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Toddlers' Tales: A Guide to Reading to your Baby Neo

by mrs_cherish


It is a well-known fact that reading to Neopets increases their intelligence, and baby Neopets are no exception. Starting young and teaching your little darling the wonders of disappearing between the pages of an adventure can instill in them a love of literature that will stay with them into adulthood. It's a wonderful bonding experience for owner and baby, sparks their imagination, enriches their vocabulary, and can even aid speech development during these vital early years.

There are literally thousands of books in Neopia to choose from, but not all of them are suitable for babies. Oh, you CAN read Dr. Sloth's Dungeon as a bedtime story, if you really want to, but don't be surprised if you're in for a sleepless night of comforting nightmares afterwards. Similarly, as much as Embroidery Made Easy is one of my favourite books, my baby was quite literally bored to tears when I tried to share it with her. It's safe to say that there are some tomes better left for your Neopet to discover once they reach adulthood.

So what to do? Should you read all books first to check them for appropriate content?

Sure, but not only would this be much more time-consuming, but also twice as expensive, due to the magical disappearing nature of Neopian books.

Well, worry not, dearest Neopian comrades! Together with the help of my baby Usul, Tippled, I have compiled a recommended reading list, in which we revisit ten of our favourite books suitable for babies, delightful tales guaranteed to earn your favourite little nippers's gleeful stamp of approval.

Usul Bedtime Stories

Available from the Magical Book Shop

To start off, here's a compilation of tales perfectly suited to that all-important bedtime story. The stories are sweet, imaginative and enjoyable, but with a slow pace that lulled my littlest Neopet into a calm sleep. We read one story a night over several days, which made this book great value for Neopoints, too!

Baby Bath Time

Available from the Magical Bookshop

This one was recommended to us by one of Tippled's closest friends and dearest baby playmate, Baby_Vanellope. It's a short but funny little story aimed specifically at baby Neopets, all about the fun of splashing around at bathtime (something I'm sure all babies can relate to!) It's written in a light tone, in a bouncy rhyme that is sure to delight your little one again and again!

The Royal Book of Colouring

Available from Brightvale Books

A useful combination of activity and learning, this book features lots of simple pictures for your baby to scribble over the lines with. Just add a Box of Crayons (available from Neopian School Supplies) and you get all the intelligence boost of a book, plus the added bonus of keeping those sticky little fingers busy for an hour or two!

Feepit Pop-Up Book

Available from the Magical Bookshop

What baby doesn't love the simple wonder of a good pop-up book? And this is one of our favourites! The pop-up pictures are bright and colourful, but also simple and fairly sturdy, and thus more likely to withstand being handled by a baby. The story is adorable and well-written, and features the familiar face of one of Neopia's most popular Petpets.

Stories from Beyond

Available from the Neovian Printing Press

Not all babies are all giggling gurgles and sweetest smiles, many Neopets with a fondness of the darker side of Neopia begin expressing this affinity in infancy. If you've got the kind of baby that would rather hang out in The Haunted Fairground and wear their Baby Zomutt Costume all year round, this might be the book for them. Stories From Beyond recounts creepy legends, eerie folklore and personal accounts of ghostly goings on. It's macabre, but not too crib-wettingly terrifying.

Faerie Music Sing-Along

Available from the Faerieland Bookshop

This book caused my little baby to go into hyperactive squeals of delight the first time she opened it, and it has been a firm favourite ever since. Like most babies, Tippled loves to sing, and the way that this magical book sings along with the reader is right up her alley. This is perfect for any budding virtuoso... or just owners like me, who get all gooey and tear up when they hear their precious little preschooler lisping along to their favourite songs, getting all the words wrong in their sweet babyish little voices.

Baby Ruki Board Book

Available from the Magical Bookshop

This is a book more suited to the youngest of babies. The pictures are bright and colourful, and the words are few. This hardy board book with its solid pages can handle any amount of being thrown around, bitten, chewed and spat-up on. It's practically indestructible, ideal for that very first read!

Beam Me Aboard

Available from Booktastic Books

Does your baby have an adventurous streak and a thirst for excitement? Then distract them from their daredevil furniture-climbing exploits for an hour by reading them this enthralling tale. A plucky young hero, space travel, strange alien species and peril around every meteor! This is one book that's sure to leave your toddler staring up into space with visions of intergalactic daring.

Pazo the Lonely Aisha

Available from Sutek's Scrolls

We brought this book back from a family visit to Sakhmet, and it was an unexpected hit with our youngest littleNeopet. She listened to this inspiring tale of a heroic and resourceful Aisha with rapt attention from start to finish, and Pazo makes a first-rate role-model for young Neopets to look up to.

The Littlest Mazzew

Available from the Magical Bookshop

The Neopian world can be a very big place, especially when you are only very small. This is the captivating story detailing the adventures of a tiny Mazzew, and is sure to be an inspiration to any baby Neopet who sometimes gets frustrated about being the littlest Neopet in their family.

And there we have it, ten of our favourite baby-friendly books to get you and your little one started on the path that will hopefully lead you to a life-long love for the written word.

Happy reading!

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