Feb. 25, 2016
Want to give expectant parents a gift that will benefit their child (and them!) for a lifetime? Give books. Better yet, give two different kinds of books.
Give the expecting mom and dad a book that tells them why and how to read to their baby. Give it to them now. Any veteran parent knows that the soon-to-be-new mom and dad have more time now, BEFORE the baby is born.
My go-to baby shower gift is a slim paperback by the amazing Australian author, Mem Fox: Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever (Mariner Books, 2008).
Sit down and read a chapter or two of this book by author/teacher/reading advocate Mem Fox, and you will want to go find a baby or child and start reading! It’s available on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.com if you can’t find it at your local bookstore. I keep several copies on hand to give away.
Give the expecting mom and dad a book for the baby.
I love browsing the board book section of a bookstore. Many wonderful picture books are subsequently released as board books. They’re sturdy, chewable, and easy to toss in a diaper bag or backpack. Look at the illustrations and skim the text. Would it be fun to share with the new family? Does it make you smile or make you laugh?
A nursery rhyme collection is a lasting present for the whole family. Nursery rhymes are just plain fun to read aloud, and good practice for new moms and dads in reading with inflection and enjoyment. And their rhythm and rhyme are ever so entertaining for children to hear, plus important in language and pre-reading development.
Many marvelous artists have illustrated nursery rhyme books. One of my favorite new nursery rhyme collections is Over the Hills and Far Away, a treasury of nursery rhymes from around the world, collected by Elizabeth Hammill and illustrated by more than 70 different artists. Other favorites of mine are Here Comes Mother Goose by Iona Opie and Pocketful of Posies by Salley Mavor.