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baby love: TOP 35 Best Children's Books For Any Age

baby loveTaylor P.Comment
My daughter Aurelie Wren is eight months old today and she LOVES books. During my pregnancy I set out to build a library for her. and have slowly added to it since she has been born. Early on I noticed she was a quick study and the majority of the regular babyish board books didn't hold her interest for long, so we ended up branching out to a variety of books (many of which were for older kids) and she seems to really enjoy them. She does like Disney a lot (Minnie Mouse, Doc McStuffins, and Elsa being the banes of my existence right now--"Let it Go," right?) so those books are definitely part of the mix, but here is a list of Aurelie's favorite books outside of the Disney universe. Several of these are best read TO your kids if they are very young, but as they get older they will be able to read them all by themselves which is a plus.  Click on the images for more info!

My daughter Aurelie Wren is eight months old today and she LOVES books. During my pregnancy I set out to build a library for her. and have slowly added to it since she has been born. Early on I noticed she was a quick study and the majority of the regular babyish board books didn't hold her interest for long, so we ended up branching out to a variety of books (many of which were for older kids) and she seems to really enjoy them. She does like Disney a lot (Minnie Mouse, Doc McStuffins, and Elsa being the banes of my existence right now--"Let it Go," right?) so those books are definitely part of the mix, but here is a list of Aurelie's favorite books outside of the Disney universe. Several of these are best read TO your kids if they are very young, but as they get older they will be able to read them all by themselves which is a plus.  Click on the images for more info!

This book is absolutely beautiful in a distinct style that is very midcentury meets Marimekko. Part of a series, Kiely's images are simple with lovely colors and shapes that are easy for infants to process but also aesthetically pleasing for us adults. I have always loved Kiely's designs and this book is no exception! 

This book is absolutely beautiful in a distinct style that is very midcentury meets Marimekko. Part of a series, Kiely's images are simple with lovely colors and shapes that are easy for infants to process but also aesthetically pleasing for us adults. I have always loved Kiely's designs and this book is no exception! 

This is probably her favorite book (and almost mine, for that matter.) Hiroe Nakata's watercolour illustrations are very cute and inviting and the whimsical writing is a crowdpleaser for the littles. Aurelie talks to the baby and we have a blast reading it. Out of all of her books, this one has probably been read the most!

This is probably her favorite book (and almost mine, for that matter.) Hiroe Nakata's watercolour illustrations are very cute and inviting and the whimsical writing is a crowdpleaser for the littles. Aurelie talks to the baby and we have a blast reading it. Out of all of her books, this one has probably been read the most!

I could say 1000 amazing things about this book, but to be more succinct I will say the following-- Adorable and simple drawings, great colors, highly informative, and a whole lot of fun to read. 

I could say 1000 amazing things about this book, but to be more succinct I will say the following-- Adorable and simple drawings, great colors, highly informative, and a whole lot of fun to read. 

I don't know how familiar you guys are with Carson Ellis, but if you haven't been exposed to her beautiful work, please do yourself a favor and pick up this book. The wife of Decemberists frontman Colin Meloy, she is an accomplished artist, designer, illustrator and storyteller. Her art has a very distinct style and she has illustrations in several children's books at this point, including the Wildwood series that she and her husband have produced (which is a must for young adults, imho.)

I don't know how familiar you guys are with Carson Ellis, but if you haven't been exposed to her beautiful work, please do yourself a favor and pick up this book. The wife of Decemberists frontman Colin Meloy, she is an accomplished artist, designer, illustrator and storyteller. Her art has a very distinct style and she has illustrations in several children's books at this point, including the Wildwood series that she and her husband have produced (which is a must for young adults, imho.)

Aurelie loves to eat, so this books definitely up her alley. This series is probably one of the better touch-and-feel types of books and as an added bonus it is in three languages! The illustrations are super cute also. 

Aurelie loves to eat, so this books definitely up her alley. This series is probably one of the better touch-and-feel types of books and as an added bonus it is in three languages! The illustrations are super cute also. 

This book is AMAZING and the colors/illustrations are phenomenal. The story is fun and educational, but hip in a way only MOUK can be. If you haven't watched Mouk on Netflix, add it to your list and set a night aside with the kids because you will probably end up binging it with some popcorn and juice boxes. The theme song alone had me hooked. This book also includes colorform-like stickers! Woohoo!

