1. Simms Taback’s Big Book of Words by Simms Taback, Hardcover: 96 pages, Publisher: Blue Apple Books
Basic objects in a child’s world — playthings, clothing, food, and animals — are featured in this generiously-sized, bright, colorful book. The one-word-per-page format is perfect for keeping baby’s attention and teaching them to start identifying words with images. Taback’s illustrations are sure to delight young children, from baby, to toddler, to preschooler and adults.
2. Olivia’s Opposites by Ian Falconer, Board book: 12 pages, Publisher: Atheneum
Olivia knows all about opposites. Sometimes this porcine heroine of Ian Falconer’s Caldecott Honor Book, Olivia, is “plain,” attired only in red briefs. Other times she is “fancy,” with high-heeled dress-up shoes, lipstick, pearls, and a big red bow. Sometimes when Olivia is running the circus, for example she is very “loud” with a lion, which renders the lion rather “quiet.” Whether meeting this energetic and incorrigible piglet for the first or the 100th time, readers of all ages will be happy to watch Olivia do pretty much anything, even something as simple as counting (Olivia Counts) or teaching about opposites. This sturdy little board book, with lots of white space and black-and-white illustrations, splashed with occasional red, is a perfect introduction to the concepts of opposites, from “up” and “down” to the “open” and “closed” mouth of our yawning, pajama’d pig at the conclusion. (Baby to preschool) – Emilie Coulter
3. The Alphabet Room by Sara Pinto, Board book: 56 pages, Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books
Sara Pinto’s exceptional Alphabet Room is a beautiful example of an ABC book that is both artful and on target for young children. Starting with the simplest images-apples for A, bowls for B, cat for C-Sara Pinto has taken a magical leap in the concept of alphabet books. Each letter has a door, and behind each door the objects arrange and rearrange themselves so that with every letter the picture becomes more complex. Letter by letter, magical scenes unfold inside the room. With gentle humor and charming design, this lift-the-flap alphabet book transcends the genre to offer something truly unique.
4. My 1st Spanish Word Book: A Bilingual Word Book by Angela Wilkes, Hardcover: 64 pages, Publisher: DK Publishing Inc
This is a wonderfully colorful and fun book with English & Spanish text. Presents pictures labeled in both Spanish and English under such headings as “Going to school,” “Weather,” and “At the supermarket.
5. Beth Manners’ Magic French for Kids: ages 2-6 by Beth Manners, Audio CD, Publisher: Future Boomers Corp
This is a delightful tape from Beth Manners to help children learn French easily and effectively. Young children love to learn languages and “Magic French” sends them on a magical adventure in Paris with little Bobby, Marie and the mysterious Madame Magique. Find the magic flowers, play “The Game” and bargain with the French speaking bird, while learning French language and culture. This interactive audio provides an entertaining context for learning French, using a theme that little ones will remember. Catchy tunes, zany sound effects and a dose of silliness make children want to listen over and over – the best way to learn language. Includes over 100 French words and phrases.