Baby Day is a lovely non-fiction book that uses simple rhyming text and a series of photographs to illustrate babies’ routine experiences. Starting with a yawn, the book moves on to a baby pictured next to a set of stacking rhymes and, finally – over six spreads – ends with bath time and bed. The board book format is perfect as first books are often handled roughly and even mouthed.
This book has been carefully designed to introduce babies to the world of books. The simple photographs featuring a different baby on each page are likely to attract a baby’s interest, as we know that staring at faces is something that most babies enjoy doing.
The text has a lovely rhythm and the rhymes are strong, making it easy to share. There is much research to show that the early exposure to books is beneficial for both attachment and language development. In this age of tablets and mobile phones, helping babies and toddlers to understand how books ‘work’ is an essential activity. This book fits the brief well.
A GOOD CHOICE
Although designed for babies and toddlers, this book may appeal to three- and four-year-olds, who often return to books that they once enjoyed.
Pop it in a topic book box or role-play area if ‘babies’ or ‘growing up’ is a part of a theme. Recommend it to parents with babies, as the strong rhymes make it an easy read. And use it to help support diversity, as it features babies of different ethnicities.
SHARING THIS BOOK
This book is worth reading as part of babies’ or young toddlers’ routine. Sharing books with babies is a real skill, however. First, you need to choose a time when a baby is calm and relaxed. Just before or after a nap can work well. In the early days of book sharing, babies should be seated on you, so that they associate books with cuddles and comfort.
This is a book where you will need to follow a baby’s or toddler’s interest. You may find that a baby stares longer at some photographs than others or that a toddler will turn a page quickly once they lose interest. If possible, always read the text so that babies and toddlers start to link the words to the text. As it takes time for babies and toddlers to recognise words and photographs, it is worth sharing this book each day so that it becomes increasingly familiar.
This book supports the three Prime areas of the EYFS.
Personal, social and emotional development
Use this book:
To help babies and toddlers feel more settled by sharing it before or after nap time. This will be especially effective if their key person shares the book.
To support children’s social development. Encourage babies to look at the faces in the pictures or draw toddlers’ attention to the baby that looks very happy or the baby who has a ‘thinking’ face.
As a basis for creating your very own ‘busy day’ visual timetable. Take photographs of each baby or a toddler at different points in the routine for your setting. Then use them in either a laminated display or pop them into a fabric photograph book that is available for babies. Helping babies and toddlers recognise key routines can be very helpful, especially when babies and toddlers first join the setting.
This book can help babies and toddlers to recognise a few key words, especially if the book is shared with them regularly. Recognising and then understanding the meaning of a few words is the starting point for learning to talk.
Aim to create a routine when using the book. This might mean pointing out the ducks every time you come to the page about bath time, or the moon on the final page. You may also like to look out for ducks, a towel and a stacking ring to see if babies and toddlers can make the connection between items they can see in the book and in real life.
This book will support babies’ and toddlers’ fine motor skills. At first, babies are likely to struggle to turn pages independently, but with a little help, many babies can do so by 12 months. With toddlers, you may encourage them to hold the book alongside you.
While the Prime areas are the focus for work with babies and toddlers, this book can lay the foundations for auditory awareness. If this book is shared several times, babies and toddlers will start to recognise the rhymes, and if a pause is left just before a rhyme, toddlers may start to fill in the missing sound.
Baby Day is one of a wide variety of baby and toddler books published by Little Tiger Press. Other titles include Baby Play, Peekaboo Baby and Goodnight Baby! To see the full range, visit: www.littletiger.co.uk
ABOUT THIS SERIES
Over the course of this monthly series on sharing books with children, Penny Tassoni will look at a range of fiction and non-fiction titles, from rhyming books for babies to picture books that adults and children can explore together.