This book is AMAZING and the colors/illustrations are phenomenal. The story is fun and educational, but hip in a way only MOUK can be. If you haven't watched Mouk on Netflix, add it to your list and set a night aside with the kids because you will probably end up binging it with some popcorn and juice boxes. The theme song alone had me hooked. This book also includes colorform-like stickers! Woohoo!

This was Aurelie's first book and even at eight months old she is still pretty hooked on it. The illustrations and reading are simple and an exercise in comparison, with a lot of focus on B+W solids and voids with red accents. A very good book for bedtime!

This was Aurelie's first book and even at eight months old she is still pretty hooked on it. The illustrations and reading are simple and an exercise in comparison, with a lot of focus on B+W solids and voids with red accents. A very good book for bedtime!

Speaking of bedtime, how cool is this book? You can project constellations on the wall or ceiling and teach the kiddos all about the universe. It is part of a series of books like this with different subjects but definitely a super fun, interactive book for the kids at night. 

Speaking of bedtime, how cool is this book? You can project constellations on the wall or ceiling and teach the kiddos all about the universe. It is part of a series of books like this with different subjects but definitely a super fun, interactive book for the kids at night. 

This book is really neat and goes through a variety of locations. Aurelie loves the colors and illustrations. There are tons of flaps that have objects behind them. At her age I have to help her with them (since it is for older kids,) but she really gets excited to see what is behind them!

This book is really neat and goes through a variety of locations. Aurelie loves the colors and illustrations. There are tons of flaps that have objects behind them. At her age I have to help her with them (since it is for older kids,) but she really gets excited to see what is behind them!

Olivia is spirited and wild and reminds me a lot of Aurelie, so I can see why she gravitates towards this book. Witty and delightful, this book is a keeper. 

Olivia is spirited and wild and reminds me a lot of Aurelie, so I can see why she gravitates towards this book. Witty and delightful, this book is a keeper. 

This is a super sweet book with darling illustrations. The colors are very vibrant and the story is a beautiful affirmation of the love between a mother and child. 

This is a super sweet book with darling illustrations. The colors are very vibrant and the story is a beautiful affirmation of the love between a mother and child. 

This book is so cool! It has the best animal sounds and neat illustrations. It's touch-and-feel and sound rolled into one and very affordable! We read this one a lot and mimic the sounds. 

This book is so cool! It has the best animal sounds and neat illustrations. It's touch-and-feel and sound rolled into one and very affordable! We read this one a lot and mimic the sounds. 

If you're looking for a cute story with midcentury styling, this book is perfect. Kids will love the witty narrative and simple design. 

If you're looking for a cute story with midcentury styling, this book is perfect. Kids will love the witty narrative and simple design. 

Aurelie really loves this book and it goes in our rotation fairly often. The pages fold out and it is very interactive and informative about typical places in a city. Dwellstudio can do no wrong in my eyes, anyway, but they definitely hit the mark with this one. 

Aurelie really loves this book and it goes in our rotation fairly often. The pages fold out and it is very interactive and informative about typical places in a city. Dwellstudio can do no wrong in my eyes, anyway, but they definitely hit the mark with this one. 

Because who does love le petit prince? Featuring Antoine de Saint-Exupery's whimsical illustrations and in two languages, this book is simple but sweet. 

Because who does love le petit prince? Featuring Antoine de Saint-Exupery's whimsical illustrations and in two languages, this book is simple but sweet. 

An older book but Aurelie is all about it. It's very funny and a delight to read and see. 

An older book but Aurelie is all about it. It's very funny and a delight to read and see. 

Aurelie Guillerey is a wonderful illustrator (and Aurelie Wren's namesake) and this is just one of many books she has illustrated I love.  Her style is playful and the book is very nicely produced and colorful. This and "Worms" are pretty great but there are several out there that she has worked on that you need in your life. 

Aurelie Guillerey is a wonderful illustrator (and Aurelie Wren's namesake) and this is just one of many books she has illustrated I love.  Her style is playful and the book is very nicely produced and colorful. This and "Worms" are pretty great but there are several out there that she has worked on that you need in your life. 

As an adult, this is probably my favorite children's book ever. Aurelie loves it, too, although it is a bit long so it may be best to read a quarter or so at a time. The illustrations are breathtaking and the ideas within it are very inventive and help the imagination soar while educating on cause and effect. 

