Toddlers and babies require social interaction, smiling, chatting etc. things that can only be provided by humans. During this early stage, the best language resource is a responsive adult who takes care of the child’s communicative needs.
Some helpful resources that can support you in creating a rich language environment for this stage include colourful picture books, songs, and other audio resources such as short stories and rhymes.
At this stage, children like to physically interact with the books, feel them, play with them like toys. Even at a very young age, children are ready to listen to short stories, but parents can also use the books to point at images and describe them. Reading to young infants might seem odd at first, but it is a good way for them to become familiar with the parent’s language sounds and rhythms as well as the parent’s voice. Babies will use all their senses to engage with a book!
We have divided this list into two parts: books that you can find in the public libraries and books that you will need to source elsewhere.
Available in Irish public libraries
Did you know that colors can tell stories? Find out more with the fun collection of Yellow, Amarillo, Red, Rojo, Green Verde, and Blue, Azul, available from Irish libraries.
These bilingual board books will be helpful to learn about routines in both languages: get started with Compartir, Sharing; Friends, Amigos and A day, un Día.
Other fun bilingual books available in libraries include Mi Gato es Gordo, Mantita, Banito and Fa La La!
For your bedtime stories, try Yo soy el mayor! Buenas noches, Luna, and Dónde está la oveja verde?
Books for the youngest babies (not available in Irish libraries)
La cereza is a collection of books for singing, counting, looking and playing with little ones. Each book is special, but all are as sweet and playful and just right for those who have not yet learned to read. In particular, we recommend 10 ardillas, nam nam, jugamos a las manitas, and tras-tras.
Next, is a book published by Harper Kids called ¡Al baño, Conejito! This is a fun interactive book that is perfect for making bath time into a fun party.
Leer y tocar Librrojuego- kokinos is also another fun interactive book. This one is excellent for learning the basics like numbers and colours. It also has different textures and little windows you can open again and again to see what’s inside.
Cuchi, cuchi (texturas) is a fun story for little ones that you can act out as you’re reading
Mira que patas/ Mira que orejas/ mira que colas– this series of books by Edelvives allows little ones to mix and match tops and bottoms of animals in the book to make all sorts of fun matches.
Si yo fuera un leon- Loguez is a great book for learning animal sounds while also having fun
Numeros and colores- Kalandraka are also excellent books for teaching little ones about colours and numbers
Books for 1 to 2 year olds
Oh- Kalandraka is a fabulous picture book that won the Graphic Prize at the Bologna International Children’s and Youth Book Fair in 1993.
Puedo mirar tu panal is a funny story about a curious mouse that is bound to result in a fit of giggles.
A fun classic pop up book is El pollo pepe about a greedy chicken.
Coleccion los libros del chiquitin- Editorial Juventud is a fantastic collection of stories full of imagination with something for everyone.
For something more musical Cada oveja con su pareja- Ediciones la fragatina teaches the different names for baby and adult animal pairs through song.
Un libro- Kokinos is ideal for little ones who love interactive books. This book is full of little things they can touch and they can move the story along themselves by pressing circles to see what’s behind them.
Abrazos para ti is a rhyming story that teaches little ones all about being kind to others and giving hugs
If you want to teach your little one about daily routine tasks Los rituals de nacho- Edelvives is a fun interactive book that follows nacho through his daily routine
Finally Diez deditos de las manos y diez deditos de los pies- Editorial HMH is the perfect bedtime story with beautiful watercolour illustrations.