Best books for babies has just come out with their annual list of the best books for infants through 18 months of age. A panel of librarians, child development experts, and academics reviews outstanding books, published in the United States each year, and judges them on elements such as clear, bright illustrations, age-appropriate subjects, and interactive capabilities.
What makes a “Best Book for Babies?” According to the selection committee, age appropriate subject matter with uncluttered illustrations weigh heavily in the making the top ten. Also, easy physical manipulation and durability are also qualities sought by the committee. Text, illustration and design for an infant audience as well as cultural authenticity combine to provide a rich listening and learning environment for the very youngest listener.
The committee once counted Fred Rogers among its critiquing members and today the company he began, The Fred Rogers Company, proudly supports Best Books for Babies along with The School of Information Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children (PAEYC)
Here is the “Best Books for Babies 2011.” All books were published in 2010 and are listed alphabetically along with comments from the selection committee. For more information visit www.bestbooksforbabies.org:
1. Baby Baby Baby! Marilyn Janovitz, Jabberwocky – A loving family catalogs all the fun things their smiling baby can do—from clapping and crawling to splashing in the tub and kissing good night.
2. Dancing Feet Lindsey Craig, Illustrated by Marc Brown, Knopf Books for Young Readers – Textured collage illustrations show a variety of animals stomping, creeping and clapping their way through this rhyming action tale.
3. Fiesta Babies Carmen Tafolla, Illustrated by Amy Cordova, Candlewick – Bold colors amplify the festive fun in this rhyming story about babies and toddlers enjoying a neighborhood celebration.
4. Hip Hop Catherine Hnatov, Star Bright Books – High contrast black and white images alternate with simple, brightly colored pictures of familiar animals, highlighting their typical sounds and movements.
5. I Like Fruit Lorena Siminovich, Templar – Unusual textures and vivid colors combine to create clear pictures of tasty treats in this sturdy board book.
6. One Pup’s Up Marsha Wilson Chall, Illustrated by Henry Cole, Margaret K. McElderry – Feisty puppies tumble and frolic across the pages of this charming picture book that features energetic, upbeat descriptions and enjoyable word play.
7. Pocketful of Posies Salley Mayor, Houghton Mifflin – Mavor uses intricate needlework to create whimsical, detailed illustrations for a wide variety of rhymes, making this an appealing collection for families even if they already own one (or more) Mother Goose collections.
8. Sleepy, Oh So Sleepy Denise Fleming, Henry Holt and Co. – Distinctive illustrations in warm, rich colors accompany rhythmic, repetitive words designed to lull listeners into sweet sleep.
9. Switching on the Moon Compiled by Jane Yolen and Andrew Fusek Peters Illustrated by G. Brian Karas Candlewick – Perfect for sharing at bedtime, the beautifully illustrated poems in this collection are sure to become family favorites.
10. Tuck Me In! Dean Hacohen, Illustrated by Sherry Scharschmidt Candlewick Beach Lane Books – Young listeners can participate in this soothing bed-time ritual, turning decorated half-pages to cozily cover a cast of baby animals.