In February, I became friends with a woman I roomed together with while we were both representing our university on an ERASMUS winter school programme in Würzbürg. In a few weeks time, she will graduate with her Masters degree in Children’s Literature. I had no idea that her postgraduate programme existed until we met, and I was immediately envious and no doubt irritated her no end for details of her studies which sounded so much more fun that the stuff I was doing (as much as I love Community Development – her assignments sounded much more fun than mine!)
In June, there was a conference open to all students looking at Picturebooks, and I had the pleasure of attending the second day – I was gutted that work stopped me from attending both days! One of the first workshops I went to was being run by Jane Blatt. As she talked about her research on how babies interact with books, I was fascinated. At the time, two of my friends had babies around the same age as the babies that Jane’s videos showed. I recognised so much of the signs of child development and learning that I had observed in them in the videos.
Jane wrote a picturebook illustrated by Sarah Massini called Books Always Everywhere which shows her findings – babies using books as hats, blankets and all sorts of other things.
I bought two copies for my friends’ babies – one for Princess Monkey, the other for Jambino (not their real names – I give all my friends kids nicknames!), which Jane kindly signed for me. I have been told that Jambino LOVES this book. His parents have him choose 5 books from ‘his’ bookshelf every night before bed and then they read them together. He often picks Jane’s book, and it’s apparently a favourite of his.
So, I can’t give a better recommendation of a book for the 0-3 age group than one given by an actual member of the 0-3 demographic! If you have an ickle person in your life, I recommend getting a copy of Jane’s book.