#OCLSReads: How To Find Books for a 1-Year-Old

April 9, 2019 | Lauren Mathur
How to Find Books For a 1-Year-Old

Last year I wrote a post from my 4-year-old's perspective, listing her top books of the year. Today I’m bringing you some of my 1-year-old's favorites, and this was inspired by several interactions.

As a librarian, many parents ask me for book recommendations, specifically for babies/toddlers who aren’t interested in books yet. They don’t take to them. They just throw them. They have zero interest. It’s not like their sibling, who’s always loved books. Honestly, I get these comments quite often! And my answer? That’s okay! They probably haven’t found the right book.

There are thousands of blog posts about the best books for babies, and most of the books listed are absolutely fantastic . From classics like Guess How Much I Love You to newer hits like Knuffle Bunny, there are tons to choose from. But while these lists showcase good books, they don’t necessarily take into consideration a child’s attention span or their interests.

It’s true, babies have interests (just see how they eat). Which means, some books you may love (or another child may have loved), they may not. So does it matter if your child doesn’t want Green Eggs and Ham? Not at all.

This is a long way of saying – if your child isn’t interested in reading, find them a book about something they like.

Take my 1-year-old, for example. She didn’t like any classics I gave her – no On The Night You Were Born, no Sandra Boynton. Now many of these were ones my older child loved, but M? She couldn’t care less. But she liked Elmo, so I got her Love From Sesame Street. She. Loved. It.

Love from Sesame Street

Seriously, we still read it about five times a day. It’s short, it’s bright, it features all of the characters she loves. For her, it’s perfect ... and it was the first book she fell for. That said, she didn’t care for Just One You, which is essentially the same. See? Babies have taste!

Just One You

That’s my recommendation: find books based on things they like. Like trucks? Awesome, try The Cars and Trucks Book. Like animals? Try Baby Animals.

The Cars and Trucks Book by Todd Parr Baby Animals by Sara Miller

Like everything their older sibling likes? (M loves Toy Story because her older sister loves Toy Story.) Work with it – try Meet the Muppet Babies or Paw Patrol Team Colors.

Meet the Muppet Babies! Paw Patrol Team Colors

Sure these books may not be considered “classics” or “literary," but they like them, and that’s what’s important. And as they like these books, they’ll branch out to other ones. And more, and more, and more. You just need to engage them, find something that speaks to them. Literally sit them in a pile of book options, and see which one they pick up. (If you do this at the library, please clean up afterwards!)

Go with their interest. Go with what they love. Don’t force a book on them. Don’t make reading a chore, make it fun and exciting.

Soon they, too, will find a book they love forever. And then maybe, just maybe, they, too, will ask you to read it at least five times a day.

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