As an adult, this is probably my favorite children's book ever. Aurelie loves it, too, although it is a bit long so it may be best to read a quarter or so at a time. The illustrations are breathtaking and the ideas within it are very inventive and help the imagination soar while educating on cause and effect. 

These Jane Foster books are simple, playful, and elegant. Aurelie really responds well to them and talks to the animals!

These Jane Foster books are simple, playful, and elegant. Aurelie really responds well to them and talks to the animals!

This book is very dynamic and well-illustrated. It is a great tool for teaching the alphabet and makes learning very fun!

This book is very dynamic and well-illustrated. It is a great tool for teaching the alphabet and makes learning very fun!

We love, love, love, love this book. The story is adorable and the illustrations are very beautiful. 

We love, love, love, love this book. The story is adorable and the illustrations are very beautiful. 

Midcentury style-- hip enough for the hippest parent but also fun for your littles!

Midcentury style-- hip enough for the hippest parent but also fun for your littles!

Two words: Saul Bass. This book is clever, colorful, and great for children and adults alike. 

Two words: Saul Bass. This book is clever, colorful, and great for children and adults alike. 

I love Marc Martin. Aurelie loves Max. The illustrations are top notch and the story is grand. 

I love Marc Martin. Aurelie loves Max. The illustrations are top notch and the story is grand. 

This might be one of the most beautiful books ever. The illustrations are lovely and it is highly educational with beautiful prose. Aurelie loves the pictures right now but I know she will love the words when she is a bit older. It describes all four seasons and is a great introduction to the natural world, 

This might be one of the most beautiful books ever. The illustrations are lovely and it is highly educational with beautiful prose. Aurelie loves the pictures right now but I know she will love the words when she is a bit older. It describes all four seasons and is a great introduction to the natural world, 

Charley Harper had the coolest style and this is evidence of it. I love being able to introduce his work to Aurelie so early on and she loves the bright colors and abstract shapes. It's a win-win for everybody!

Charley Harper had the coolest style and this is evidence of it. I love being able to introduce his work to Aurelie so early on and she loves the bright colors and abstract shapes. It's a win-win for everybody!

A great introduction to M. Sasek, this book is a compilation of several of his books about different places and the illustrations are unreal. It is an amazing book about the world and cultures around us and kids could spend hours looking at the beautiful artwork. 

A great introduction to M. Sasek, this book is a compilation of several of his books about different places and the illustrations are unreal. It is an amazing book about the world and cultures around us and kids could spend hours looking at the beautiful artwork. 

Roger Priddy is a baby-book-making genius. This book is lovely with flaps that fold out to reveal sweet animals. We read this book a lot and it is very cute. 

Speaking of cute, this story and its illustrations are simple but great. It's definitely a "make voices" kind of book!

Speaking of cute, this story and its illustrations are simple but great. It's definitely a "make voices" kind of book!

I love this series of books. Aurelie loves to touch all of the different shapes/numbers and it is very well-constructed yet simple in design. 

I love this series of books. Aurelie loves to touch all of the different shapes/numbers and it is very well-constructed yet simple in design. 

We own a lot of the Babylit Primers and Aurelie "oos" and "ahhs" at the bright colors and fun illustrations. This one is probably our favorite, with Emma coming in at a close second. I highly recommend this series for younger folks-- the graphic design is simple but perfect. 

We own a lot of the Babylit Primers and Aurelie "oos" and "ahhs" at the bright colors and fun illustrations. This one is probably our favorite, with Emma coming in at a close second. I highly recommend this series for younger folks-- the graphic design is simple but perfect. 

Another Priddy book but this one is super cute and functions as a rattle and teether as well. Bonus!

Another Priddy book but this one is super cute and functions as a rattle and teether as well. Bonus!

This book is very fun and re-tells several fairy tales in a completely quirky fashion. The illustrations have an eye-catching playful style and it is fairly easy to read for a beginning reader. 

This book is very fun and re-tells several fairy tales in a completely quirky fashion. The illustrations have an eye-catching playful style and it is fairly easy to read for a beginning reader. 

Not to shamelessly plug my book, but Aurelie really loves it and we read it pretty often. It is part of a series and features bright and vibrant watercolor/gouache illustrations of cityscapes with a simple narrative. 

