I could blather on and on about the importance of reading, but this article from The Young Readers Foundation is amazing, so check it out if you're not already convinced. Being able to read is about more than just correctly sounding out words or being able to read directions. It’s everything. It’s so important that at every well-child check, my pediatrician gives us a book right along with making sure we have the poison control number and my babies are growing properly. I get it, sometimes kids don’t love sitting through a lengthy picture book or they want to read the same ones over again. Well, Primer Books by BabyLit are here to be your little one's best reading friend.
Primer Books have the perfect amount of words on each page for your child, they are beautiful to look at, and primes them (hence their title) for knowledge of different things like animals, places, or flowers. The books are sturdy, which is always a plus. (I always thought we had a dog I didn’t know about while I was growing up that had chewed up all of our books… now that I have kids, I know that secret dog was actually baby me gnawing on everything).
My personal favorite thing about these picture books is that they are all based on classic novels. A few examples that we have at The Baby Cubby are The Jungle Book, Peter Pan, The Secret Garden, and Anne of Green Gables.
The Jungle Book is a primer for animals. You can learn about all sorts of animals that Mowgli would have been friends with or enemies with in the actual novel.
Peter Pan is a primer for adventure. I mean what better book to learn about adventure and bravery than Peter Pan? The Lost Boys fighting off Captain Hook and his crew? Wendy, John, and Michael flying out of their nursery window “second star to the right and straight on til morning?” That's adventure if I’ve ever heard it.
The Secret Garden is, well, a primer about flowers. I recently read the actual Secret Garden and you’ll definitely want to stick to the primer for a bit. I had no idea that the main girl’s family thought she was ugly and then all died within the first few pages. I for sure did not pay attention during the movie, or they just chose to leave it out because they didn’t want to traumatize the children.
Anne of Green Gables is a primer on places. I love this! The novel is set in Avonlea, which is a made-up town, but it is based on L.M. Montgomery’s own girlhood on Prince Edward Island (although she was not an orphan). What is so wonderful about Anne of Green Gables being a primer on places is that Anne comes up with romantic names for everywhere on the island: The Lake of Shining Waters, The Haunted Wood, and Lover’s Lane. It endears us to Anne, but also to Montgomery to know that she is essentially writing a love letter to where she grew up. The pages and illustrations of this Primer Book are some of my favorites.
One of my close friends bought my first little girl a few of these books for her first birthday, and I just keep buying more and more to fill the six different book shelves in our home.
I am hoping that one day my little girls will remember the good feelings they had reading these books and say, “Hey mama, remember that one primer book? Let’s read the real Les Miserables together,” and I will say “That is super pretentious for a third grader and it's real long. How about Little Women?” And they will say, “Oh yeah, I remember that primer book too!” And we will cry together and bond and it will be wonderful.
Then one day in college they can also read Les Miserables on their own and feel nostalgic thinking of us reading the Primer Book together when they were little.
If you're wondering why your little one hates reading, there may be things you can do encourage them--check out our post "Why Does My Child Hate Reading?"