It’s never too early (or too late) to start a lifelong love of reading and learning!  Talking, reading, playing, and singing to babies gives them a leg up on the early literacy skills they will need as they develop and grow.  Your local public library is filled with books that appeal to young children and help parents, caregivers, and early childhood educators build bonds and literacy skills. Board books can withstand curious hands (and mouths) because the pages are pasted onto cardboard. Here are some tips to consider when selecting books for babies and toddlers:

Touch-and-feel and lift-the-flap books contain various textures and movable parts to encourage hands-on exploration of a book.

  • That’s not my lion..its nose is too fuzzy by Usborne
  • Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell

Black & white books are developmentally appropriate for infants who don’t yet have well-developed color vision.

  • Look at the Animals by Peter Linenthal
  • Black & White by Tana Hoban

Books about routines (bedtime, mealtime, nap time), common objects, and books with faces and playful language provide an opportunity to build vocabulary through talking about pictures and words.

  • Moo, Baa, La La La! by Sandra Boynton
  • Bedtime by Elizabeth Verdick
  • The Baby on the Bus by Karen Katz
  • This Little Piggy by Jane Yolen & Will Hillenbrand
  • Eat by Elizabeth Verdick & Marjorie Lisovskis

Visit the Hawaii State Public Library System’s website for inspiration and to request books from any of the 51 libraries statewide.  And ask your local youth services librarian for book recommendations.

By Jessica Gleason, Bookmobile Librarian

Here are additional book lists: