Babies are somewhat binary creatures. The first things they understand are often yes/no, up/down, happy/sad, and other either/or choices. That’s Not My Monkey gives parents a chance to explore this worldview by focusing on one repeated question: is this my monkey? Each page offers a new reason why a particular monkey is not the real monkey, and each offers a new texture (soft, smooth, fuzzy, etc.) that differentiates it from the rest. Usborne has an extensive collection of That’s Not My… books, and you’ll surely find one for every baby’s personal preferences. So far Zelda has enjoyed That’s Not My Baby and That’s Not My Monster. She has plans to feel the rest of the series during upcoming bedtimes.
Fuzzy Bee and Friends (Cloth Books) by Roger Priddy
Here’s another cloth favorite. It has REALLY bright illustrations that can keep a baby’s short attention span, and because it’s cloth, I can let Zelda explore the pages on her own. Priddy’s Squishy Turtle and Friends is equally flexible and fun.
Animals (Baby Touch and Feel) by DK Publishing
This is just one of many, many books in what is pretty much a must-have series for all budding readers. They’re called “Touch and Feel” for a reason, though the title does seem a little redundant now that I think about it. I’m a big fan of DK books for older kids, too. My elementary classroom libraries (yup, I’m a teacher) always had a sizable collection of their informative hardcover books. The Touch and Feel series is Zelda’s first experience with non-fiction. We’re starting with Animals, Farm, and Pets, and we plan to expand our collection with ABC and 123, among others.
I recommend wholeheartedly all Sandra Boynton books. I’ll start with this one because it’s fun to feel. You will recognize her illustrations, which appear on all sorts of products. They’re simple but expressive, and they make people (little and big) smile. Parents will appreciate the embedded puns in this book: the dog’s paw is “Rough rough rough,” and the pig in sunglasses is oh so “Smoooooooth.”