Category Archives: Books for Babies and Toddlers

Give Me Grace

“Give me grace” is what I was saying today.  Poor little Blainey was burning up with a fever and soooooo sad about it.  Wouldn’t eat.  Wouldn’t play.  Just whimpered.  And whimpered.  Days with a sick child are hard for two reasons.  1) You have a whimpering child all day.  2) Your child is miserable and you feel totally helpless about it.  The latter is by far the worst part. 


Give Me Grace is also the only thing that seemed to interest Blaine today.  It’s a great little book and Blaine brought it to me multiple times today to read it to him.  This sweet little board book is by Cynthia Rylant–a prolific and talented author–and is subtitled “A Child’s Daybook of Prayers.”  It’s a non-denominational prayer book with a little prayer for each day of the week.  Since it’s Tuesday, I’ll tell you what Tuesday’s prayer is:

“Tuesday teach me faith and caring, teach me wisdom, teach me sharing.  Raise me up and make me strong.  Be with me the whole day long.” 

Here’s why I love this book: It is simple and sweet and teaches good things.  And its pictures are fabulous.  They are bold in color, very childlike, whimsical, and imaginative (did you notice that the tree on the cover has pink foliage and green fruit?  I love that!).  Plus the pages have gold edges, which means it’s basically scripture.  So there you go!

We were blessed to receive Give Me Grace from our friend, Lorraine.  But if you don’t have a friend named Lorraine to give it to you, you can find it at most book stores, and I’ve even seen it at T.J. Maxx for a discounted price.  Wherever you find it, I hope you’ll love it!


Cloth Books for Your Babe


Blaine recently turned one.  We have marveled at the many changes in him in the last few weeks.  After testing out his feet for a while, walking is suddenly his main form of transportation.  Food he spit out just a week ago he is now devouring.  He loves to play with other children and has learned to touch them gently instead of gouging their eyes out.  And, whereas for the last several months he has squirmed away when I attempted reading to him, he is finally starting to sit with books for an extended period of time (like five minutes!) and explore them.  He has even started choosing a book from the shelf and bringing it to me.  Once we get to the third page he’s usually done, but still!  Right now, Blaine’s favorite books are cloth books, so I thought I’d suggest them to you for your babes and toddlers.


1) Fuzzy Bee and Friends 

This is a Priddy book.  You’ve probably seen a lot of their stuff before–they have a lot of great products.  You can look at their website here.  I picked this one up at a yard sale a few weeks ago–in mint condish–and it’s a winner.  Here’s why I love it:  It is soft and therefore squishes nicely into my diaper bag, even when it’s full of tons of other junk.  It’s colorful.  And it’s a touch and feel sort of book, in that the insects’ wings stick out so your child can pull on them (but since they’re made of cloth, they don’t tear).  Most importantly, Blaine likes it. 



2) Let’s Get Dressed

This is a Lamaze Book.  True–it’s not just a breathing technique that I used until I freaked out and demanded that someone call the anesthesiologist.  Lamaze makes a lot of great books and toys.  Their website is here.  Blaine’s Nana sent him this particular book, and we LOVE it.  Here’s why.  Again, it’s soft, durable, and colorful.  Even better–it’s an activity book.  Blaine gets to help Bear zip up his jacket, put on his shoes, and place his hat on his head.  Blaine is having fun learning to do these things, and I love that it’s helping him develop his fine motor skills (I mean, you should see this kid’s pincer grasp!).  The bonus is that all of these miniature clothing items are attached to the book with chords, so Blaine can’t lose them.  Fabulous book.


 softbooks3.jpgsoftbooks4.jpg                                                                           softbooks5.jpgsoftbooks6.jpg

3) My Busy Book

You can learn about this company and where to find the book by clicking here.  This was another gift to Blaine (Thanks, Candy and Brian!), and it’s AWESOME.  Here’s why: It’s full of fun, fine-motor-skill-developing, detailed, colorful pages.  Your child can learn to button, zip, lace and tie, weave, and more.  It’s a ball!  For liability’s sake (you know, so no one sues Mrs. Cropper), let me issue a small warning.  This book is not recommended for children under 3 years because it comes with a LOT of small, your-baby-could-choke-on/they-could-get-lost-pieces.  I think if you were right there helping your child, he could do the activities in the book at a younger age than that.  Blaine can’t quite figure it out right now, but I think in a few months he’ll be loving it. 