Not to shamelessly plug my book, but Aurelie really loves it and we read it pretty often. It is part of a series and features bright and vibrant watercolor/gouache illustrations of cityscapes with a simple narrative. 

Apparently Aurelie is Priddy fan (maybe he is the "baby whisperer"...) but she loves this book. It is a great touch-and-feel book and very affordable.   What are some of your kid's top picks for 2017?

Apparently Aurelie is Priddy fan (maybe he is the "baby whisperer"...) but she loves this book. It is a great touch-and-feel book and very affordable.


What are some of your kid's top picks for 2017?

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the beeline: 10 Things I Learned About Pregnancy

the beelineTaylor P.Comment

I just recently completed my first pregnancy. Although the books tell you an awful lot, every pregnancy is unfortunately different and filled with its unique experiences. Although I was extremely excited to welcome our daughter into the world, I learned so many things about pregnancy that I never really thought about before in quite the same light and likely never will think about in the same way again. Thus, I have compiled a list of things below that I learned since the first trimester: 

1. Birth Control Is Not As Foolproof As You Thought

If you have irregular periods and are on birth control, you can totally be blissfully unaware that you are very much pregnant. Even if you take your pills/shots/etc the way you are supposed to, there are absolutely no guarantees that you won't fall into that percentile that gets pregnant. Once you are pregnant and start asking around, you'll find out that at least half of the people you know were using birth control when they found out they were with child. 

If you have irregular periods and are on birth control, you can totally be blissfully unaware that you are very much pregnant. Even if you take your pills/shots/etc the way you are supposed to, there are absolutely no guarantees that you won't fall into that percentile that gets pregnant. Once you are pregnant and start asking around, you'll find out that at least half of the people you know were using birth control when they found out they were with child. 

 2. Time and Space Are Suddenly Irrelevant

Everything starts happening super fast (whilst seemingly moving super-slow) when you are in the baby territory. Day-to-day you will spend wondering if your baby is ever coming out and then you will look at the calendar and realize you are a few months from delivery and have a panic attack and want him/her to stay in there forever! 

Everything starts happening super fast (whilst seemingly moving super-slow) when you are in the baby territory. Day-to-day you will spend wondering if your baby is ever coming out and then you will look at the calendar and realize you are a few months from delivery and have a panic attack and want him/her to stay in there forever! 

3. Yes, I Really Am Having a Baby! 

It sometimes takes forever to start really showing, especially if you weren't rail thin to start with. You might seriously considered carrying around an ultrasound photo as evidence just in case, you know, folks think you just ate too much pecan pie over the holidays (even though you so ate the hell out of that pie!) And every time you cancel plans on your friends because you are bent over a toilet (which unfortunately may happen a lot,) you want to scan your friends some pictures of your medical records just to exonerate yourself. 

It sometimes takes forever to start really showing, especially if you weren't rail thin to start with. You might seriously considered carrying around an ultrasound photo as evidence just in case, you know, folks think you just ate too much pecan pie over the holidays (even though you so ate the hell out of that pie!) And every time you cancel plans on your friends because you are bent over a toilet (which unfortunately may happen a lot,) you want to scan your friends some pictures of your medical records just to exonerate yourself. 

4. Morning Sickness and Other Atrocities Are For Real

Yeah, your friend that was pregnant that said she "loved" being pregnant? Obviously she didn't have the all-day nausea, hormone-induced pregnancy tumors in your mouth, horrible round ligament pains when you roll over, and splitting migraines. Lucky girl. Morning sickness is real and awful. Some women have it their entire pregnancy. You will get body hair in places you never thought possible, stretch marks will reign supreme, and constipation is a common daily occurrence. Oh, and hemorrhoids, because why not?  And those are all the wonderful things you might look forward to if you don't have actual complications. You will be in constant disbelief that your body can go through all of this insanity and remain intact in the end. 

Yeah, your friend that was pregnant that said she "loved" being pregnant? Obviously she didn't have the all-day nausea, hormone-induced pregnancy tumors in your mouth, horrible round ligament pains when you roll over, and splitting migraines. Lucky girl. Morning sickness is real and awful. Some women have it their entire pregnancy. You will get body hair in places you never thought possible, stretch marks will reign supreme, and constipation is a common daily occurrence. Oh, and hemorrhoids, because why not?  And those are all the wonderful things you might look forward to if you don't have actual complications. You will be in constant disbelief that your body can go through all of this insanity and remain intact in the end. 

