5 Of The Best Publishers For Encouraging Early Reading



Is your little one obsessed with books?  My T really seems to be growing into a bit of a bookworm (like his mummy and daddy!). Now that I have introduced the little reading zone in our main playing space, he is over there like a shot as soon as he spots it. I am very happy to see that he has an interest in books, although I have to admit I wouldn’t mind just a TEENY WEENY bit of TV watching in the morning when I am having my first coffee of the day!

He has now pretty much grown out of the books we first bought him, bar one or two. So my other half and I have been hunting around for books that will hold his interest…and ours actually – isn’t it hard to read the same three or four books every night with the enthusiasm of a lively children’s TV presenter (not to mention doing this on a few hours sleep)??

In our search, we have come across five brilliant baby publishers that produce educational books to EXCITE and INSPIRE little ones to learn.  If you too have a budding bookworm, read on!  If you only have a moment to spare, just click on the titles, go to their websites and have a browse – that’s my idea of a lovely way to spend a lunch hour.

1. Bright Baby Books This publisher produces large and small photographic books which T ADORES. He points to pictures and we say the word, or sometimes we ask him to point to specific objects.  We now have the First 100 Words and First 100 Animals, but there are many more.

What is your baby learning? First words, reading skills and speaking skills

2.  Priddy Books – Slide and Seek

I actually think this publisher is part of Bright Baby Books, as the logo is the same – perhaps it is the next stage up as it says 2+ on the back.  I’m giving it a section of it’s own though as it’s for slightly older babies.  T’s favourite books from this publisher are the Slide and Seek books.  He loves sliding the cards across to reveal the picture. He also loves pointing to the different photographs. I can see that as he gets older it would be even more fun because you could actually get him to guess the answer to the questions from the visual clue.

What is your baby learning? First words, hand-eye co-ordination, problem-solving

3.  Sterling Children’s Books (Begin Smart)

A few weeks ago, on a grey, drizzly day, my husband sent me into a bookshop in Hay-on-Wye with £15 to get some books for T.  I came across a whole bunch of these brightly-coloured, high contrast, interactive books.  There is a whole series of books that are suited to babies and toddlers of different ages.  Their books are based on educational research and they provide useful explanations for parents in the front or on the back of the books. You can  find lots more information and tips for reading on their website.  I bought a few of these, but T’s current favourite is the Peek-a-Boo What? book in the photo above.  You get two holes to look through and you have to guess from the clue in the hole what is hiding behind!

What is your baby learning? It depends which book you choose and what stage of development your baby is at, but most encourage: understanding of words and actions, remembering, matching words and actions

4.  Innovative Kids

This was another publisher we discovered at the Hay-on-Wye bookshop.  The two books I bought are made of foam.  The first one is called Big and Little.  You open it up, and there is a big house made of foam which you can pull out.  On the opposite page are the words BIG HOUSE.  When it is removed , there is a picture of a little house and some printed words that say “little house”.

There are so many reasons I love this book!  First: what a fun way to teach big and little!  T loves removing the puzzle pieces and can’t wait to get to the next page and find the next puzzle! Secondly, you can play games to practise vocabulary.  I wait until he has all the pieces out, then open up the book again and say “Can you put the big house/tree etc. back?”  He loves this challenge and even if he gets it wrong you are still reinforcing the vocabulary all the time by saying “That’s not the house, that’s the tree.  Can you find the tree?”. Thirdly, T loves a book he can PLAY with – he needs that interactive element to support his learning.

The other book we bought by this publisher was about numbers.  You remove 1, 2, 3 then 4 fish, then try and put them all back.  Again, a great interactive book – we count them all, then play games to test his knowledge of colours.  Then, we count them altogether.  I’ll probably use them for addition and subtraction as he gets older.

I am so pleased to have found these books, but they are patent-pending…so I guess they are only on sale in certain book shops.  But take a look at the website (link in the title above) because they have a huge range of educational books for babies and toddlers.  Definitely worth a look if your little one is an active, kinaesthetic learner like mine!

What is your baby learning? concepts of size, number, colour and shape, matching

5.  Usborne Children’s Books

T has loved every Usborne Book we’ve bought.  But he has a particular passion for lifting flaps.  We have got the stage now where his old lift-the flap books are pretty easy for him and he remembers where all the different animals or objects are hiding.  So we were very excited to come across the Lift-the-flap Counting Book in Waterstones recently.  It goes through numbers 1 to 5, with a double page for each number.  So for number three, you lift up flaps and find three of everything.  There is a little key at the bottom to remind you what you have already found and which things are still to be found.

I wish I had a picture of his face when he first opened this book – he was ASTOUNDED at how many flaps there were to open!  His little fingers were itching to get in there and have a look.

The great news is that there are loads more of these books – click on the link above to find out more).  Usborne Books in general are brilliant for little readers because the pictures are so interesting and they have the classic little Usborne duck hiding on every page as an extra reading challenge.  I remember these books fondly from when I was little and to me, they are timeless.  They don’t seem dated and are still brilliant for encouraging early reading and developing vocabulary.

What is your baby learning?  matching, vocabulary, reading skills, listening skills (and in this particular book, counting and number recognition)

Well, there they are!  I hope you manage to find some exciting little treasures for your tiny book-lovers shelves.

Have you found any other great publishers for book-loving babies?  If so, I’d love to hear from you – just comment below or on my facebook page if you’d like to share them with other parents. 

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