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One of my earliest childhood memories is of our parents taking us to Toys R Us and letting us pick out something special. My sister and I immediately bee lined to the back of the store where they hid the books. We didn’t want Barbies, Cabbage Patch Dolls, or My Little Pony (wow, really dated myself there!). Books. Specifically, Ann M. Martin’s Baby-sitters Club series. We must have read every single one and to this day we are still avid readers.
TraditionalThis group includes the most popular children’s books – Goodnight Moon, anything by Dr. Suess, etc. The mommy-to-be will probably get many of these, even duplicates, so consider this when making your selection. My sister trumped this by turning a copy of Oh, The Places You’ll Go into a guestbook where attendees could write messages to us and baby. Now, not only is it a book we will read together, it is a treasure chest of beautiful sentiments we can share forever.
One of my daughter’s favorite books right now is Hello, Vermont, a gift from her grandparents. It is special because we ski and hike with them every year in Vermont and we cannot wait to take the baby there for her to experience it. Finding a book that relates to the parents’ hobbies or favorite places will help them share those things with the child as they grow up.Themed books can also be very special. Be creative – they do not need to be the overtly personalized kind of books that put the baby’s actual name on each page. Maybe a book that alludes to the time of year the baby will be born, or a holiday near their birthday. Here Comes the Easter Cat is a hysterical book that we bought our daughter to celebrate her first Easter, but it would be very cute for a spring baby shower or due date. Kitten’s First Full Moon and Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me were just two of the books we received from friends of ours, in a package that included choices all centered around the moon and night. It was a very special wink and a nod to our little Luna.
Out of the Box
Books don’t always need to have a lot of words to draw you in. Books that challenge a child to think and play can be just as meaningful. What a Wonderful World and You Are My Sunshine are just what they sound like – illustrated versions of the songs they reference. They absolutely can be read as regular books, but they can also be sung along to by you and your child.
One of the coolest books we received at our baby shower was Press Here. This kind of book allows the child to play along, following instructions and seeing the results with each turn of the page. It’s not necessarily a baby book, but our daughter will grow with it. And I have to admit, I was mesmerized by it!
Any book you choose will be treasured by the mommy-to-be, as it will be allow her to share special moments with her little one. But, this is also an opportunity for family and friends to be creative with their selections. Have fun!