In Childrens' Books
We recently had a family dinner/movie night, and because it was my birthday, I picked the video. I thought it would be fun to watch the highlight video from our son’s wedding last March – and it was. Riley and Jack were in the wedding, so they got an extra big kick out of it. Me, I laughed a lot and cried a little as I was reminded of so many special moments. Then, we decided to look at our older son’s wedding video from ten years ago. Again, such a happy celebration, so many wonderful memories. Ri and Jack weighed in, wondering why they weren’t in this video. I told them because they were special twinkling stars, watching over all of us!
Last fall, our newest daughter-in-law announced that she and our son were expecting in the spring. On December 17, we were invited to their house for hot chocolate and cookies, and to find out whether the baby was a boy or a girl.  To make it extra fun for Riley and Jack, the parents-to-be had us spray Silly String at each other, with the color telling us the answer. Needless to say, it was loads of fun – and lots of pink!
So, in honor of our soon-to-arrive granddaughter, here are stories filled with rhythm and rhymes, sure to be enjoyed by even the very littlest ones.(Remember, babies love the sound of your voice and the coziness of your arms and lap.)
I’ve included some stories for those older siblings….we can’t forget they’ll need some TLC, too!

Baby Danced the Polka by Karen Beaumont

It’s nap time on the farm, but one un-sleepy baby has a different plan…
Will Baby do the cha-cha? Will Mama flip her wig?
Will Baby dance the polka with a polka-dotted pig?
Perfect fun for young children who like lively stories, this happy tale invites all to join in and dance along.  Read, sing, lift the flaps, do a little jip-and-twirl!  It’s a toe-tappin’, no-nappin’ good time when baby starts to boogie.

The First 100 Animals Board Book by Roger Priddy

Your little one will love to discover the amazing animals inside this bright board book. There are 100 animal photographs to look at and talk about, and 100 animal names to read and learn, too. The pages are made from tough board for hours of fun reading, and the cover is softly padded for little hands to hold.

Baby Bear’s Chairs by Jane Yolen

Baby Bear is the littlest bear in his family, and sometimes that’s not so easy. Mama and Papa Bear get to stay up late in their great big chairs. Big brother gets to play fun games in his middle-sized chair. And Baby Bear only seems to cause trouble in his own tiny chair. But at the end of the day, he finds the one perfect chair that’s comfier and cozier than all the rest.

Brand-New Baby Blues by Kathi Appelt

The good ol’ days are over.
It’s official, it’s the news!
With my brand-new baby brother came the brand-new baby blues!
When a new baby wears her old pajamas, sleeps in her old bed, and seems to get all her parents’ attention, a girl’s bound to sing the blues. Is there anything a baby brother can do to change her tune?

No More Kissing! by Emma Chichester Clark

Momo doesn’t approve of kissing. He especially doesn’t like being kissed. So he sets out on a campaign to stop it. But then his brand new baby brother arrives and he changes his mind.
Momo the monkey decides to put a stop to all of the kissing of boo-boos, babies, and especially of him, but he has trouble following his own rule.

When the World is Ready for Bed by Gillian Shields

This calming tale follows three brown bunnies as their day draws to a close. They have dinner, tidy up, tell dad about the fun they’ve had, brush their teeth, and listen to one last story. After kisses, hugs, and prayers, they curl up under a fluffy quilt and slip off to sleep.

“Always lovely, always new, tomorrow’s waiting just for you.”

The Book of Animal Poetry by J. Patrick Lewis

What could be better than cuddling up with your child and this book on your lap and allowing your imaginations to soar with the words and images? Lovingly selected by U.S. Children’s Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis and paired with vibrant animal photography, this collection of poems is an exuberant celebration of the animal kingdom and a beautiful introduction to this genre of literature.

Just Like a Baby by Juanita Havill

Everyone has plans for baby Ellen. But even though she’s just a baby Ellen will do exactly as she pleases. Here is a heartwarming book for any family with a new baby, wishing for a new baby, and, most important of all, loving a new baby.

Bubble Bath Pirates by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

“BATH TIME!” calls out the pirate mommy. “ARGHHH!” answer her little pirates. It’s time to walk the plank for these two pirate pretenders. To the refrain of “Yo ho, yo ho, it’s off to the bath we go!” the pirates and their mommy make their way to a bath full of ships and suds and even a pirate rubber ducky. After all hands on deck have been soaped and swabbed, it’s time for a little pirate treasure of ice cream before bedtime!

Whether bath-lovers or bath-haters, children are sure to get caught up in this spirited adventure on the high seas of the bathtub.

When pirate mommy announces bath time, it is yo ho ho and to the bath we go for her little pirates.

Itsy-Bitsy Babies by Margaret Wild

With charming illustrations and rhythmic text that is perfect for reading aloud, this wonderful story about the things babies love to do will inspire endless fun, as babies always love to read about babies. Descriptions of such familiar activities as playing peek-a-boo, clapping, and banging a drum are accompanied by lively illustrations, and will inspire many imitations.

Can You Hop? by Lisa Lawston

Hopping is not hard, for a frog, but when he asks other animals to join him, he finds that bats flap, lobsters snap, and dust flies when an especially large rhinoceros stomps. None of the creatures can do what the frog does so well, until he meets a rabbit, and it becomes a friendship bound by bounding.

Here’s a Little Poem by Jane Yolen

Sit back and savor a superb collection of more than sixty poems by a wide range of talented writers, from Margaret Wise Brown to Gertrude Stein, Langston Hughes to A. A. Milne. Greeting the morning, enjoying the adventures of the day, cuddling up to a cozy bedtime — these are poems that highlight the moments of a toddler’s world from dawn to dusk

Bittle by Patricia MacLachlan

Nigel is a cat.
He loves to chase mice and scratch rugs.
Julia is a dog.
She loves treats and bones and sleeping.
They don’t need anything else . . .
. . . but now they’ve got Bittle.
(She’s a new baby.)
This is a story about a cat and a dog contending with a new baby in the house.

A Train Goes Clickety-Clack by Jonathan London

Trains are fast. Trains are sleek. Trains make wonderful sounds as the wheels clatter, boilers hiss, and couplings clang. This playful picture book captures the excitement of trains through evocative language and vibrant illustrations. A little boy and his family are on a special train ride that can’t be missed!
You can probably find all these books at your local public library,
 but if you would like to own them or give them as gifts, here’s 
a great little independent bookstore where you can purchase or order them:
Left Bank Books 
Central West End
399 North Euclid
St. Louis, MO 63108
321 North 10th
St. Louis, MO 63101
(314) 367-6731
Fax (314) 367-3256
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