Like so many parents, when my kids were babies and put every single thing in their mouths, we’d remark, “Tasty?” We understood the mouth was a conduit to discovery.

What we didn’t know was this: “Looking at early literacy development as a dynamic developmental process, we can see the connection (and meaning) between an infant mouthing a book, the book handling behavior of a two-year-old, and the page turning of a five-year-old.” This comes from the website Zero to Three. Continuing: “We can see that the first three years of exploring and playing with books, singing nursery rhymes, listening to stories, recognizing words, and scribbling are truly the building blocks for language and literacy development.”

The page has ideas about ways you can share books with infants and toddlers. For my part, one thing I’m careful to do is give books the way other people might give clothes or toys—I make books my go-to gift for new babies and other small people. I figure I cannot go wrong with a book.

Note, the early literacy here isn’t about flashcards or letter formation or anything that is so formal as learning to read. Literacy has all to do with comfort with and enjoyment from books. That, in my opinion, is absolutely yummy.

Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser is a writer, whose work appears in the ebook anthology Welcome to My WorldBrain Child Magazine & the Huffington PostBabble & Bamboo Magazine amongst others. She does some blogging for Teen Life and keeps her own blog—Standing in the Shadows—at the Valley Advocate. She and her dear husband are raising four children and enduring a great deal of chaos in the relatively sleepless process.


You Might Also Like

Will This Come Up On The Couch Later?
The 2012 Post-Holiday Analysis
Car Envy: Tesla Model S

Comments (2)


  1. Posted by: mai

    Nice thoughts! Nothing can engage a child more than having his parents reading books aloud to him and giving him the fullest attention. I would love to know a few names of your favorite books for the little ones, thanks!

  2. Thank you! For real littles, I would say that books with fewer words or words you like are the best: Helen Oxenbury has some very simple ones like “I see” (there’s also hear & maybe smell). Alexandra Day’s almost wordless tales of the good dog, Carl. Oh there are so many! Eric Carle. Funny books like Cookie’s Week. Sweet bedtime books like Mem Fox and Jane Dyer’s Time for Bed. Oh the list goes on!

Leave a Reply

Yor email address will not be published.
Required fields are marked *

Sign Up

Email Sign Up
We promise not to bug you -
it'll only be good stuff, pinky swear.