Written by: Susan Meyers
Illustrated by: Marla Frazee
Consider the cover with your child before opening the book. Narrate what you see on the cover for younger children by pointing and saying something like, "There are babies everywhere! I see some babies crawling, some babies standing, and some babies sitting." Ask older children to describe what they see and be sure to encourage them to engage with the images by pointing to different elements. You can also ask questions like, "What do babies do? Are you a baby?"
As You Read
Add movement and gestures to your reading! This adds to the non-verbal communication between you and your child, and keeps the book fun and engaging. Data tells us that one of the most important factors for getting kids excited about reading is the excitement of the grownup reader. For example, when you read where babies are kissed, kiss your child on those parts of the body or point to them on both of you. That is sure to bring lots of giggles and love for reading this book.
Help your child point to unfamiliar or interesting illustrations. Tell him/her the word for the object and encourage them to repeat it back or associate the sound with the object. Say things like, “Look, it’s a mommy! Can you say ‘mommy’?” or “I see a daddy walking down the street with his baby. Do you see the daddy? Where is he?” For children who are already verbal, try asking simple questions like, "Where is the bicycle?" or, "What is the baby doing?" Make sure to get excited and applause when you child engages with you and the book!
It’s helpful to encourage your child to think about what s/he has just seen by asking questions about the story. Even if your child is unable to verbally respond, ask questions and answer them yourself. For older children, ask questions that encourage engagement like movement and pointing. Try questions like:
Did you like that story?
Which picture is your favorite?
Where do you see babies?
Talk to your child about how s/he is growing up just like the children in the story, discussing how s/he was as a tiny infant, how s/he is now, and how s/he will continue to grow.
Activity: Act Out
Reread the book and when you come to each page and topic about the lives and accomplishments of babies, imitate or mime an action associated with it. For example, on the page with animals, bounce like a bunny or make a goldfish face. This will intrigue your child and engage them in further identifying new vocabulary.
Want to learn how you can create a literate home? Check out these great tips on what you can do to help surround your little one with the tools that s/he needs to start exploring language at a young age. One tip suggests that you should create a container for coloring and writing materials for older babies and toddlers, so that children can have easy access to them and be able to experiment making marks on paper that resemble writing.