My daughter, Alex, is expecting her first child this month. She asked me to put together a baby book library for her.

I had great fun picking out an array of baby books. I went for classics that are steady bestsellers generation after generation, like Pat the Bunny (a touch and feel book), Goodnight Moon, Paddington Bear, and I ❤️ Grandma from The Very Hungry Caterpillar series. I remember reading Alex these baby books, along with Guess How Much I Love You and Chicken Soup with Rice. I also added some current books with socially conscious messages that Alex was interested in like A is for Activist, Feminist Baby, and Global Babies.

Curating our children’s book selections is the personal pride and joy of Gramercy's book buyer, Debbie Boggs. I always envisioned Gramercy Books’ children’s section to be a whimsical space, one that felt cozy and bright. It has white shelves, a stunning curved display wall, and fun lantern-shaped lights that hang from the ceiling. The plush classic characters from baby books, like Paddington, Madeline, Peter Rabbit, and Winnie the Pooh add to the atmosphere (I pulled a Paddington bear to go with the baby book selections for Alex), as well some new favorites destined to be classics like Tiny T Rex and Itty Bitty Kitty Corn. Our children’s section takes up thirty percent of our square footage and the same portion of our sales revenue for good reason. Parents and grandparents are reading to their young children and grandchildren.

Reading to our babies and young children helps to secure the bond between parent/grandparent and child. Being read to provides comfort for children, improving their concentration and focus. It stimulates their imagination and expands their understanding of the world. And reading aloud to young children is the single most important thing we can do to help prepare them for reading and learning that will have a positive impact on them for the rest of their lives. According to the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, reading aloud to children, starting at birth, helps build brain connections during the first 5 years of their life, a critical time in which 90% of a child’s brain development happens.

Through early exposure to books, children absorb the rhythms and patterns of language and, at surprisingly early ages, begin to imitate the language and gestures they hear while being read to. I was thrilled to provide a wonderful foundation for Alex’s baby book library.  


Written by Linda Kass

About the author: I began my career as a magazine writer and correspondent for regional and national publications and am now an assistant editor for Narrative, an online literary magazine. My debut novel, Tasa’s Song, was inspired by my mother’s early life in eastern Poland during the Second World War. My second historical novel, A Ritchie Boy, was inspired by my immigrant father's role as a military intelligence office in World War II. My third novel, Bessie, a fictional portrait of Bess Myerson's early life, was released in September of 2023. I am also the proud owner of Gramercy Books, serving all of central Ohio!

Learn more about me on my personal website.