Monday, August 18, 2008

Books for Baby Showers

I was invited to a baby shower this past weekend for a neighbour who is expecting her first baby. I often dread such events as frankly they are often overly long and one is forced to play silly games (like blind taste-testing baby food) so you can win a door prize. I can't believe how competitive people get over these door prizes- I've been to showers where grown women have almost come to blows over a candle! Thankfully the shower yesterday was just lovely: the mom-to-be was completely surprised and just glowed. The food was great, the weather was beautiful, and there was a great mix of people and conversation. And best of all the games were kept to a minimum!

The one thing I never have to worry when it comes to baby showers is picking a gift. I am a firm believer it is never too early to instill a passion for books in a child. Having lots of books in the home is a great way to start, so my typical baby shower present is usually a good selection of books for baby's first year. The selection of books I give varies by season, but based on feedback from previous baby showers, the following books have proven to be extremely popular with both parents and children:
Alligator Pie and Willoughby Wallaby Woo - These board books feature the classic poems from the fabulous Canadian poet Dennis Lee, with beautiful new, soft illustrations and a trim size perfect for little hands.

Fuzzy Bee and Snowy Bear- I always include one or two of these cloth books from Priddy Books in my gift bag. They are soft to touch with crinkly sounding filling that babies love. And with seven titles in the series, you can mix & match depending on the season and baby's gender. Also great are the Messages from the Heart cloth books by Sandra Magsamen like Good Night Little One. They are an accordian style cloth book, which fold out and can be used as a crib bumper or wall hanging. They are interactive, so baby can lift flaps to reveal messages underneath.

Bright Baby Board Books- I love this series of board books. Simple and perfect for babies, they feature neon-bright colours, a photographic image and one word per page. They are the perfect introduction to the various topics covered in the series: animals, colors, first words, and trucks.

Charlie Chick is one of my favourite pop-up books. It features a little chick who likes to eat so much that he has BIG feet, and a BIG beak (etc.), which are big indeed- so much so that they pop off of the pages. Against a bright blue background the yellow chick and his bright orange feet & beak are really striking. And it has a fun surprise last spread which will make kids laugh.

In the past I've included books in the Baby Grip series of board books from Priddy Books in my gift bags. The Baby Grip series were photographic board books with a die-cut circle that enabled the baby to hold onto the book themselves. Recently, Priddy launched the books in a new format called Natural Baby. These board books are printed on recycled paper using soy-based ink and still feature real photos, simple text and bright colours. Babies love them and you can feel good about buying them!
Just some ideas for you to consider when shopping for your next baby shower gift!

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