Author: Raffi

12 to 17 Months ConceptPoetry/Songs

This book was inspired by Raffi, a popular children’s entertainer who wrote the song Baby Beluga. It tells the story of one little beluga whale’s daily adventures in the deep blue sea. The beautiful color palette of the drawings, illustrated by Ashley Wolff, is bright, eye-catching and true to life. Your little one will discover many concepts along the way as you read this book, such as night and day, ocean life, and cold environments. Coupled with the song, this book will quickly become one of your child’s favorite stories!

Before, During and After Reading

Oral Language

Show your child the front cover of the book. Point to the words “Baby Beluga” and explain that this is the title of the book. You may also want to show him and explain who the illustrator is. You can then show him which animal on the front cover is the beluga whale and explain that it is a type of whale, one that lives in very cold ocean water.

Phonological Awareness

Keep a steady rhythm as you read the text. There are many phrases that include words that rhyme. In order to expose the concept of rhyming, try to maintain a pattern in pace as you read the words. Your child will notice the rhythm and will enjoy the calmness of the read aloud.

Oral Language

Frequently pause to examine the images and new words in the pages. The book provides many different concepts and new vocabulary words, such as arctic animals. Take some time to point out these concepts and words to your child and explain what they mean and how they relate to your child. For example, you might want to explain what and where the moon and stars are in the page. Relate the concept of night time to your child by explaining when he sees the moon and stars and where he sees them.    

Beginning Writing

Make your own beluga whale! Take a large empty water bottle and fill it halfway with some water. Be sure to remove the paper label so that your child can see the water and the whale. Next, add 1-2 drops of blue food coloring and secure the lid tightly. Allow your child to shake the water bottle so that the water turns into a beautiful shade of blue. Using a small, white balloon (with no air in it) and a permanent black marker, draw the beluga’s eyes, mouth and spout on the white balloon and stuff it in the water bottle. Secure the lid tightly again and have your child make the waves in the bottle to see the beluga whale swim. You can even have the song playing in the background while he plays!

Find more recommended children’s books for toddlers 12 to 17 months, or find an easy at-home activity designed to strengthen pre-reading skills in your toddler.