Friday, March 21, 2014

Books to Play By

Tickle by Leslie Patricelli is a board book that inspires participation. The toddler essentially dares someone to try and make him or her laugh with the statement, "I am NOT ticklish."

Of course, Dad the Tickle Monster must prove his baby wrong. This simply begs that the reading experience between child and parent or grandparent or older sibling also devolve into a ticklefest.
Interior from Tickle

On the page where all of the toddler's ticklish body parts are labeled, that same parent or grandparent or older sibling will similarly follow with "Are you ticklish on your belly button? Your knees? Your toes?" It's a fun way for a toddler to learn the names for all the parts of his or her person while also being lovingly tended to by a trusted caregiver.

Board books that invite interaction are a wonderful way for children to associate books with laughter, play and imagination. Patricelli's Tickle leads nicely into other interactive books, such as Nina Laden's Peek-a-Who?, Taro Gomi's Peekaboo!, The Baby Goes Beep by Rebecca O'Connell, illustrated by Ken Wilson-Max, and William Steig's Pete's a Pizza--books that also inspire pretending and playing together.

Reading is not a passive experience, these books demonstrate to youngest children; books are a way to get involved, whether physically (as with Tickle and the other aforementioned board books) or emotionally and imaginatively, as they get older and begin to read fairy tales and other stories.


  1. I LOVED Tickle and think it's a great one for babies and toddlers. Thanks for your other suggestions of read-alikes as well.

    1. Thanks for writing, Fourth Musketeer! I also love Nina Crews's NEIGHBORHOOD SING-ALONG and NEIGHBORHOOD MOTHER GOOSE and keep begging for those to be put into board book editions.