New Book Behaviors
- Stacking and unstacking. Little Miss Muffet has started to discover that items can be piled on top of one another - blocks, cups, pieces of paper, and naturally, books. As pleasing as it is to make a pile, it's even more exciting to knock one down, so usually by the end of the morning, the living room floor is carpeted with picture books and Miss Muffet is slipping and sliding all over them as she walks to the kitchen for lunch.
- Frustration. Miss Muffet is also beginning to understand that books have certain limitations. End papers are often fastened to the front and back covers, library book jackets are taped and glued in place, and the flaps in life-the-flap books have to be moved a certain way in order to get them to open. When things don't work as she expects them to, Miss Muffet gets frustrated and pounds on the book or throws it to show that she is angry and/or wants help.
- Orientation. Within the past couple of weeks, Miss Muffet has started to notice when she is looking at a book upside down, and she will turn it around to make sure everything is facing the right way. In one case, there was an animal on a page who was intentionally upside down, and she actually turned the entire magazine she was reading upside down so she could see him going in the right direction.
Five Current Favorites
- Blue on Blue by Dianne White, illustrated by Beth KrommesI picked up this book for myself because I had heard good things about it, but had not yet seen it. Little Miss Muffet loved it from the first reading, and it was her most requested read-aloud for the duration of the time it was checked out from the library. Her favorite illustrations were of the two dogs, at whom she would bark every time they appeared. Because she loved it, I read the book so many times that I starting reading too much into it and making up entire subtexts that were not implied by the author or illustrator! This is definitely the book I have read to her the most times in her life so far.
- Angus and the Ducks by Marjorie FlackWe have acquired some of the books I had as a child, including many I received from the Children's Choice Book Club when I was a preschooler. Angus and the Ducks is one of these. Miss Muffet loves to say "woof" and "quack" so this is an ideal story for her. It's also just short enough that she can sit through the whole thing once before losing interest and demanding to hear something else.
- You... by Emma Dodd
This is the UK version of a book that was published in the US as More and More. It features a pair of monkeys - a parent and a baby - and Miss Muffet is obsessed with their faces. She especially likes one page where the monkey sits with his hand on his head, and she likes to point out the moon in the nighttime scene. Though I have read this book a fair number of times, this is one she also frequently looks at on her own.
- First 100 Words by Roger Priddy
In the interest of exposing her to words other than animals and their sounds (which she has mostly mastered), we purchased the oversized version of this board book for Miss Muffet. She loves to name the objects she recognizes and point to others so that I will tell her what they are called. We liked this book so much, we also bought a second one by the same author: Colors, ABC, Numbers.
- All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon, illustrated by Marla Frazee
This is one of my favorite picture books, and I really didn't expect to be sharing it with my child until she was at least in preschool. It turns out, though, that she loves pointing out all the people in the illustrations, and looking for things like the ball left behind in the rain and the man standing alone on the dock as the sun goes down.
One Tip from Mom
- Keep some of the books you own in reserve. My husband and I are both librarians, so we buy lots of books and receive lots of books as gifts. At any given time, Miss Muffet has access to probably half of the books that are appropriate for her current developmental stage. The rest are kept in a cabinet. I do a rotation of her books periodically, mostly to add some variety to my read-aloud repertoire, but I have also been known to pull out a long-forgotten interesting book to curb crying when she doesn't want to be in the playpen, but I need her to stay in there for 10 minutes. At this age, her memory is pretty short, so every time we bring out a book that has been hidden away, it's like we bought a brand-new one.