Friday, April 23, 2010

Story Time: 300 First Words and Pictures

Today just might be the beginning of a new feature on this blog. I thought it would be fun to periodically showcase a children's book or two. 

As you might have guessed, I've never quite outgrown children's books. Oftentimes my friends ask me if I've read anything great lately; they're heading out on a trip or waiting to birth a baby and they need a book to occupy their time. The majority of the list I send contains juvenile literature.

Which reminds me. I find the term Juvenile Literature to be a bit of an oxymoron. I realize "juvenile" in this sense refers to that which is suitable for children, but it still carries the connotation of words such as immature and undeveloped. This genre is anything but those things. In order to capture the attention of a child, I find that writers who write for children, and do it well, possess a type of sophistication that is the envy of most novelists who write for an older crowd. 

I'm not saying that every children's book out there is a winner. No sir. There are some stinkers out there. But in this new Quillquips feature, I solemnly swear to only showcase the non-stinkers. Story Time will be hopelessly devoted to the winners and the standouts, but most important of all, the books presented here will be kid-tested. I'll be the first to admit, there are children's books that don't thrill me, but if I know of a child who enjoyed it then that book deserves some face time here.

As my first Story Time post, we'll start at the beginning with a book that captured the interest of a two week old! (We start 'em young around here!) This book grows with a child: it's a great starter book for infants and I know of some pre-kindergartners who sat still long enough to "read" it as well.

Here you see Emeline enjoying 300 First Words and Pictures by Bright Baby. This board book was a gift from Jenna, a friend of mine and fellow mom. It measures approximately 10.5" square, a handy size for propping it open and freeing up very busy mom hands. There are 22 board "pages" which makes the book sturdy enough it's nearly topple-free.
Aside from its physical practicality, the blocks of color provide color contrast naturally interesting to a baby and promote healthy vision. Older children enjoy the photographs (boys especially love the seven pages devoted to cars and trucks and things that go) and with the initial help of an adult they begin to recognize the letters in the words that label each picture. 
This book is very simple--certainly not counted as literature--but I'm including it here because it's a great introduction to books, letters, and words; a gateway book to a life-long love of reading.


  1. Those are wonderful books. I don't have that one, but others that are similar. All three of the boys still enjoy looking at them. I can't wait to read more of your reviews!

  2. I love the bright baby books, too. Joel has the smaller, one-picture-per-page versions. (He just loves the page with the duck!) His pediatrician actually gives bright baby books to kids at their 12 and 18 month appointments. How cool is that?

  3. I love this book! I have given it as a gift so many times!

  4. Bright Baby is a winner! Thanks for the comments ladies! I love to hear peoples' responses!

  5. i must get this one! excited for further plugs. maybe you should create your own award-winning line. like the hoover seal of approval.

  6. We have the First 100 words, those contrasting pictures are so intriguing for the little ones!