Kids’ Book Corner: Timeless Books for Babies

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BY JO PERRY

Back to school for the big kids means that you’ll have more time to spend with the babies in your life. And no time is more important than story time. If The Poky Little Puppy rings a bell you’ll be happy to know that the adored and adorable Golden Books of the 1940’s have been re-issued as chunky, padded board books for babies. If these books are new to you, get ready to be charmed.

The Poky Little Puppy by Janette Sebring Lowry is the famous and beloved story of five little puppies that “…dug a hole under the fence and went for a walk in the wide, wide world.” Each adventure is interrupted when the Poky Puppy smells “something”––first rice pudding, then chocolate custard, and finally strawberry shortcake. No matter that mothers these days rarely cook custard or are “displeased”—this story will make the baby who reads it “happy as a lark.” 0-4 years

Baby’s First Book, written and illustrated by Garth Williams offers an absorbing story for the littlest girls. After a Teddy bear urges baby awake and a coo-coo clock chimes in, a baby narrates the story of her day: “I hang up my pajamas./ I help make my bed.” The pajamas have red and white stripes; the bed has a smiling pink pig playing jump rope painted on its foot, a pink rose at the head. Baby dresses, eats, dresses her doll, plays with her ball and her puppy, sees balloons and a singing bird outside, eats fruit (but likes cake), and loves a small box of watercolors. Everything is simple, nothing is predictable, especially Williams’ vibrant, clear illustrations. 0-4 years.

Baby Farm Animals, also a Garth Williams illustrated story, introduces human babies to baby: a lamb, kittens, rabbits, guinea pigs, donkeys, ducks, chickens, puppies, goats, swans, geese, cow, and a Shetland pony who will not grow much bigger. Babies will like thinking about how they will become bigger, and will love the joyful illustrations. 0-4 years

Margaret Wise Brown’s Home for a Bunny is illustrated by Garth Williams with paintings of animals amidst the joyous green and flowers of spring. Not quite as simple as Brown’s Goodnight, Moon, Home for a Bunny tells the satisfying tale of a little bunny looking for a home. Along the way the bunny learns about nest homes, bog homes, log homes—and finally, a cozy burrow that he shares with a friend. 0-4 years.

Jo Perry has a Ph.D. in English, taught literature and writing, and worked as a college administrator and as a television writer and producer. She is a reviewer for BookBrowse.com and is an ongoing contributor to kidsLA Magazine for which she writes about the city, children’s books, and conducts interviews. For two years she wrote the Kids’ Book Club column for the L.A. Times’ Kids’ Reading Room page.


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About Karen Young

Karen Young is the founder of My Daily Find.

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