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Starting storytime right with a bookworm baby shower

Having a baby shower gives your mom-to-be friend the perfect opportunity to rack up some necessary gifts and supplies before taking off on her journey into motherhood. We normally think: clothes, toys and even diapers and wipes. But if you're going to talk essentials, you should never neglect books.

Storytime is so essential to a growing tot that we thought some of you would want to dedicate the entire event to baby's first literary steps. Send guests baby shower invitations with a book-like center fold, suggesting that they bring a copy of their own favorite children's book. Not only will you get a great basic collection of tomes, but you can count on receiving some fairly sentimental gifts.

Decorating the event space will be easy if you can recall some classic children's stories. Representing Mother Goose, Goodnight Moon and any collection of Dr. Seuss characters will be a winning touch to the decor, and you can even add a few apples featuring smiling worms - preferably atop stacks of books, of course.

Once guests arrive, you can all work together to create your own book for baby by having each guest be responsible for writing and illustrating one page. In return for all of their efforts, offer them something to write home about - a baby shower bookmark is just the thing!