Monday, August 13, 2012

Fuzzy Bee / Squishy Turtle and Friends (Cloth Books by Roger Priddy)

Anyone who's ever read a book to a baby knows that a lot of books geared toward infants are criminally dumb. At first I was all bitter that these kinds of books found publishers and made money for their authors and became best-sellers. I mean, don't even get me started on the "Goodnight nobody" page of Goodnight Moon.  ?!?!?

But then I had to get over my issues because I realized Baba G loves almost all of the books that I think are ridiculous.

I've been reading to him since he was approximately six days old (as in, his first day home from the hospital). I've had many friends say that they didn't start reading to their kids for several months, but I'm not sure why. Maybe I just lucked out with a baby who would actually sit still long enough for me to finish a book. But wait a second—these books are like eight pages max and some of them are a total of like FIVE words. So I'd say that it's worth a try no matter how squirmy your baby is.

I'm sure I'll be reviewing a ton of BG's favorite books over the course of time, but I had to make sure I talked about his absolute favorite book to date: Fuzzy Bee and Friends, by Roger Priddy. My knee-jerk reaction to this book was that it was cute and colorful, and the only page I felt left something to be desired was the one for the butterfly. I mean, that rhyme is weak:

"I wonder why I'm such a splendid butterfly"? That is the best Mr. Priddy could come up with? Seriously.

BUT it doesn't matter to Baba G. From the early weeks he was immediately drawn to the things he could touch and pull at on each page (not sure how clear it is above, but the beetlebug's blue wings and one of the butterfly's red wings are like flaps).

Four months old and still captivated.

The whole book is made of cloth and it's got crinkly stuff in it. Crinkly stuff is like crack for babies, for real.


I've always thought that Baba G (and any baby, really) slightly resembled the Baby Worm, so I always squeal "BAAAAAaaaabbbby WOOOORRRRMmmm!" when we get to that part and he laughs and laughs. He still does, 6.5 months in.

Similar profile, and both bald with big eyes. There are worse things to look like.

After we knew Fuzzy Bee was a huge hit, my parents bought him another cloth book by Priddy: Squishy Turtle and Friends. Baba G loves this one, too. As I was preparing to write this post and Googling for links to use for the books, I realized that there is ANOTHER one of these cloth/crinkly books by Priddy: Fluffy Chick and Friends. Damn! How could I have not known about this? (It's since been ordered and will arrive in 2 days. Baba G is in for a surprise!)

The bottom line: I highly, highly, highly recommend buying all three cloth books by Roger Priddy: Fuzzy Bee, Squishy Turtle and Fluffy Chick (and Friends). Yes, I am recommending a book I don't even have yet because I looked through it online and know it's going to be just as loved by Baba G as the other two.

All of these books are brightly colored, have large, simply drawn animals on each page, and have sing-songy rhymes that make sense (for the most part)—BUT the secret to their success is the materials they're made out of. Both the crinkle-stuff inside the cloth pages and the textured wings, flaps, spouts, fins, tentacles, etc. of the "friends" on each page are what makes these books so irresistible to the tots. They're $9 or $10 each on Amazon—well worth the money.

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