Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Reading with Little Miss Muffet and Little Bo Peep, October 2015

Welcome, Little Bo Peep! 

There have been some changes in Little Miss Muffet's life this month. She now has a little sister! Little Bo Peep was born on her due date, the last day of September, and we have spent the last few weeks getting used to being a family of four.

Little Bo Peep's Very First Books

Little Bo Peep's main activities at the moment are eating and sleeping, so read-alouds have not yet become a regular part of her routine. I often recite nursery rhymes to her while she takes her bottle - George Porgie, Bye Baby Bunting, Hey Diddle Diddle, etc. - and she is almost always in the room when I'm reading to Miss Muffet, but she's not quite ready to look at a picture book just yet. She is, however, becoming quite fond of patterns, so I dug out two books Miss Muffet loved as an infant: Black and White by Tana Hoban and Baby Sees by Dave Aikins. She usually gets overwhelmed if we look at more than a page or two, but it's fun to watch her eyes grow big as she focuses on a black and white butterfly or a polka-dot pattern. As I did with Miss Muffet, I also occasionally read aloud to her from whatever I happen to be reading. She has heard brief passages from both The Graveyard Book and Magic Tree House #53: Shadow of the Shark (the latter of which I was reading for Cybils.)

Little Miss Muffet's Current Favorites

While recovering from childbirth, I haven't been able to do much with Miss Muffet besides read, and Grandma (my mom) also spent a lot of time reading to her when she was in town, so we have quite a few new favorites to share.

  • Snuggle the Baby by Sara Gillingham
    Grandma bought this book a few months ago in anticipation of the arrival of Little Bo Peep. It is an interactive board book, where toddlers can feed, diaper, swaddle, snuggle, and tuck in their own little cardboard baby. One page has already been destroyed. There is a part of the book where the baby's arms lift up to play "so big," but they lift at kind of an angle that is hard to negotiate if you are not quite two years old yet. So on that page the baby only has one arm at the moment, and we have set the book aside for repairs. But with a little packing tape to reinforce those cardboard arms, this is a book we definitely recommend to new big sisters and brothers.
  • It Is Night by Phyllis Rowand, illustrated by Laura Dronzek
    My husband brought this book home from the library for Miss Muffet, and she took to it immediately upon discovering there are both an elephant and a monkey in the story. The book discusses where animals sleep at night, which is a perfect science topic for toddlers, and it has a very sweet ending where a little girl curls up in bed surrounded by all of her toys.
  • Quack and Count by Keith Baker
    We have owned this book for a while, but it has not been in Miss Muffet's box until recently, so for her it is like a new discovery. Since she has started counting, she has become obsessed with counting the seven ducks in this book, and she can fill in almost any word if I stop reading and ask her what comes next. Everyone else in our house is completely sick of reading this aloud, and we pretty much beg Miss Muffet to choose anything else, even the dreaded More More More said the Baby which got really played out toward the end of the summer.
  • Owl Babies by Martin Waddell
    This is one of my favorite story time books, and I'm thrilled that Miss Muffet loves it so much. She is very fond of both Percy and Bill, and every time we reach the page where the owl mother returns home to her babies, the look of joy on her face is absolutely priceless. So contagious is Miss Muffet's love for this book that her grandma went and bought her own copy after visiting with us. We also discovered a lovely animated version on YouTube that we occasionally allow Miss Muffet to watch.
  • Duck on a Bike by David Shannon
    This is another story time favorite, though I notice it doesn't hold up quite as well as others when you read it 10 times a day.The most fascinating thing about it, for me, is that Miss Muffet understands the plot and can answer basic reading comprehension questions about it. On the wordless page where all the animals stare at the bikes and get ready to ride, I asked her, "What do the animals want to do?" and without hesitation she said, "Ride bikes!" (This is why it's important to read books with basic plots to toddlers! They do understand!)
  • May I Bring a Friend? by Beatrice Schenk de Regniers
    Thankfully, I will never tire of reading this book aloud. Its sense of humor and rhyme and rhythm are all so delightful, and Miss Muffet can recite all my favorite lines, including "What monkey business is this?" I can't wait until she gets a little older and we can do some of the activities I created to go with the story.

One Tip from Mom 

Not sure what to read to your baby? Pretty much anything works! For inspiration, check out this list of possibilities that I made for The Library Adventure.

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