Review: Routes To Reading’s Baby Book Club – Month 2

Last month, I wrote about how we hope to instil Baby L with a love of reading from an early age and that we are being helped to achieve this through a three-month trial with Routes to Reading’s Baby Book Club. This is a subscription service which delivers expertly-picked books to your door each month which are tailored for the age of your little one.

The first month of our membership saw us receive two cool books which we have been using with Baby L ever since – these books were Snuggle and The Usborne Little Book of Nursery Rhymes. You can check out my review of these books and the first month of the Baby Book Club membership. As we’ve started going to baby sensory classes, the nursery rhyme book has been particularly useful and meant that we no longer look like novices when it comes to these catchy jingles.

For the second month of our subscription, Baby L was sent two more books; Black & White and Hello Baby.

Book 3: Black & White by Tony Hoban

“Perfect for babies from birth to age two! This accordion style foldout book is sturdy enough to stand by itself, and it is just the right size for little hands. Features fourteen panels illustrated with objects from your child’s ever-growing world.”

Routes to reading baby book club Black & White Tana Hoban

Black & White is a foldout book with contrasting images of everyday items

As the name suggests, Black & White is a book consisting of an array of images in shades of black and white. It is well known that young babies can best focus on these two contrasting colours, so this book is perfect for newborn babies. Rather than a traditional book in which you turn over the pages, this book is an accordion design meaning that it fully opens up. On one side are white images on a black background – including a leaf, cat and keys – whilst on the other side are black images on a white background – including a bottle, a balloon and a chair.

The book is made of thick card which makes it very rigid and allows it to be stood up. This means that the book can be propped up to allow the baby to stare at it, rather than it needing to be held. This was really useful and we used it for this purpose when changing Baby L and when she was in her highchair. This meant that she was always entertained and (hopefully) developing, even when we were not spending one-on-one time with her and the book. All edges of the book are curved too to help avoid any accidental scratches to the face or pokes in the eye. Once finished, the book is easily folded back on itself and fastened with Velcro.

The book has 14 images of everyday life, and although it has no words, it is fun to explain to the baby what the image is. At just £4.99, this seems a really fair price for a book that can be used in multiple situations and is specifically designed to help little babies focus and develop.

Routes to reading baby book club Black & White Tana Hoban dad and baby

Black & White can be propped up to keep Baby L entertained or can be used as a ‘normal’ book

Book 4: Hello Baby by Priddy Books

 “A very first high contrast book to share with your baby. Babies respond best to high contrast colours, shapes and patterns. Black and white are the easiest colours for newborns to see. Early visual stimulation encourages baby’s overall development.”

Routes to reading baby book club Hello Baby Priddy Books

Hello Baby is a soft cloth book with high contrast colours and shapes

Hello Baby is a high contrast cloth book which features patterns and shapes in a range of bold and bright colours. It is soft to the touch and deeply padded which makes it appealing for small, intrigued hands (the baby’s, not mine!). The back page is also padded with crinkly material which makes a rustling sound when touched – Baby L particularly liked this back page.

Where I was slightly disappointed with Snuggle last month because the colours were very pale and pastely, Hello Baby is completely the opposite. It uses bright red, yellow and blue, as well as black and white, to provide interesting and unique patterns, such as a heart, concentric circles and polka dots. We all know that babies love looking at themselves, so the fact that the book has a small mirror on the front adds an extra intrigue and entertainment factor to the book too.

Although it only has six-pages, I feel £5.99 is a decent price for the book, mainly because it combines a number of senses for the baby through the different feels of the book, the high contrast colours and the mirror on the front. Hello Baby also comes in a nice presentation box which means that it would make a sweet present for a newborn.

Routes to reading baby book club Hello Baby Priddy Books dad and baby

Baby L transfixed on all of the coloured shapes and patterns in Hello Baby

As per last month, I again received an email from Routes To Reading with reading tips, photos and a brief description of the two books that were sent. This helped to explain why the books had been selected and how to best use them, which added a personalised feel to the service. The reading tips were useful, particularly the tip about the baby’s visual range being limited, so you need to hold the book at the right distance and turn the page slowly.

In summary, I’ve been very happy with the first and second months of our Baby Book Club membership and am looking forward to seeing which books are sent next month. Check out my review of the books we received in our Routes To Reading Month 1 subscription.

N.B. This review was written by me (Dave) and represents my honest opinion of the product. The books were sent to me by Routes to Reading as part of the Baby Book Club with the purpose of writing a product review in exchange for the product.