My First Reads – Book Review

My First Reads – Book Review

Koufax’s “My First Reads” – Newborn Baby Book Review

**Our newest book reviewer, Koufax Tennyson, tackles the world of children’s literature. In staying true to her namesake, the books are given a 1 to 4 baseball score: single, double, triple, or a homerun!**

Words to describe this group of books: Silly, Sleepy, Nighttime, Bedtime, Colorful, Creative, Cheerful, Happy, Interactive

My Mama and Papa love to read, and so they make sure I get a healthy dose as well. My bedtime stories are short and sweet but I certainly enjoy them nevertheless. Below are the first books my parents read to me and our thoughts on each:

Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt (originally published 1940)

Koufax’s Score: 4 Baseballs (Homerun) **TOP PICK**

An interaction type book that works through a “show and tell” method, where the readers are shown a skill and then asks the readers to imitate. This allows for word recognition, for example, take the phrase, “Paul can smell the flowers. Now YOU smell the flowers.” If you read the first sentence to your child, they will recognize the majority of the words in the second sentence. The repetitive nature of this activity is what learning to read is about, recognition. The book also showcases objects and demonstrates actions that most kids encounter each and every day, for example, playing games like peek-a-boo, seeing yourself in the mirror, touching your Daddy’s face, and reading a book. This is a phenomenal read for children and one you should consider for its interactive method.

I Love You to the Moon and Back by Amelia Hepworth and Tim Warnes (originally published 2015)

Koufax’s Score: 4 Baseballs (Homerun)

If you’re looking for a book that provides sentimental reinforcement, this is the one. While other children’s books focus on tangible objects, this one focuses on something far greater to comprehend. Although it is aimed at “kids,” we will argue it is written more for the parents, to help remind them of their role as a provider and caregiver. “And think of all the different ways that we can show our love…” is the underlying theme and purpose of this book. Hold those little ones tight and talk about all the ways you show each other love.

Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson (originally published 1955)

Koufax’s Score: 3 Baseballs (Triple)

Harold is one creative little fella, which is what makes this book so interesting. Each supposed ending, comes with a new beginning. It is one continuous loop of creative transitions, which encourages kids to create and build their surroundings. The illustrations are simple and easy-to-follow. Just try not to let your kiddo get their hands on crayon while reading this book.

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown (originally published 1947)

Koufax’s Score: 4 Baseballs (Homerun)

As it pertains to bedtime stories, it doesn’t get much better. The descriptive words and illustrations allow the reader and listeners to identify and match objects. It provides infants and children a chance to search and work on recognizing colors, numbers, animals, etc. Since you can purchase most editions of this book in the thick cardboard format (known as a board book edition), it will help your little ones take initiative of the reading experience. Also, consider practicing the same exercise with your kids by having them say goodnight to the objects in their room.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. (originally published 1967)

Koufax’s Score: 3 Baseballs (Triple)

Vibrantly illustrated by none other than Eric Carle, who also wrote and illustrated The Very Hungry Caterpillar. The rhythm of the writing and repetitive chant allows readers to easily remember the lines to this book. On the other hand, the use of the repetitive chant is excessive and does not provide much in the way of a story, as the chant itself replaces the story. It also provides some reality for children to relate to such as a brown bear and a yellow duck, while challenging their imagination with a blue horse and a purple cat.

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