Unique. Well-made. Creative. What more do you want out of a book for your baby? The Begin Smart books (just recently released) are different in that they tailor make their books specifically for your child’s age. They separate their books into six month increments for optimal enjoyment and development. (For example, you can obtain books that are for 0-6 months, 6-12 months, etc.)
I received a sampling of these books in the mail. Upon opening opening the box I promptly delivered the contents to my 19 month old. His favorite was the One*Two book which I found mildly surprising considering he typically enjoys counting to ten. I didn’t think he’d really go for it, but this was the most requested book out of the entire stack. Why? Although he, as well as many other little soon-to-be-toddlers that I know, can count higher than 2, the concept of number recognition is still being developed. This book forces their brain to grasp the concept of seeing only one object and then adding an additional one to reach the magical number two. (Voila!)
I found the books to be accurately marked for age appropriateness. For example, the books that I received marked 12-18 were only mildly interesting to him. He’s conquered most sight words and has already delved into color recognition, so those were more “old hat” as far as he was concerned. However, the books designed for 18-24months were extremely entertaining and on target.
We’ve all heard the argument that it is important to begin reading to your children at a young age. But is it true? I’m not a reading expert and I am not here to pretend to be. I do think though that these books help to prove the point that from the earliest ages, you can begin to develop your babies brain and help them adapt to the world around you. If you have always purposed to read to your child and have made a habit of doing so from day one, you might find these books a bit simplified. We did. That being said, the concepts that these books are trying to communicate are right on target for where we are. With that in mind, I have no problems recommending them to anyone. The sooner you get started reading to your baby – the better!
I know sometimes you can feel a bit silly reading to your newborn. After all, their eyes really have not developed enough to focus intently on a page and stories, at this point, are non-existent in any book that would interest them. Their books certainly won’t entertain you. But that’s not the point. If it seems like a boring, useless chore (which I can surely see how that argument could be made!) think of it this way: It’s snuggle time. And every mother I know loves a good opportunity to snuggle with her child!
I started reading to my son shortly after we came home from the hospital. It was our time to cuddle and read. By 6 months he was sitting and looking at an entire alphabet picture book. (I was a little surprised by this.) Now, at 19 months, I grab a blanket and ask him if he wants to be “cozy” and read with me. More often than not, he runs to the couch ahead of me yelling “Co-gee!” “Co-gee!” I’m very happy that we took the time to develop this habit early on in his life. Reading is a joy and a pleasure and it’s allowed me to be the one who gets his little mind wheels in motion.
If you are looking for good books to use in developing your child’s intelligence or just an excuse to sit and smell their little baby heads — try the Begin Smart books. My son, in particular, thinks you might like them.
I’ll be giving away a copy of What Does Baby Say? (earmarked 12-18 months) on my blog so if you’d be interested in winning a copy, pop over and leave a comment on my Begin Smart post at my blog. The publisher has also donated a set of books for each age group, so leave a comment here saying which books interest you most (0-6 months, 6-12, 12-18, or 18-24), and we’ll announce the winners on July 23.