I’ve noticed a great trend this fall: book-themed baby showers. Gone seem to be the days of onesies and silver rattles. Instead expectant parents are asking for books and getting lots of them. There seems to be something about books for baby showers that makes people happy.
The gift givers feel like getting a baby-to-be books is a great idea. Books always fit and the sharing of childhood favorites makes everyone feel good. I love this new tradition. Helping build a new little person’s library is a lofty undertaking and one I hope has lasting effects. I love how customers approach this task. Some take it very seriously and really scour the shelves looking for those books that the family will love and the child will enjoy for years to come. Others just look for Goodnight Moon or Pat the Bunny. I’m not disparaging these classics, but I feel like everyone has them already. Some just stand in the picture book section scratching their heads because they don’t have kids in their lives and they’re overwhelmed. This is where booksellers come to the rescue. Part of our job is to make the picture book section seems smaller and easier to manage.
I ask guided questions of each gift giver that acts like a logarithm. Did you want something the baby can enjoy right away? Then we head to the board book section and look for books with bold colors. Are you looking to build a library for future use? Then I tend to lean toward the Caldecott case if they don’t have titles in mind. Do you want something that no one will get them, but they’ll love? Then I prowl around for a classic Bob Graham title or something funny like Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road? I often will go for fairy tale collections or something like My Very First Mother Goose.
When the entire family gets involved, it’s a great baby shower gift. There’s nothing as heartening as seeing teenagers come alive when they start talking about the picture books they loved as kids. This kind of present is just so much more meaningful. My niece still loves the collection I gave my brother when she was born three years ago. There are so many modern classics that I love to give: Good Night, Gorilla; Ten Little Fingers, Ten Little Toes; Each Peach Pear Plum; and honestly, just about anything by Sandra Boynton.
So, readers, what are some of your favorite baby shower books?