We are obsessed with books here at Cappuccino Bambino and always on the look out for entertaining and educational reading materials for our little ones.
Knowing the importance of stimulation for babies from roughly two weeks old, and with two recent newborns on the team, we were on the hunt for ways to help in their development. We’d heard great things about the Little Black and White Book Project and their wonderful range of animal and wildlife books for babies and toddlers, so were eager to get a closer look.
As the name suggests, their books are all published in black and white and there’s a very particular reason for this.
When a baby is born they can only make out very significant contrasts between light and dark, such as black and white. This is because their retinas are not fully developed and as such, much of what they see around them appears blurry and out of focus.
Offering the greatest contrast, black and white colours register strongest on a baby’s retina and this in turn stimulates the brain. Activating this area of the brain then leads to faster visual development, giving your baby that all important starting point in life.
Aware of that scientific research we were thrilled to be gifted a range of the Little Black and White Book Project’s publications including their first ever storybook, Come Explore With Me, a fantastic journey around the natural world full of wonderful black and white animal illustrations.
Myself and a fellow Cappuccino Bambino mummy have now spent many a morning tummy time session with our newborns, positioning the books around 8 inches from their faces and watching in wonder as their eyes scan the illustrations.
In addition to the books, the Little Black and White Book Project also have a range of flashcards which we adore. Not only are these perfect for taking with us on the move and storing in the handbag or nappy changing bag to be brought out whenever the opportunity arises, they are also designed with both babies and toddlers in mind.
The animal illustrations on one side of the card serve the same stimulation purpose for your growing babies, while on the back, there are facts to read aloud and a clever activity that engages with older children.
Our daughter, who will be three-years-old in October, loves these cards. We scattered them across the living room carpet and then we asked her to go and find the card with the animal on it that we’d call out. Once she’d found the correct card, she’d excitedly bring it back to us to hear what the activity on the back was.
While it may be a few months before she can understand the facts, she’s already widening her vocabulary and was very chuffed with herself when she learned Rhinoceros!
She was already an animal lover but these cards have introduced her to some amazing new creatures that she had no idea existed. The Manta Ray is her current favourite.
These books and flashcards make a great gift for new parents or at children’s birthdays and we’re think they’re the perfect way for little ones to begin their reading journey.