"My First Day" by Robin Page

Animals are always a hit with young readers—especially wee ones just entering the world. Parent educators with the Washington School District have selected a Baby Buzz Pick that heralds the debut of a variety of newborns in “First Day,” by Robin Page, with illustrations by Steve Jenkins.

Each month the parent educators select a quality book for children birth to 5 years of age. A Baby Buzz review is featured in the second weekend issue of The Missourian.

Washington Parents as Teachers also recommend additional books monthly. That list is available on The Missourian’s web site, emissourian.com and is continuously updated.

The following review was written by Nancy Nagel, area literacy advocate.

“What do baby animals do on their first day of life? The answer to that question is as varied as the number of animals depicted in this beautiful new, non-fiction children’s book.”

“Each animal introduces itself with the words, ‘On my first day…’ and then goes on to tell in simple language the facts of its first day of life. While there is really no plot line in this book, each creature tells a story, and children will enjoy anticipating each new animal’s explanation. Animals range from cuddly lion cubs, to spiky insects, to statuesque giraffes.”

“The illustrations are made of torn and cut paper collage. They realistically depict animal families, or individuals, in their natural habitats. The colors range from warm browns and oranges of furry creatures to cool greens of amphibians, to icy shades of white and gray on the polar bears.”

 “The first page asks, ‘What did you do on your first day-the day you were born?’ This question could serve as the starting point for lots of conversation about family life and how you, and possibly others, have cared for your young child since birth.”

“Older children will enjoy learning about common and exotic animal life. The reference section in the back of the book provides additional information about each animal. You could start a conversation by saying ‘Did you know?’ and continue the learning by finding other books, magazines or online resources.”

“Perhaps your child would like to make their own book. Cut out pictures of various animal and human babies from around the world, glue on sturdy paper, then ask your child a question about each picture. Write down exactly what they say.”

  “Younger children will enjoy pointing and naming the various animals.  She may call the tiger a ‘kitty cat’ and the zebra ‘a horsie’ but with enough exposure to this book she will develop the vocabulary to describe the wide world around her.

Other parent educator favorites this month are “Sweet Dreams Lullaby,” by Betsy Snyder, “How Does Baby Feel,” by Karen Katz, “Ben Love Bear,” by David McPhail, “Whose Toes are Those,” by Sally Symes, and “Happy Birthday, Bunny!” by Liz Garton Scanlon.