Timberdoodle recently sent me a couple of Ditty Bird Board Books to review with my grandkids. Two titles were included in the set: Ditty Bird Children’s Songs and Ditty Bird Learning Songs.
Rachel read the books to her niece and nephew while I took pictures. A few of the songs in the book were already familiar to them, but most they’d never heard before.
A musical chip in the book “sings” all the songs, which is Ditty Bird Board Books’ whole schtick. They provide an easy way for pre-readers to “read” a book over and over and over again, even when Mom or Dad — or Aunt Rachel — don’t have time to go through it with them.
That’s a big plus in a lot of parents’ books. Your little ones can “read” in the car while you’re driving or in their crib during nap time or at the table while you’re making dinner. I can definitely see the appeal of that.
The pictures are bright and colorful, too, and each book contains a good variety of songs. Although most were unfamiliar to my grandkids, they were all well known to me: “B-I-N-G-O,” “4 Little Ducks,” “Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes,” “5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed,” “This Old Man,” “The Ants Go Marching One by One,” and many more.
I’d not heard some of these songs since my own childhood, and reading the books brought back fond memories of my own mother singing them with me. It’s been fun getting to share all these childhood songs with the next generation.
The only thing I don’t love about these books? Trying to read them aloud while the sound chip is on. The taped songs only include one verse each, and the tempo doesn’t allow sufficient time to do all the motions — especially when trying to teach them to kids who’ve never done them before.
Fortunately, there’s a tiny on/off switch on the back cover. So my recommendation is to switch it off when reading the book aloud. That will allow you to sing each song at your own pace, as many verses as you like, in a key that feels comfortable, all while incorporating motions where appropriate.
And if you run into a song you don’t already know? Then switch the button back on and let the book teach you the tune. You can listen to it as many times as necessary until you can sing it yourself by rote. 😊
While you’re on the Timberdoodle website, I’d encourage you to look around. We love everything we’ve ever ordered from this small family-owned company!
PLEASE NOTE: As a member of the Timberdoodle blog team, I routinely receive free or deeply discounted products in exchange for writing honest reviews. Opinions expressed in these posts are 100% my own. I’ve been a happy and enthusiastic Timberdoodle customer for decades — long before I ever started blogging for their company.