Books…

  • Music Is… by Brandon Stosuy and Amy Martin
  • Love is a Tutu, and, Love is a Truck, by Amy Novesky and Sara Gillingham
  • This is Not a Book, and, Before and After, by Jean Jullien
  • Tails, by Matthew Van Fleet 
  • Little Blue Truck, by Alice Schertle
  • Orange Pear Apple Bear, by Emily Gravett
  • Pantone: Colors, by Helen Dardik
  • Make It Grow, by Debbie Powell
  • Look, Look Again, by Agnese Baruzzi
  • Touch Think Learn: ABC, by Xavier Deneux
  • Everyone Is Yawning, by Anita Bijsterbosch
  • The Wonderful Things You Will Be, by Emily Winfield Martin
  • Goodnight, Numbers, by Danica McKeller and Alicia Padrón
  • Tickle My Ears, and, Bathtime for Little Rabbit, both by Jörg Mühle
  • My Heart Fills with Happiness, by Monique Gray Smith and Julie Flett


  • The entire BabyLit series
  • Wee Gallery Slide and Play series
  • That’s Not My… series
  • Jane Foster’s… series


  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle
  • Goodnight Moon, by Margaret Wise Brown
  • Dear Zoo, by Rod Campbell
  • Good Night, Gorilla, by Peggy Rathmann
  • Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin, Jr.
  • The Going to Bed Book, by Sandra Boynton
  • We're Going on a Bear Hunt, by Michael Rosen
  • Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes, by Mem Fox and Helen Oxenbury
  • Each Peach Pear Plum, by Janet and Allan Ahlberg


It’s a healthy habit. One that will only brighten your day. Making reading a part of your daily routine is particularly helpful at baby’s bedtime. It’s comforting for your little one, especially if combined with cuddles. Set aside at least 30 minutes, that’s all, and this can be broken up throughout the day—5 minutes in the morning, 10 minutes after snack time, 5 minutes in the bath, and 10 just before bed.


Reading is fundamental. Reading is fun! It’s best spent together. Be expressive with your reading voice. Use emotion, intonation. Change it up. Although your baby may not understand the words you’re reading, they will recognise and respond to emotion. Choose books that are full of colour. In the early stages, from birth to 3 months, black, white and red can stimulate baby’s vision and brain development. The more they’re exposed to, the more they’ll thrive. Board books are easy for babies to hold, play with, and bite. You’ll go through a few copies of your favourites.

As your child grows older, talk to them about the book, the story, emotions and lessons shared. Book based activities enhance story time, encourage creativity, and they’re a whole lot of fun. If you’re looking ideas, head to Instagram. We share many on our feed: @readingisourthing. Also check out @book.nerd.mommy, @kidlitcrafts, and @kidartlit.

Don’t stop reading together once your child can read on their own. I frequently read chapter books aloud with my two eldest, taking a chapter each. Even if you eventually are reading different books, still try and spend that time together, reading at the park, with your toes in the sand, legs over opposite armrests of the sofa. It’s time well spent.

Thank you so much Summer for such a well considered post!! BookBump has been hearing all of BookBairn's favourite stories day and and day out I'll be suprised if he can't recite some of them from the very early days! And some truly fabulous recommendations for a great start to a little ones library!

Hope you enjoyed this most recent guest post, to find them all click here.

Happy Reading, 
Mummy, BookBairn and (still tucked up inside Mummy!) BookBump!


  1. What a great post from Read is Our Thing! You're so right - it's about love and bonding as much as it is about literacy and communication. The artwork in children's books is so incredible too and I love the way paper engineering and the imaginative sensory experiences have been developed recently.

    1. Isn't she clever?! I love how well-thought-out this post is and clearly she's the sort of lady we could have cup of tea and talk books with - my favourite type of person! And you're so right - kids books are just getting better and better, especially the baby book range!

  2. Excellent article. Very interesting to read. I really love to read such a nice article. Thanks! keep rocking. Releases New Children's Book.

  3. I was surfing the Internet for information and came across your blog. I am impressed by the information you have on this blog. It shows how well you understand this subject. illustrated fairy tale

  4. I wanted to thank you for this excellent read!! I definitely loved every little bit of it. I have you bookmarked your site to check out the new stuff you post. authors promotion