It is no secret that I am a huge Nancy Tillman fan. Her books are some of my absolute favorites to read with Lincoln, and they are books I started reading to him during infancy and never stopped.
Why? Lots of reasons. When reading to an infant/newborn, there are a few things I want to prioritize:
- Vocabulary. At this stage, I just want my child to hear lots of words, and to hear them being used in lots of ways. So I don’t typically choose books with one or two words per page. Instead, I choose books with rich text that I know I’ll enjoy as a reader.
- Cadence. Newborns and babies often love songs and patterns and even at this stage of life they begin to develop familiarity with these things. For this reason, I select books that have a noticeable cadence or even repetitive books with repeating patterns. Just like we as adults are comforted by things that are familiar or the sound of a song, babies are too!
- Content. Reading to your newborn is a special opportunity to connect with him or her. I want my reading time to also be a special bonding time with my child. Choosing books with content that is meaningful to me allows for a more powerful connection. Read Nancy Tillman’s, I’d Know You Anywhere, My Love to your 6 month old and you’ll know what I mean.
Nancy Tillman hits it out of the park when it comes to the aforementioned priorities. Her work is filled with rich, beautiful vocabulary, poetic structure, and content that will make just about any parent’s heart swell. These important literary elements continue to be beneficial as your child grows. When Lincoln was tiny, Nancy Tillman’s pieces were perfect for allowing us to connect and for him to hear language. Now that he is two years old, we can talk more about the illustrations and make personal connections to both the text and imagery.
My absolute favorite piece of hers is You’re Here for a Reason, (although it is honestly so hard to choose a favorite.) If you’re going to choose just one of her books to love endlessly, I recommend choosing that one!
On her website she says that her goal when writing children’s books is to give parents the words to say what they’re feeling about their children. I think the way her books are so deeply moving to those who read them is indicative of her success in this endeavor.
Here is a short list of titles from Nancy Tillman that are some of our favorites, but I’m a believer that you can’t go wrong with any of her work.
- You’re Here For a Reason
- I’d Know You Anywhere, My Love
- On The Night You Were Born
- It’s Time to Sleep, My Love
- You’re All Kinds of Wonderful – JUST RELEASED October 3rd and it is SO, so good.
If you already are a fan, share what your favorite Nancy Tillman book is in the comments! Nancy Tillman, thank you. Thank you for giving me words for the most precious moments and emotions that come with the gift of motherhood.