Books for Babies:Reader Input Wanted!

Good books for babies can be hard to find. The numbers of books in most libraries can be overwhelming, even in the toddler section, and the parents of the 0-3 age group are usually too busy keeping the kiddos safe, well-fed, properly rested, and entertained to share their recommendations.

Luckily, the Guardian archives have an interesting list of books for the Up to 3's. I like it because it's a little different than an American approach (though it does feature books by the U.S.'s own Mo could it not!).

Let's put our heads together for all the new parents out there. What would the rest of you add to the Guardian's roster of books for babies? I'll start things off by nominating Anne Rockwell's Hello, Digger.

Add a rec in the comment section or email me at


and I will post it for you.

Books for Babies: Hold the Eliot

Confession time. When my son Junior was only a few months old, I came up with the cockamamie scheme of reading him T.S. Eliot. "Let us go then, you and I/When the evening is spread out against the sky/Like a patient etherised upon a table..."

Why on earth would I subject a baby to such a thing? Because, in the name of misguided parents everywhere, I never really understood Eliot, and I knew, just knew, that Junior would be enthralled with the sound of my voice, even if I was reading "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock." Then I would be an Eliot expert and we would be oh-so-literary. He hated it. All of it. "Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets/ The muttering retreats/ Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels/ And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells..." He bawled. I had to give up. So I switched to A. A. Milne. "James James Morrison Morrison..." and that went over better.

I wish I'd known about the Beginning with Books awards, sponsored by a Pittsburgh early-literacy organization. Junior would have been spared the whole lit'ry-stage-mom craziness. Fortunately I got over it.

But I still can't figure out Prufrock.