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[BKARTS] Books for Babies and Toddlers



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Claudine,

Forgive me if I am raining on your parade, but from my experience as a mom
and someone who has been around kids and books for a number of years, I'd
suggest caution.  At nine months, you still can't be sure how kind your child
will be to his/her books, and what books s/he will really take to.  Before
you put much effort into a handmade book, you may want be sure that your
child will like it and will not trash it. If not, you can end up very
frustrated.

Check out what is available in bookstores before you start making books for
your child.  Kids can be really rough on books, and publishers know it. There
are a lot of books out there for toddlers and a lot of these books are
designed to be durable and safe for young "readers."  Besides board books and
cloth books, there are also books with pages of foam covered with plastic.
These are great in the bath and fun to chew too.  Also, remember that kids
can have really awful taste -- even when the kids are your own and your taste
is fabulous.  You may make a really wonderful book only to find that your
little darling prefers one with a badly illustrated superhero all over it.

Even kids who are normally careful of their books can surprise you.  My (now
18 year old) daughter was almost always very kind to her books.  However, on
one occasion she systematically tore apart an open the flap book, apparently
to get at the pictures behind the flaps.  And she more or less tore up the
books we got her on potty training, probably reflecting how she felt about
it.  Also, even if your own child is kind to books, other kids are not.
Books have a way of getting taken to day care and lost or trashed in the
process.

As your child gets older, you will have great opportunities for making books
for and with him/her that are really special because you can build on your
child's ideas and interests.  But at this point, you may be better off going
with store-bought books.

Sally

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