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Baby Book Reviews - Stage 2 - The Observer
Stage 1   |   Stage 2  |   Stage 3  |   Stage 4  |   Stage 5  |   Stage 6
Characteristics of Stage 2 Books – The Observer
Since your baby's vision is extending and she is able to see bold, bright designs, we included a number of books with high-contrast illustrations as well as those that give the reader a chance to vary emotional tone and rhythm of voice. At all stages you want books which promote talk and "conversation" between you and your baby. Again, we want to emphasize that unless you are reading rhymes or chants, you usually don't read the text straight through without adjusting it to your baby. You make up your own words, based on how your baby responds.
Clap Hands
Author: Helen Oxenbury
Large Board Book
Simon & Schuster, 8 pages, 1987
Helen Oxenbury's books should be included in every baby and toddler library. Clap Hands is one of a series: All Fall Down, Say Goodnight, and Tickle Tickle. All feature babies with a variety of skin colors. The illustrations are large, bold, and colorful, perfect for stage 2 baby's vision development.

The engaging rhyme will elicit smiles and body movements from your baby:

Clap hands,
dance and spin,
open wide and pop it in.

When reading, parents can make the hand and body movements. Your baby's excited body language will tell you to read any of the books in this series again and again. Any of these books make welcome baby gifts.
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White on Black
Author: Tana Hoban
Board Book
Greenwillow Books, William Morrow & Co., 10 pages, 1993
This is a wordless picture book consisting of large, white silhouettes on a black background. Two to four month olds, as well as newborns whose vision is just developing, can easily see the bold images: a bottle, a rocking horse, a sailboat, a rubber duck, buttons, a string of beads, a bird, a flower, an apple, and a banana. Not only can mom or dad (sister, brother, grandparent, or caretaker) name each object, but they can also have fun making a "dialogue" or inventing a story based on the pictures. "Look at the buttons! See Mommy's buttons?" etc. Your baby in one short "reading" session will be hearing hundreds and hundreds of words. Think of the words as food for the brain.
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My Aunt Came Back
Author: Pat Cummings
Board Book
Harper Festival, HarperCollins Publishers Inc., 14 pages, 1998
This book is part of the Harper Growing Tree Series in which books are categorized for babies and toddlers into six stages, from birth to three. The publishers recommended My Aunt Came Back for a one-and-a-half-year-old toddler, which we think is appropriate. We also recommend it for a two to four month old because of the sing-songy rhythm of the language:

My aunt came back
from Timbuktu
She brought me back
a wooden shoe.
My aunt came back
from Bucharest
She brought me back
a quilted vest.

In addition to the spirited rhymes, the simple illustrations are bold, bright, colorful, and patterned. Your baby will grow with My Aunt Came Back to eighteen months and beyond.
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