What’s Old is New Again
Jonas Sickler brings new life to traditional nursery rhymes. By varying locations, he gives the stories an international appeal. And, in the process, makes them more inclusive. Mary Had A Little Lamb Indestructibles finds Mary in an African village. In this version, the lamb doesn’t follow her to school. She pulls him-and a meerkat-to school in a wagon. Once there, of course, the teacher protests. While the children “laugh and play to see a lamb at school.” Mary Had A Little Lamb Indestructibles invites endless exploration. That’s because babies can repeatedly grasp, crumple, and bend pages without ripping or tearing. And safely mouth and chew. You know how babies are. Everything has to go in their mouths. More than rip proof and chew proof, these unique books are also machine washable.
The Value of Reading to Babies
If you can’t recall the original rhyme. Not a problem. The classic nursery rhyme appears, for reference, on the back cover. Refresh your memory. Or, better yet, take clues from the pictures and tell your own tale. The picture only format encourages story-telling. Bright colors and well-defined pictures encourage natural conversation between parent and baby. Maybe you’ve been to Africa and can share memories with your little one. What likely begins as a monologue gradually evolves into dialogues. Granted, in the beginning conversations with babies are one speaker, one listener. Talk on nonetheless. Think about how important that is in creating emotional ties. The sound of your voice is one way the baby recognize you. In that way, reading together reenforces attachments. That’s reason enough to read to a baby.
Traditional nursery rhymes are treasures. They not only delight little ones. They also build memories. As well as serving as conversation starters. If you’ve ever seen one, you might point to the meerkat and share a story about where that was. Or point out that they are native to southern Africa. So we’re not likely to see one where we live. But we’ve got squirrels in our yard. Asking questions and sharing ideas enrich the storytelling experience. Then as young children gain language skills, monologues become conversations. While looking at pictures together, they learn words to describe what’s on the page. Thereby building a vocabulary that gradually gives children the tools to create their own stories.