I have mentioned before that when my son was six months old, he sat through the reading of an entire ABC book. That book was Roger Priddy’s colorful Happy Baby ABC book. Eventually we acquired the whole series, and it is one that I cannot recommend highly enough.
We have enjoyed these books so much that I buy them as baby gifts for new moms. My son’s vocabulary was largely built (initially) with the help of Roger Priddy’s Happy Babies.
Before having children I heard a lot about the new educational shift in providing children with materials that have pictures of real items and not just cartoon drawings on them. I am sure there are varying opinions on that particular issue, and I’m not here to argue them. I can only attest to the fact that I’ve noticed my son is less confused about objects and items that he sees when he sees real pictures. Cartoon drawings of animals can be interpreted many ways. Polar bears are sheep, dogs are bears, etc. etc. But he never mistakes a real picture. A bear is a bear and a sheep is a sheep. My own personal opinion therefore, based on our experience, is that I would choose to use books and materials for my son with real pictures during the early formative months of people and object recognition.
I have no objections whatsoever to cartoon drawings. We have our favorite books that are beautifully illustrated and we enjoy them very much! I am, however, very glad we started out with Priddy’s pictures.
My last “bragging point” in promoting these books is that in using this series of 5 books, I found it very difficult to obtain other “sight word” books with words that he didn’t know. The Happy Baby series covers the alphabet (with 3-4 picture per letter), colors, numbers, animals, Things That Go and simple sight words. If you know where to shop, you can probably get the whole series for $20-$25. For our part, we consider that money well spent! They are well made, beautiful books.
I’d really encourage you, if you have a little one, to start reading to them when you bring them home from the hospital. Again, I know that may seem a little silly, but they pick up on more than you may realize. It takes time but it’s a good time investment. Mommies and daddies have so little time to introduce their children to the world. There are so many objections and items to choose from as you help your child grow and develop. A great many of said items we frequently find to be unnecessary but Roger Priddy’s books were not, as far as we were concerned. Check ’em out! We can’t imagine you’ll be sorry.
Carrie comes by her book obsession honestly, having descended from a long line of bibliophiles. She blogs about books regularly at Reading to Know.
I’m not familiar with these particular books but I do agree that cartoonish illustrations can be confusing for young children. I also agree that reading should start early and be as often as possible. My daughter (who will be 2 a a few weeks) enjoys sitting on her bed and “reading” books to herself. Her vocabulary and verbal skills are amazing – when compared to her older brothers who didn’t receive quite as much reading to.
Jennifer (5 Minutes for Books) says
I have one of these books! I think it’s a difference series, but it’s Roger Priddy–“Big World” or something. I also remember reading a review about how the pictures are beneficial.