Friday, January 7, 2011

Books to Chew On

Board books are the ideal format for toddlers, and certainly they are safe for newborns, too. But even better for babies are cloth books. Their soft pages can be balled up in tiny fists, and drooled over, then thrown in the washing machine. Add to that some sound effects, like the crackling sound of the pages in Crinkle Animals: Farm, and nearly all of your baby’s senses will be engaged.

Studies have shown that with newborns, one of the key elements to capture babies’ attention is contrasting images such as black and white. All of the animals in Farm feature black-and-white elements, with the bold black outline and white feathers or fur—except for the pig finale, in a blush of pink (and a kiss mark on its cheek). There are no words in the book, allowing you to improvise with your baby to see what he or she responds to—animal sounds, animal names, perhaps a game of hide-and-seek with the page turn (Where did the cow go? There it is!). It’s soft enough to go in the crib or stroller, and the crunchy sound will help baby find it if it winds up beneath a leg or belly.

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