5. Your Baby Will Have a Party In Your Belly (sometimes all night long!)

Every time he/she moves you'll replay that scene from Alien in your head. Or this one. If your baby is a night owl, you will be blessed with the lovely feeling of almost falling asleep only to have someone start kicking you in the ribs or the bladder at 2am. Also, falling asleep is difficult because you wind up being so uncomfortable trying to get in the right position to sleep. Is this everything you ever dreamed of? Of course it is, silly!

Every time he/she moves you'll replay that scene from Alien in your head. Or this one. If your baby is a night owl, you will be blessed with the lovely feeling of almost falling asleep only to have someone start kicking you in the ribs or the bladder at 2am. Also, falling asleep is difficult because you wind up being so uncomfortable trying to get in the right position to sleep. Is this everything you ever dreamed of? Of course it is, silly!

6. You Just Want It Over With 

"Can my water just break already?" Everyone keeps telling you that by the time you are in labor, you don't even care what happens so long as the baby is out. Your body is doing so much crazy crap by the second trimester that you can't wait until he/she is out and about just so you can achieve some sense of normalcy. And then you feel selfish and start worrying about the gross realities of labor. 

"Can my water just break already?" Everyone keeps telling you that by the time you are in labor, you don't even care what happens so long as the baby is out. Your body is doing so much crazy crap by the second trimester that you can't wait until he/she is out and about just so you can achieve some sense of normalcy. And then you feel selfish and start worrying about the gross realities of labor. 

7. Pregnancy Brain is the Bane of Your Existence

Did you lose your keys again? Or your other child? What were you getting at the supermarket again? Why did you go out for milk and end up with tacos and plastic wrap? What was I talking about? These unsolved mysteries can only be attributed to pregnancy brain and its extreme ADHD-like tendencies. 

Did you lose your keys again? Or your other child? What were you getting at the supermarket again? Why did you go out for milk and end up with tacos and plastic wrap? What was I talking about? These unsolved mysteries can only be attributed to pregnancy brain and its extreme ADHD-like tendencies. 

8. Granny Panties are the Shit

You find out that maternity clothes are actually amazing (and primarily ugly.) Those XXL panties you used to mock in the store are now your BFF. And say goodbye to your waistline, breasts, and most of your shoes because things are about to get weird and big. Really big.  

You find out that maternity clothes are actually amazing (and primarily ugly.) Those XXL panties you used to mock in the store are now your BFF. And say goodbye to your waistline, breasts, and most of your shoes because things are about to get weird and big. Really big.  

9. You Will Probably Be Full of Hate (and Food)

You will pretty much spend the first two trimesters being upset and wanting food. Pregnancy hormones are like PMSx1000. It is like a superpower. A very, very horrible one that you are not always aware of. You can bounce from being extremely apathetic to giddy happy to totally hateful in a span of .05 seconds. Your significant other will live in constant fear that you will be like this forever and you just hope that they are so happy with their new kiddo that they forget this period of matriarchal tyranny after the baby is born.  

You will pretty much spend the first two trimesters being upset and wanting food. Pregnancy hormones are like PMSx1000. It is like a superpower. A very, very horrible one that you are not always aware of. You can bounce from being extremely apathetic to giddy happy to totally hateful in a span of .05 seconds. Your significant other will live in constant fear that you will be like this forever and you just hope that they are so happy with their new kiddo that they forget this period of matriarchal tyranny after the baby is born.  

10. Strangers WILL Invade Your Personal Bubble

Because as if pregnancy isn't uncomfortable or invasive enough, everyone has to ask you extremely personal questions that under normal circumstances would be completely inappropriate. And then, of course, everyone starts touching your belly because THAT'S NOT WEIRD OR INAPPROPRIATE AT ALL, AMIRIGHT? 

Because as if pregnancy isn't uncomfortable or invasive enough, everyone has to ask you extremely personal questions that under normal circumstances would be completely inappropriate. And then, of course, everyone starts touching your belly because THAT'S NOT WEIRD OR INAPPROPRIATE AT ALL, AMIRIGHT? 

What weird things have some of you learned so far with your pregnancies (or those of folks around you?) Inquiring minds would like to know! :-)

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