Now YOU feel Daddy's scratchy face!

Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt

It took my baby a while to warm up to this book. Perhaps the quiet, pastel-hued art just didn't grab her. Also, touch-and-feel didn't really interest her until about 7 months. (She liked other touch-and-feel books before this one.)

The first spread she wanted to play with was "Now YOU play peek-a-boo with Paul." She would grab the little turquoise cloth flap and peek at Paul. So, it was a lift-the-flap experience first. (She liked lift-the-flap before touch-and-feel.)

Then she liked flipping through "Judy's book." Another lift-the-flap experience.

Daddy's scratchy face was the first texture she would touch. Then, later, it became her favorite page (indicated by her smiling, laughing, and/or looking up at me when we would turn to it). It's funny, because she likes to play with her own dad's "scratchy face." In fact, my husband has a little goatee just for her. Is it possible that she was making the connection to her real-life experience? I really think so!

Here is a picture of her touching her uncle's scratchy beard, making the same scrunchy-face smile she makes when we turn to the page in Pat the Bunny.

Anyway, I like to think she makes the connection!

Eliza also likes the mirror spread. She will peek in it and make eye contact with me through the mirror (and smile!). I must say, though -- the art on the mirror spread is one of the lamest pieces of children's book art I have ever seen. Come on, Dorothy! Who looks at a hand-held mirror like that? Did Judy fall over?

Eliza also likes to stick her index finger through "Mummy's ring." It is so cute to see her work her tiny finger through that hole. Takes some dexterity, I think!

Anyway, the funniest thing about our experience with this book is that Eliza refused to "pat the bunny" for the longest time. She would interact with every other page (she would even touch the flowers, which are meant to be sniffed-- lost on her)... but the bunny was always ignored. If I tried to put her hand on the bunny, she would yank her hand out of mine very quickly.

Finally, just a few days ago (right around 9 months), her little hand ventured to touch the bunny fur. It was the very last feature she found. Oh, the irony.

The amazing thing to me is that they still bind this book with a plastic comb binding. My daughter considers this one the touch-and-feel features, as she will frequently touch that part of the book (in fact, she touched that part of the bunny spread before the bunny). My daughter also likes to chew on this book more than any other, and she has managed to get bits of paper off the spine. So, we don't let her play with this book unsupervised.

Anyway, I recommend this book as a "stage two" infant/toddler book, after your child has learned to enjoy flaps and textures in other books.