“Bring a Book” shower creates baby’s home library

Recently I received an invitation to attend a baby shower with a separate small note attached suggesting that guests bring a children’s book instead of a card.  The idea was well received, with guests of all ages bringing picture books.  “Now all the baby needs is a bookcase,” remarked one of the guests, admiring the stack of books the unborn baby had received.

Home library of children's illustrated books  being admired by soon-to-be mom.Many guests brought a copy of their children’s favorite book.  Many wrote personal messages to the new baby inside the books’ covers, as did I.

What a great new concept, I thought.  But from friends, I hear that this idea has been around for at least a half dozen years.

My niece, whose first child was born six years ago, said guests at her baby shower brought picture books for her expected son.  In her case, bringing a book as a gift was not suggested in the invitation,.  But in the past three years, the practice has become more formalized either as part of the invitation, or as a little note added to the invitation.  My niece’s choices for the recent shower:  Skippy Jon Jones (“The best imagination and rhyming book ever!” she says) and Boynton board books (“Great for smaller people”).

One of the shower guests was a young librarian who brought not one book but a half dozen, including The Other Dog because the mother-to-be has a beloved dog.  She said since a card can cost $4 or $5 these days, buying a book was a much better value.

A male cousin of the mother-to-be picked out I Will Love You Forever because he remembers his mother reading it to him as a child.  His wife thinks the book gift idea is a charming one because each guest brought a book with sentimental value.–Mrs. K

My favorite books to “read” to my kids were the Richard Scarry books.  I say “read” because most of the time we looked at the books and talked about the pictures.  I would point to an object and my son would name it, or vice versa.  The drawings are fantastic and each page is loaded with visual information.

Scarry has a few books about trains, planes, and cars that my boys liked.   He also has books on manners which I loved!  One of them is called Huckle’s Good Manners.  In this book he would show both good manners and BAD manners!  It was so much fun to read about a character behaving badly…lots of laughs.

My kids loved the Where’s Waldo books too!   Even though I have moved a few times, I have held onto the Where’s Waldo books.  Now that I think about it there are no words, just incredibly detailed pictures filled with hundreds of characters.  I remember one year my son had to dress up as a book character for a school event.  He was Waldo.  His nana knitted him the hat.  When my grown up kids come to visit, they still look at the Waldo books.  –Mrs. A

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