Now that Liam is almost a year old (how?!), I wanted to give an updated book post (here's the previous one) with some of his current favorite books. Every book in this previous list is still heavily read, but we've added some new favorites as well.
I've also noticed some unexpected benefits of reading to an infant.
1. Reading provides a quiet time. Once mobility strikes, it is especially hard for babies to stop (except maybe for food). Books have provided a way for us to take a break when one or both of us needs it. We curl up on the couch or on the bed and read his favorites. Liam is at an age now where he can show me the book he wants and ask for it to be read again. He also can identify some of his favorites when I ask him to give them to me.
2. Reading introduces new language and deepens understanding. We talk about the lamp in the book and the lamp in the room or the dump truck in the story and the one on our street. Liam is curious and wants the names of many things in our life now. I love that books give him even more new words and ideas.
3. Reading provides a car trip distraction. We recently took a long trip to the beach, and we covered many, many miles tear-free by reading (is our eleven-month-old the only one who hates his carseat so much?).
4. Reading provides something I can chant to him during fussy moments. This has been really surprising to me, but for some reason the words calm him down. I will chant books to him on car trips or when I am rocking him even if I don't have the book with me.
I'm so glad we started reading to Liam at a young age, and I love how much he enjoys books. We keep books all over the house, and take frequent trips to the library. I've found that the more I enjoy a book, the more Liam will enjoy it most of the time.
My Baby and Me by Lynn Reiser and Penny Gentieu
This one has close-up photographs of babies and older siblings. It's not my favorite, but Liam makes me read it multiple times in a row and grins the whole time. The images are very nice, though the text can be monotonous by the fourth read.
Silly Sally by Audrey Wood
This one climbed from the list of "books Liam is okay with" to one of his favorites. I love the books Audrey Wood creates, and Liam does, too. Also, her author picture in the back (hanging upside down!) is incredible.
Piggy Pie Po by Audrey Wood and Don Wood
Liam has grown to love this one more and more. At first, it was a bit long, but now he really enjoys each of the three stories about Piggy Pie Po. I even chant it to him during diaper changes, and it enthralls him.
Baby Shoes by Dashka Slater and Hiroe Nakata
Baby Shoes goes through all the colors as baby adds grass, sidewalk chalk, mud, and other elements to his new white shoes. The rhythm is excellent, and Liam loves the repeated refrain. It's one of my favorites.
The Flea's Sneeze by Lynn Downey and Karla Firehammer
This book features predictability and rhythm from the first phrase "On a dark dark night on an old old farm..."
Creature ABC by Andrew Zuckerman
The pictures of animals corresponding to the alphabet are gorgeous! This is a lovely book. Since it is pictures and animal names, it's not an enthralling story, but Liam loves looking through it.
Listen to the Rain by Bill Martin Jr., John Archambault, and James Endicott
I love the poetry in this book. It's lovely!
One Little Bear and Her Friends by Erin Ranson and Claudine Gevry
I have often found that pop up or pushing/turning board books are hard to read because kids just want to manipulate the pulling and pushing. But Liam really enjoys this one, and it's well made.
In the Small, Small Pond by Denise Fleming
This is another one that used to be on Liam's "like" list, but lately he has wanted us to read it more and more. It's a cute story with lots of wonderful words.
Many of the characteristics of favorite books referenced last time still apply (such as brightly contrasted images and rhythm), although I have noticed that Liam is okay with less distinct images now. He can also listen to more text. One important factor in whether he loves a book now is predictability. I found this aspect on a list my sister gave me from The Read-Aloud Handbook. At one year old, Liam enjoys knowing what is coming next in the story. I found that many of the books on our previous list also had predictability (often through repeated words and phrases).
Feel free to share your favorites for this age-group in the comments!