If you want to raise a bilingual child, you can't really start too early to talk to your little one in the second language. And read to her! It might seem a little ambitious to you to read to a 6-month old, but you'll see, she will enjoy snuggling up on your lap, listening to your voice and see the pictures. It is also a fun thing to do, particularly if you pick books that you enjoy, too. And pretty soon, you will notice, that she (or he) understands quite a bit. And has favorites, too. My son had some books that had him cracking up with laughter at 10 month. And about 1 year, when they start saying their own first words, they are really into picture dictionaries. In general books with simple, not too cluttered pages are great, as are rhymes and if possible, some possibility to include action, like flaps or movements.
Here are some of the books my son loved when he was around one year old.
PIEP PIEP PIEP
This is a book of sounds: you'll see a picture of animal, person or object in bold colors, paired with the sound it makes. It has animals (lions, birds...), fire engines, cars, christmas trees (yes!), kissing moms. The simplicity is appealing to children (not too much on a page, so they can focus), the colors, too., My son loved this book! And it was fun to read again and again, imitating the sounds, some of them surprising. (and if you have problems with some pages that you think are not age-appropriate - just skip them.)
Guido van Genechten
DER KLEINE WEISSE FISCH IST GLÜCKLICH
Little white fish gets picked up at daycare and says good bye to each of his friends, the crab, the seahorse... One of my son's big favorites starting at 6 month. We waved good-bye to each of fish's friends - he loved it. It is a simple short story with colorful, high contrasted pictures. Good to practise colors and prepositions at a later stage.
MEIN ERSTES BUCH VON FAHRZEUGEN
This is a book of a whole series, introducing animals, Christmas, Easter.. cute little pictures of cars, diggers and planes that have little flaps and slides to move, so the car drives across the page. Action from the little one is required - always the best to get their attention!
EIN TAG MIT PEPE & MILLI
More slides and flaps! You can enjoy a day with dog Pepe and cat Milli, as they wake up, have breakfast, dinner, a bath and go to bed. (And if you like children's books that don't have the usual gender stereotypes this is a good one: Pepe is the one who cooks and does the laundry, Milly reads the newspaper instead.) It's part of as little series, all loved by my son.
DAS ALLES SIND BILDER UND WÖRTER
By the same author/illustrator is this delightful picture dictionary. Words and illustrations are grouped according to topics - in the house, outside, animals, vehicles, professions, foods.. and there is lots to discover on every page, making it so much more fun than many of the other picture dictionaries. My son enjoyed it, when I started singing a little tune to impersonate the singer or pretended to burn my fingers, when touching the stove...
Susanne Weber / Tanja Jacobs
DIE EULE MIT DER BEULE
Little owl has a bump and the other animals try to sooth the owl and its pain. Simple short rhymes and cute illustrations make this a good read, and if you introduce some of the actions involved - caressing your child, blowing - it will be an even bigger success.