I have three picture books specifically about babies (okay, one is about baby birds). Put them together and you have a thematic story time all ready to go! Make it an event, gather a group of kids (older siblings will definitely relate!) and have fun reading all three. Or snuggle up with a child in your life and read one.
Sweet Baby Lily is inconsolable—she cries “Waa! Waa! Waa!” Each member of her family tries to comfort her with all the usual things: lullabies, tickles, a diaper change, food, and toys. “But Lily keeps on crying. Waa! Waa! Waa! Lily keeps on crying. Oh, who knows what to do?” Finally Lily’s big brother smiles his biggest smile…and Lily grins back at him!
- Encourage kids to join in on Baby Lily’s “Waa! Waa! Waa!” Point to the words as they do so—this is terrific for pre-readers.
- Ask: “Will it work?” before each page turn
- Take the time to talk about other ways to comfort a baby—ask the kids what they would do to help Lily.
This is the Baby
One toddler who hates getting dressed, plus a mother who is determined to dress baby…. This is a cumulative story (think “This is the House That Jack Built”) and young reader interaction is easily achieved. The result, says one review, “is a laugh-filled struggle as this mommy uses all her ingenuity and powers of persuasion to get baby into diaper, T-shirt, sweater, and many layers of winter clothing. But just when she thinks she’s succeeded, baby peels everything off and happily struts, naked once again. Yes! Yes! Yes!”
- Notice and name all the items of clothing on the book’s end papers before you begin. Have kids “read” the baby’s “No, no, Nooooo!” with you. Point to each new item of clothing at the page turn and name it together. At the end, everyone will be able to name the items as the baby strips.
- It is hilarious for kids if the adult reader takes bigger and bigger breaths each time to make it through the growing sequence of clothing—have great fun doing this.
- Consider a flannelboard-esque activity with this book if you’re reading to a group—you could dress the baby as you read.
Seven Hungry Babies
Seven hungry chicks cry for food and Mama Bird, flush with love for her young brood, swoops out into the world to get them something to eat. That takes care of one chick…but six hungry chicks are left! So out she goes again…and again, and again…and with each return, the unfed chicks get louder and more demanding. Mama Bird becomes harried and exhausted in her unceasing effort to keep her nest of baby birds full and happy.
- This is a countdown book—the number of hungry chicks goes down right alongside Mama Bird’s energy. Count as you read—the eggs, the full baby birds as they fall asleep, the still hungry chicks, etc. Notice together how mama bird is getting tired.
- Learn sign language for “bird” and encourage the kids to sign at the “Feed us! Feed us!” Refrain.
- Talk about how human babies let their parents know they are hungry. And how are human babies fed?