Brian Pinkney - Hush Little BabyHere’s the Web site of a Pittsburgh-based early literacy organization, Beginning With Books. (You might suspect that they have an association with Fred Rogers in their past and yes, they do.) This group targets all parents of young children – but especially lower-income families – and spreads the word about how important it is to read to children from infancy.

Beginning With Books releases every year the newest iteration of its “Best Books for Babies” list. It’s a particularly well-considered list of books that are developmentally appropriate for those under 18 months old. For librarians, it’s a great list two ways – it recommends books that you should be adding to your collection or have there already, and you can recommend the list to parents and local daycare staff and group leaders – especially those adults who think babies are “too young” for books.

The current list consists of great books for babies that were published in 2006. One of my favorites is Brian Pinkney’s version of the lullaby Hush Little Baby, depicted as the story of a father at what looks like the turn of the last century trying to console his baby daughter while Mom is gone for the day. If you haven’t used it for a baby lapsit program, Hush works well, especially if you sing it to the group and then repeat it and invite the adults to join in. But there are plenty of other great titles on the list, too, and the Web site has some great early literacy information to pass on, especially to those working with low-income parents.

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