No, really, that’s what we’re currently reading, Baby Talk by Dawn Sirett & Victoria Blackie. Except in our house, it’s currently known as baby! baby! baby! I just picked this book up last week because, as I explained in my previous What We’re Reading post, Declan is really into books with photographs (and babies) right now. But, I didn’t just pick this book out for it’s photos — it’s a great teaching tool.
The 6 spreads cover expressions, actions, feelings, and/or emotions. Each spread begins with a photograph of a baby and an introduction to a feeling: This little baby is hungry, followed by a baby with a bowl and spoon and the caption “yum-yum!”. Another spread says, This little baby is sad, followed by a photo of a baby with tears and the caption “boo-hoo!”. I’m beginning to think that D’s a sadist, as he always giggles at this particular spread (but it’s likely the sound of my saying “boo-hoo” that’s making him giggle).
While Declan truly enjoys this book, and will ask to read it over and over…and over again, I like it too. Not only does this book have photos of babies expressing different feelings and emotions, it clearly shows the relation and then follows with effect and verbal expression: This little baby wants her mommy…Mama! It’s this type of subtlety that I really appreciate in children’s books that are artful teaching tools. Feelings and emotions are complex things for even adults to understand, and Baby Talk does a wonderful job with showing the basics.
What are some of your favorite books for toddlers?
I’ve not had a “What We’re Reading” post in quite some time, and for good reason. Books have really been hit-or-miss the past month or two with Declan, with lift-a-flaps and touch-n-feels grabbing his attention the most. More often than not, however, our reading has resembled a rousing game of musical chairs, each book experienced for a snippet, with our options continually narrowing down. Thankfully, Declan recently experienced a language explosion, and “First..” books, with photographs of objects, have been an absolute hit!
We’re having great success with two books: DK’s My First Phonics Book, and Armadillo’s Baby’s First Word Book. While they don’t necessarily read like books, it doesn’t make it any less entertaining. Declan loves using his new vocabulary at every chance (even when the opportunity doesn’t present itself), and loves pointing to objects in the books and naming them. Declan definitely has a long way to go towards English language mastery, as his approach to naming things is rather categorical.
With D’s approach, all things with wheels are cars, including, but not limited to trucks, bicycles, wagons, strollers, and even robots (?). Anything round is a ball, but if it’s an item near and dear to his heart, he definitely gets it correct; a random block of swiss is most definitely cheese, and a bowl of popcorn is corn. Small furry animals are mostly cat, and sometimes dog; furry animals with long legs are neigh-neigh. Baby is a favorite, and they seem to appear everywhere in these books, popping out when you least expect them. Shoes are everywhere, whether on people’s feet or on their own, and this category also includes socks, pictures of feet (there’s a cognitive relation there that I’m proud of), and boots. Lastly, hats can be found everywhere: on people’s heads, or fashioned out of anything (such as a lampshade). Hat is one of D’s favorite words right now, and I had a proud albeit hysterical moment when he started putting bananas (at breakfast) and lunchmeat (at lunch the same day) on his head and calling it a hat. The banana stuck to Declan’s forehead, with him pointing and saying hat! is one of those moments that will never be forgotten!
While I am loving this language explosion and seeing Declan name the world around him, the habitual use of [for him, two] words can make for some tiresome moments: carcarcarcarcarcarcarcarcarcarcarcarcar and hathathathathathathathathathathathat are a couple of words I’d love to never hear again. Have you ever realized how many commercials, car commercials or not, have CARS in them? Me either, until now…