Not only does Pat The Bunny make it into Baby’s First Library, it makes it to the top of the list. This is possibly the most commonly gifted baby book. Published in 1940 and with over 6 million copies in print, this story is unique because it involves most of the five senses. Opportunities to smell, touch, and see are found on the pages within. Dorothy Kundhardt’s simple story journeys through activities that you can share with baby. Invite baby to pat the furry bunny, smell the flowers, and look into a shiny mirror. It makes a clever introduction to reading books since baby’s senses are very much a part of her motivation for every movement she makes. She crawls to get to a toy so she can touch and feel it. She reaches to grasp an object so she can bring it closer where she can see it better and fully examine it. Her senses evoke her curiosity which motivate her movement and now her reading, too!
Pat the Bunny: by Dorothy Kundhardt. (New York: Golden Books, 1940)
While holding your blinking infant in your arms, watching your toddler run toward music, or observing your five-year-old remember some tiny detail from last Christmas, did you ever wonder how the infinitely complex brain, five senses, and memory of these little ones develop? So did Lise Eliot, Ph.D., a neurobiologist and assistant professor at Chicago Medical School. Eliot, mother of three, could not find a book that sufficiently answered her questions, so she researched and wrote one herself. The result is a “must add to your bookshelf” reference for pre-pregnancy through age five or anyone interested in infant development.
What’s Going On in There: How the Brain and Mind Develop in the first Five Years of Life, published in 1999, is thoroughly researched, well organized and indexed, and easy to read. Eliot explores the development of the five senses, language, emotions, memory, and cognition. Rather than just a treatise of scientific explanations on the development of these processes, Eliot focuses on what parents can do to raise a smarter child. What I love most about this book (beside, of course, the content) is the organization. When you have a thought such as “If we took our 5 month old with us to Hawaii, would he remember it?” or “What can I do to stimulate language development,” just look in the index and read the corresponding pages. Read as much or as little as you would like, but either way, in a very short time you will have your answer.
What’s Going On in There: How the Brain and Mind develop in the First Five Years of Life: by Lise Eliot, Ph.D., (New York: Bantam Books, 1999).