Micah is well read for an 8-month-old. He has board books about big trucks and tractors, many touch-and-feel picture books with baby animals and wealth of Little Golden Books from his dad's era.
Among his favorite things to do is listen, smile and laugh as his parents attempt to mimic a variety of barnyard animals. If he is rested and in a good mood, he'll sit and listen to books for ages, occasionally plopping one of his fat little hands onto the page as if to say, "Stop! Let me get a closer look at this one."
If he is tired, he'll fuss pretty much from the beginning. That prompts Mom and Dad to keep the story and accompanying song short before Baby Dear is sent off to bed.
But his attitude toward two of the selections on his bookshelves is unwavering, regardless of his mental state. Already, the little guy is a critic.
That's my boy.
Go, Dog. Go! by P.D. Eastman
This silly book about dogs who engage in human activities such as driving, sleeping in king-size beds and sipping lemonade is filled with color and action. It has plenty of exclamation and question marks, which makes reading out loud more interesting. Micah is an animal fanatic—his arms flail and breathing pace triples whenever our cat happens by—so it's fitting. At first, he didn't seem to be a fan. The Fuss Monster consumed him. But since then, he's come around. Part of the fun is finding out where the dogs are going. Spoiler alert: He enjoys happy endings.
Green Eggs and Ham, by Dr. Seuss
This book, while also silly and colorful, has a little more attitude. Actually, a lot. The main character is kind of rude to his friend Sam, who simply offers him some free food of a variety he's never tried. The repetitive rhyme grows to enormous proportions, and by the end of the book Micah is yelling and Mom and Dad are out of breath. Read this one to an under-1-year-old at your own risk, or better yet save it until the youngster is old enough to think clearly about the joy that comes from Dr. Seuss books. Until then, prepare for a world of hurt.
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