A month or two ago I began reading to Owen. I know, I know, I could have started even before he was born, but to be honest, it felt a little silly and he really couldn’t tell the difference between me reading to him and talking to him (which I did, and do, a lot). Anyway, as he began to hold his head up better and tolerate sitting in my lap for short periods of time, I started to introduce some books. You know what? Maybe there IS a difference between reading and talking, because Owen is absolutely enthralled when I read to him. Maybe it’s my “reading voice”, or the fact that there’s something to look at while I read, but he loves loves loves to be read to. I started with Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?. I don’t know if it’s the simple illustrations or the repetitive words, but he could listen to this book all day long. His jaw drops and he sits quiet as a mouse while I read it to him. Slowly I expanded our repertoire to include other titles like The Going to Bed Book and Jamberry. His current favorite book is Is Your Mama a Llama, which has become our nap routine. He coos and babbles along with me when I read it.
These books are great, but it gets a bit boring to read the same 3 books over and over and over. And while I know babies thrive on routine and repetition, I think it’s also good to expand our vocabulary with new books from time to time. Which is why I was like a kid in a candy store when I attended the Boston Parent Blogger event a few weeks ago that was held at the Barefoot Books flagship store in Concord, MA. Not only is the store adorable (brightly colored and covered in thoughtful touches, and includes areas for storytelling and yoga and lots of activities to engage little ones), but the walls are lined with the beautiful, beautiful books that Barefoot Books publishes and sells. Seriously, these books are like works of art. And many of them come with CD’s of music or readings of the stories so kids can sing and read along.
They don’t have very many retail stores, so those not lucky enough to live near the Concord store will have to shop online. The Barefoot Books website also has some awesome, free content available for family fun. They have storytimes on podcast (what a fun way for your child to hear stories read by different people without leaving your home!) and digital videos (they are also on YouTube and iTunes if you want to purchase or subscribe). The videos show off some of the gorgeous illustrations from their books, too.
And now, my lucky readers, Barefoot Books has offered to do a giveaway for you! Do you want to receive one of these beautiful books to share with your little one(s)?
Here’s what you need to do to enter:
1. Go to Barefoot Books and find your favorite title.
2. Leave me a comment here with that title.
3. One extra entry if you tweet about this giveaway or post about it on YOUR blog. Don’t forget to leave me another comment letting me know you tweeted/posted about it.
I’ll have Owen pick a random number to choose the winner, and Barefoot will send the lucky person one book (sorry, only in North America, and they can’t ship to P.O. boxes). You have until Tuesday, December 21st to enter.