So those are some recommendations from Mrs. Cropper and Blaine.  Even as infants and toddlers, it is so crucial to have books around.  Even if all Blaine does is rub the soft books on his cheeks and open the flaps on his board books, he is getting exposure to books–they are becoming a part of his life.  I think these soft activity books are particularly helpful because in addition to introducting young children to concepts of print, they are helping them develop motor skills.  I hope you and your babes will enjoy these! 

A Delightful Addition to Your Nighttime Routine

Have a little one who has a hard time winding down and getting ready for bed?  Of course singing quiet songs, telling stories, and reading books of any kind are all great tricks.  Some parents find it especially helpful to read books about going to bed.  Everyone loves the classic Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd, and Sandra Boynton’s The Going to Bed Book is wonderful as well.  Today though, I’m going to feature the nighttime book Time For Bed, and its author–Mem Fox.


Time For Bed is a charming, gentle book about momma animals preparing their little ones for sleep.  “It’s time for bed, little mouse, little mouse, darkness is falling all over the house.”  The illustrations (by Jane Dyer) are beautiful and sweet, and the whole book just makes you feel cozy, snuggly, and ready for a snooze.  (Oh, and your child feels those things, too! 🙂 )  Try adding this greatie to your child’s bedtime routine–you will both love it!

Now, a note about Mem Fox.  I was familiar with her name and some of her picture books, but didn’t know anything else about her until I spent some time on her website  Mem hails from Australia, and is one of the most popular children’s authors in that country.  She is also a professor of literacy, and she now travels the world teaching teachers and parents how to better teach children how to read and write.  She is clever and passionate and lovely.  I have so enjoyed reading about her and what she is doing to promote literacy.  On her site she offers advice for teachers, tips for hopeful authors, and words of wisdom for parents.  If you have a minute, check out the site.  I found it delightful.  

Blaine Loves Boynton


You know, it’s funny.  Blaine is not quite 10 months old, and at this point, let’s be honest, books are just one more teething device.  Occasionally he’ll allow me to read him a story, but getting through the whole book is rare.  And although he doesn’t generally distinguish between most of our board books (to him they all seem equally good for chewing and/or pulling off the shelf and dumping on the floor), he does seem to have one favorite.  No, I have not conducted any sort of scientific study, so my evidence is purely anecdotal and hardly conclusive, but I have noticed that if Blaine plays with a book for an extended period of time it is usually Barnyard Dance!by Sandra Boynton.  If you have babies or toddlers, make sure you are familiar with this author.  Her books are simple and fun, and quite often  sing-songy.  Here’s what I mean: 

“Stomp your feet!  Clap your hands!  Everybody ready for  a barnyard dance!”  It’s more than just clever rhyming–you will find yourself singing it in rhythm to your babes, which they of course love! 

She’s got about 10 titles that I’m aware of, and they’re charming as can be.  Some of them come in a bigger board book size too, which is fun.  So take it from Blaine and get some Sandra Boynton in your life!  

Old Macdonald’s Farm Has Never Looked This Cute!


My good friend Lori found this DARLING (yes, I think it deserves all caps!) book for her little Lucy.  Cartwheel Books makes this little board book with finger puppets for each finger!  Essentially, it’s a glove you put on your hand while you read (or sing, I hope!) this classic with your babe.  Lucy loves it, Blaine loves it, your babe will love it too!  (I found it on Amazon for $11 new and as low as $3.50 used.)