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There will always be books that can take you beyond your wildest imagination. Books you remember more than others. Books that touch you in ways that no other book has. I’ve been lucky to read many of those.
One book that still makes me laugh no matter how many times I read it is A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole. It’s a beautifully written book.
I still remember sitting in the Athens Metro, doubled over in laughter as I read it for the umpteenth time. I made a friend that day. She was seated opposite me and wanted to know what I was reading. As it turned out, we were headed to the same conference so I lent her the book. She wrote a few days after the conference to say she’d had to get herself a copy.
A Confederacy of Dunces is a comic masterpiece. It made me laugh like I’d never laughed. Then it made me cry when I found out that John Kennedy Toole had committed suicide after writing the book and would never know that he’d won a posthumous Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, 11 years after his death.
Have you ever wondered why there are some books that you can’t put down and yet you just can’t seem to get the gist of others? It’s because all books are not created equal.
When it comes to books, there are the good, the bad and the ugly, and when you read a good book, you know it because awesome books transform you. They take you to places you never imagined existed. They open up your world. They teach you things.
The same holds true for children’s books. When it comes to picking the best books for 1 year old toddlers, not all books are created equal:
– Good toddler books captivate them
– They open up their world
– They teach them things
Science says that babies to whom books are introduced early have stronger language and communication skills when they start school.
Books are also an easy way to calm babies, and they also provide opportunities to bond. When choosing books for 1-year-olds, it is important to keep certain things in mind.
Things to consider when looking for the best books for 1 year old toddlers
To choose the best books for 1 year old toddlers, it is important to take into account their level of development. At this stage, your child is more active than before, they are beginning to understand more words, they are curious about the world around them, and they are attracted to colorful and graphic objects.
The best books for 1 year old babies therefore share a few common characteristics:
- They privilege images over words. The best books for 1 year old babies use simple drawings and only a few words. Many have no words or have one word per page
- They use lots of repetition and rhymes. Scientific studies suggest that children who learnt through rhymes enjoy later reading success.
- -They are “short and sweet”.
- They focus on things that your child is already familiar with.
- They are colorful. While babies are initially attracted to books and images in black and white, they quickly begin to favor images using bright colors. The best books for 1 year old toddlers are therefore colorful and filled with graphic designs.
- They focus on topics that are relevant to your child. For instance, they could focus on other babies, on potty training, on day care, on a day at the park, and so on.
- They are easy for your baby to manipulate. While smaller books are appropriate for very young babies, 1-year-olds seek to be more involved in reading and want to turn pages by themselves. This should be encouraged because it helps them to develop their fine motor skills, but it means that the best books for 1 year old babies must be sufficiently sturdy and privilege thick pages.
- They teach your baby new things. For instance, they can focus on colors, numbers or letters.
Choosing the best books for 1 year old toddlers
Some books make particularly good choices for 1-year-olds:
- Picture storybooks with a simple storyline are good at this age.
- Board books are good options for 1 year olds
- Lift-the-flap and pop books are among the best books for 1 year old toddlers as they encourage them to manipulate the books and to explore. Touch-and-feel books are also great options that help promote your child’s sensory development.
- Participation books are also great for toddlers because they promote active learning by encouraging the children’s participation: clap your hands, cover your eyes, and so on.
The best books for 1-year-olds (repetitive, rhymes)
Goodnight moon is a classic that has lulled many a baby to sleep over the years. Your baby will love listening to the little bunny saying goodnight to everything in his room.
This board book is specially designed for young readers. It is repetitive, which is good for 1-year-olds, and it is easy for them to manipulate
You’ll both enjoy reading this classic huge board book and listening to your baby as they attempt to mimic the different animal sounds that they learn about.
The best books for 1-year-old babies (lift-the-flap and pop books)
Every 1-year-old needs their Dear Zoo board book. They will enjoy looking at the bright and graphic images and lifting the flap to discover the different animals.
Your child will love reading this interactive lift the flap book which proposes easy-to-lift flaps that are perfectly adapted to little fingers.
“Do cows meow” is one of the best books for 1 year old toddlers. This lift-the-flap book also uses bright and colorful illustrations that your baby will enjoy.
The best touch and feel books for 1-year-olds
Your baby will love this touch and feel sensory board book that will help them discover different bug textures.
This touch and feel board book will introduce your baby to a different texture on each page and encourage them to fully participate in the reading experience!
1-year-olds will love this touch and feel book. They will love discovering different textures – smooth, scaly, soft, smooth, and leathery. They’ll also love listening to the rhyming text.
Ocean friends is a touch and feel board book that will allow your baby to explore creatures from the ocean and to discover their different textures. The book uses real photographs of animals which your baby will love looking at.
The best books to teach 1-year-olds new things
This padded board book is a great book for teaching your baby some essential first words. It has 100 images for them to look at (and for you to talk about). The board book has sturdy pages, meaning that your baby can easily manipulate it for years.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Board book
You’ve probably already heard about the very hungry caterpillar, right? Your parents probably read you this book, right? This book is a classic masterpiece that everyone knows about and loves! The very hungry caterpillar is one of the best books for 1 year old toddlers. It uses gorgeous illustrations to introduce them to days of the week and to counting.
Final thoughts on choosing the best books for 1 year old toddlers
Reading to toddlers can be a rather tricky affair. Here are a few tips to ensure that you both get the best out of your reading experience.
- Give your baby opportunities to participate in the reading process. For example, you can encourage them to turn the pages of the book you are reading. Evidence suggests that children who participate actively in reading benefit most from this activity.
- Asking questions is an easy way to encourage your child to participate in the reading process: “where is the cat?”
- Talk about the pictures in your baby’s book or even link the images in the book with something your child is already familiar with (“look, it’s a cat like our cat Simba”).
- Adopting a reading routine can be beneficial for your child. One-year-olds have developed better memory than before and adopting routines is very important for their development. For example, you can make it a habit to always read after their bath, before their nap, or whatever time you feel fits your schedule best.
- Don’t make reading a big deal. If your child seems disinterested, put the book away and do something else, then try again later or even after a few days. Remember that reading is supposed to be enjoyable for you both. Similarly, you’ll both appreciate the reading experience if you’re both relaxed, so choose a time that is good for you.
- Take books everywhere! Although many parents view reading as an activity that takes place at home, taking books and reading to your 1-year-old everywhere is a simple way to get them accustomed to books. It is also an easy way to keep them busy if you get caught up somewhere, for example in a long queue.
- Choose several of the best books for 1 year old babies presented above and put them where your child can see and access them easily.
If you are unsure about the best books for 1 year old toddlers, ask your librarian for help! You could also try a book subscription such as the Award winning Bookroo box which carefully selects and sends three awesome board books to your baby every month.
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