Bedtime and At the Park are two books from the Small Talk series by speech experts Nicola Lathey and Tracey Blake. Published by Campbell Books, an imprint of Pan Macmillan, and illustrated by Ailie Busby.
These books have been designed to assist children in learning to talk during the stage of language development from birth to 2 years. They focus on repeating and encouraging different sounds whilst also following sweet and engaging stories.
Each book follows a baby as they do usual baby things; going to the park and getting ready for bed, all things that little ones will relate to and recognise. Every thing the baby does is accompanied by the parents talking to them and making sounds, but what makes these stories unique is the emphais on prompting the baby to copy them:
“Daddy says, Look a car. Brumm brumm! Your turn… Brumm brumm!”
“Mummy says, vest off… nappy off. Your turn… Off, off, off!”
Bright and colourful illustrations will fascinate little ones as you read the story, they are full of objects and animals that they will have fun spotting too. Many of the words and sounds are also illustrated with actions for you and your baby to copy. I taught my boys a few signs when they were very young and really saw the benefit in them being able to communicate before they were able to vocalise a specific word. My one-year-old can ask for food, a drink, milk, and even tell me something is cold all through signs which I always pair with the word for him to hear.
The pages are thick and sturdy, perfect for small hands to turn. My son can flick through and find his favourite page in At the Park, when the family dog has covered Daddy and baby in mud, “Uh-oh!”
The last double page of each book looks back over the story and highlights the ways the parents talk and interact with their baby that supports their language development.
Repetition is key to helping young children learn, understand and develop and the repetitive lines and sounds create a lovely rhythm to the stories. These are beautiful books that children will love to read again and again, which of course creates some more brilliant repetition!
You can find more tips and information on helping your child learn to talk on the Small Talk website here.