February’s Baby and Toddler Book Box
Reading to babies and toddlers can sometimes feel thankless. Perhaps they start to the chew the corner of the book. They fall into an uproar about where their toy bunny has gone. Or they start demanding you read the next book before you’ve finished the first.
At Little Box of Books, we advocate for inclusive children’s literature. But why does this message matter for such young kids?
Starting even the tiniest member of your family off with a diverse bookshelf is ideal. Think of fairy-tales. The damsel in distress. The heroic prince charming. As older readers, we learn to criticise these narratives. We reimagine princesses as engineers; prince charming as a sensitive soul. However, if we start off with diverse books, then we never have any relearning to do. Your toddlers’ first experience of reading should be an inclusive one.
Covertly get in these positive, life-affirming, representative messages in. Make sure your child sees protagonists of all skin colours. See to it that they learn about different family set-ups. And that they are normalised to images of mobility aids. Even when your toddler is semi-distracted by a hunt for their toy bunny, we can still get these messages in.
So, let’s take a look at February’s Baby and Toddler Book Box…
Colour and Me by Michaela Dias-Hayes
In this beautifully illustrated book, the little girl mixes colours together. This is great for encouraging your toddler to explore messy play with their hands (sorry about the clean-up afterwards!). Also, it is useful for guiding your child through naming colours. The protagonist mixes yellow, red and blue together. She makes brown – her skin tone! This book is a lovely celebration of brown skin.
Covered in Adventures by Gillian Hibbs
Sasha’s Dads – it’s great to see a same-sex relationship completely incidental to the storyline – want her to wash her jumper. Sasha feels her Dads don’t get it. Her jumper isn’t dirty: it’s covered in adventures. The sticky patch is from a volcano experiment. Whilst the brown speckles come from a muddy bike ride. This book encourages kids to have adventures and seize the day. (But don’t worry: Sasha agrees to take off her dirty jumper in the end).
Big Feelings by Alexandra Penfold & Suzanne Kaufman
This colourful book will help your child to articulate their feelings. Kids (and adults!) so easily get overwhelmed by their feelings and struggle to say what they actually are. But rather than simplifying our feelings to being happy or sad, this book offers everything from frustrated to tired to inspired.
‘Whatever we’re feeling, we’re never alone.’
Little Days Out: At the Shops by Sally Garland
This board-book of a multiracial family depicts a day out to the supermarket. It puts some adventure into seeking out the fruit and veg, rather than shopping being an activity where toddler and mum get tired and bored.
In all of these boxes you get a little box of paints and some healthy snacks PLUS some puzzles and activities to do together, to get even more out of these wonderful books.