Do you love shopping for babies? What about toddlers? Sometimes it can be hard to decide what to buy your friend’s newest family member. Before we had kids I could never figure out what a 1-year-old would be interested in or what the parents really wanted more of in their house. Now that we have a baby, I can tell you exactly what a child would want…at least up to the age of 2. Unless you hang out with a child the age of the one you are buying for, you might not know what to get.
Our biggest advice: You can never go wrong with a book! Books keep a child’s attention, allow the parents to bond with their little one, and don’t take up a lot of room in the house. Georgia loves a Priddy Book, can’t get enough of “Blue Hat, Green Hat” by Sandra Boynton, and if Eric Carle is involved she’s there! The older she gets the more into books she is. It’s very exciting to watch her grow and learn. We are very thankful for all the books we have received as gifts.
We are very happy to announce the publication of the newest and coolest Baby ABC book on shelves! It’s called Baby ABC by photographer Deborah Donenfeld and it just happens to feature our little girl, Georgia, and a few of her oldest friends!! Now, we know we are slightly biased when it comes to why this book is so fantastic, but the truth is it’s a great book and we are proud to be part of something so unique and captivating for babies.
We had a chance to ask the book’s editor, Liz Waniewski, a couple questions to find out exactly what went into making this book such a vibrant and engaging one. “When Deborah proposed the black-and-white baby photos with pops of color to showcase the alphabet and numbers from 1 to 10, I knew it was unlike anything I have seen recently on the board book shelves.”
Liz breaks it down into 3 key reasons. First, “babies respond to black and white imagery”. Liz noted that’s why Tana Hoban’s board books are classics.
Second, “babies love to look at other babies!” We know this to be true first hand. Georgia loves to see other babies and tell us what they are doing.
And finally, “Letters and numbers are the first, and very important, concepts we learn. We get all of these in such a fresh, hip, and useful way in BABY ABC and BABY 123.” She could not be more right.
As Georgia gets ready to turn 2, she can now count to 10 and loves identifying the numbers. Seeing them with a baby makes it that much more fun. As we work on her ABC’s, it’s great for her to see the letters big and colorful accompanied by an item she knows. Liz, Deborah, and their team put a lot of thought into making sure they chose the right items that would be good vocabulary words for children to learn. We know they did this right because Georgia was basically able to read the book herself the first time we went through it.
Back in May we received an email from a friend asking if we’d be interested in attending a photo shoot for a new children’s book. Sounded like fun to us, so we said yes and took the subway to Manhattan. After getting off the A train in the garment district, we made our way to a photography studio equipped with a white backdrop, lights, C-stands, and brightly colored props! My brother was visiting at the time, so I had an extra set of hands, which was extremely helpful. We changed Georgia into the required wardrobe (one white diaper) and got ready for her to do her thing. I have to admit, I did feel my inner stage mom come out a little as I sang every “Miss Nina” and “Music Together” song I knew. It was fun to get her to smile and laugh as Deborah snapped away. Don't worry, I did not get Georgia an agent and there is no reality show in the works.
Deborah is a real talent. She was extremely calm and gave us specific directions. She took the photos quickly and kept things moving so Georgia never got fussy. She could sense what was working and would then make decisions based on that. We often hear that you should never work with babies or animals in film because it’s too unpredictable. Liz said, “Deborah is such a pro that I actually wasn’t nervous at all. We had done so much planning beforehand, and Deborah was masterful in matching the babies with the objects they would most respond to. This allowed for very natural photos. She is also incredibly calm and patient, and I think that makes her particularly good at photographing babies.”
Finally, the last reason this book is a must buy is that’s it’s a board book! If you are or have ever been a parent of a child under the age of 2 years old, you know the board book is the best invention in the world of literature. I can’t tell you how much scotch tape I’ve used to patch up our regular books or how mad I was when I found out “Brown Bear” came in a board book option. Liz knew these books had to be board books. “The format lends itself so perfectly to the intended audience. The pages are thick and sturdy - perfect for little fingers (and for those first teeth!). The books are strong and durable and will hold up to pretty much everything a baby could do to them! Hopefully, they will be most used for repeated readings and learning those first and most important concepts – letters and numbers.”
We hope you get to your local bookstore this week and pick up a copy of Deborah’s book. We got our copies at Greenlight Bookstore this past weekend. You can also buy them online at this link. Be sure to pay extra attention to letters B & Z. And as soon as Georgia can write her name, she’d be happy to sign a copy for you!