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What'll I Do with the Baby-O? Review by Megan Russell

Jane Cobb, MLS
Black Sheep Press
P.O. Box 2217
Point Roberts, WA 98281-2217

“What’ll I Do with the Baby-O?” is a huge book with over 350 rhymes, songs, and stories to use with your baby and toddler. This book is geared toward parents and caregivers, librarians, educators, teachers, and college students preparing for professions in childcare. The first part of the book contains sections for planning a program for babies and toddlers. The second and third chapters are titled “Program Planning” and “Presentation Tips”, which tell you how to start a program, where to place the program, how to schedule the program, and what you should do during the program. There are tips for snacks, using puppets and music, and reading aloud. There is also advice for trouble-shooting in your program - how to handle chatty parents, crying babies, disruptions, and other complaints.

The next chapter is titled “Understanding”. This chapter has short articles and introductions to topics such as baby brain development, language and literacy development, the role of books, the power of nursery rhymes, and different ages and stages of young children. This would be especially helpful for someone looking to start a daycare center or child development center but is also helpful for parents and caregivers.

The next chapter is “Rhymes” and is almost 100 pages long. The rhymes are categorized into appropriate topics, like “Circle Games and Dances”, “Greeting Songs”, “Goodbye Songs”, “Tickling Rhymes” and “Lullabies”. There are rhymes in other languages, such as French and German.

“Babies Love Books!” is the next chapter, and it is full of board book suggestions for babies and toddlers. There is an introduction to this chapter that teaches when to start reading to a child, what books appeal to babies, what babies learn from books, and characteristics of good books for babies and toddlers. The book suggestions are not only book titles, but a little information about each book.

The next chapter is a sample one-hour program for parents and babies up to a year old, complete with sample stories, songs, and social time ideas, followed by a chapter titled, “Five Easy Stories to Tell”. Next is a chapter with a sample one-hour program for one year old to two year old toddlers, again followed with a “Five Easy Stories to Tell” chapter. The next three chapters are sample half hour programs for different age groups, followed by a chapter on what to say to parents, program resources, and an index.The book also includes a CD with 36 rhymes and songs.

“What’ll I Do with the Baby-O?” is a great resource for parents of young children to have. It is full of fun fingerplays, rhymes, songs, and stories, many of which I have never heard before. It would also be an excellent resource for any early childhood educator, daycare provider, or librarian. It’s available for $39.95.

-Product review by Megan Russell, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, October, 2018