Baby Faves: Splish Splash!

Southeast LibraryRead Feed

Baby Faves: Splish Splash!

Books to share with babies & toddlers, from birth through age two.

Talking with your baby is a key early literacy practice -- it introduces babies to a variety of sounds and vocabulary and acquaints them with how language is structured into sentences and stories. Naming objects that your baby sees and talking about tasks -- like grocery shopping or washing dishes -- as you're doing them are simple ways to engage babies' brains.

The water provides a wealth of opportunities to chat with little ones, whether you're splashing in the tub, taking a day trip to the Reflecting Pool, or strolling along the boardwalk at the Waterfront. Talk about their bath toys, animals that live in the water, the way raindrops feel -- any and all of it. And when you're ready to settle in with a book, check out these ten titles for babies and toddlers about ponds, whales, rain, boats, and more!

Splash! by Flora McDonnell
The beautifully-rendered animals on each page of this large-format picture book are hot, and baby elephant saves the day by leading them to relief -- the water hole! The spare, large text, simple narrative, and big, bold illustrations make this a great one for the littlest readers. Also available as a board book.

Tubby by Leslie Patricelli
Patricelli's characteristic simple illustrations, bright jewel tones, and light-hearted humor shine in this board book about taking a bath. There are plenty of opportunities in the text to interact with your baby and mimic the actions of the baby in the book ("I count my toes," "I wash my hair," "motorboat"), and it complements and reinforces the bath time routine. 

Baby Beluga by Raffi (illustrated by Ashley Wolff)
This attractively-illustrated version of the now classic children's song is a soothing one to sing with babies and can grow with them as they get older and eventually begin to sing along. Available in both picture book and board book format at the link above.

The Noisy Counting Book by Susan Schade and Jon Buller
At the pond, mosquitos buzz, birds tweet, fish glub, and on and on to a noisy crescendo. This board book has a bouncy rhythm, silly animal noises, and a chuckle-worthy ending. 

Row, Row, Row Your Boat by Jane Cabrera
Meet a new animal on each page as you row down the river in this twist on the classic song. With a built-in melody and lots of animal noises, this is a shoo-in for building phonological awareness. It also makes a great bedtime book, ending with the boat drifting "wearily, wearily, wearily, wearily" toward dreamland.

Beach Party by Harriet Zeifert & Simms Taback
All the animals are headed to a beach party, and we get to go with them, moving like they do -- scooting, slithering, dashing, etc. Fun vocabulary, rhyme, and the board book format work for babies birth on up, but toddlers and walkers can especially enjoy trying out the movements for themselves.

The Wide-Mouthed Frog by Keith Faulkner (illustrated by Jonathan Lambert)
The wide-mouthed frog is just minding his own business, catching flies, when creatures begin happening by, introducing themselves and their dietary preferences to him. Everything is dandy until the creature happening by is a great big alligator. With fragile pop-up parts, this is a book you will definitely want to explore with babies and toddlers but which will captivate them.

Itsy Bitsy Spider (illustrated by Annie Kubler)
With large, inviting illustrations of happy babies, Kubler's large-format board book provides another way to share a favorite song, including some baby-friendly sign language. Its short length is appropriate for baby-size attention spans, and for reading again and again.

Boats Go by Steve Light
If you've read any of the others in Light's series of transportation-focused board books (Diggers Go, Planes Go, and Trains Go, to name a few), then you know you're in for a noisy good time. Each double-page spread pictures a different type of boat accompanied by the correct vocabulary for it (including "cruise ship," "fireboat," and "submarine") and the type of sounds it makes. The last boat pictured is a gondola, and the humorous bit about what the gondola "says" keeps the reading fresh for adults.

Hooray for Fish! by Lucy Cousins
Touching on several simple concepts like numbers, colors, and opposites, Hooray for Fish! is a silly, rhyming romp through the sea. Illustrated in Cousins' characteristic bold, bright colors with clear outlines that make objects pop on the page, this one is also available in board book format.

Related songs & rhymes:
All the Fish Are Swimming
Row, Row, Row Your Boat
Five Green & Speckled Frogs

Happy Reading,