Pearls of Wisdom: Dr. Pearl’s Bookshelf

With warmer weather springing up in most states around the country, it’s a good time to stroll to your local library and introduce your children to new stories and/or picture books. My patients’ waiting room often echoes with children repeating their parents’ recitals of “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish…”  This brings back memories of reading aloud with my own two children, now ages 15 and 12, so I thought I’d share with you BabyLeggers some of our favorite children’s books.

Parents also frequently ask for recommendations of clinical books that offer developmental, practical and medical information.  Such basic reference guides are well worth keeping on hand and I bet you will find yourself consulting them again and again as your children grow. So today, I present to you the first installment of “Dr. Pearl’s Bookshelf.”

Happy reading!


Children’s Books:


Charlotte’s Web, Goodnight Moon, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Cat in the Hat, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Secret Garden, Madeline, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Are You My Mother, Little Bear and A Wrinkle in Time

Clinical Books for Parents:

Most of the clinical books are available on the American Academy of Pediatrics’ website — — in their bookstore.


Building Resilience in Children and Teens, Patient Education for Children, Teens and Parents, Managing Infectious Diseases in Child Care and Schools, Caring for Our Children, Nutrition: What Every Parent Needs to Know, Home Strength Training for Young Athletes and Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics.

Please go to the BabyLegs Facebook post about books for parents and children and tell everyone what books you and your children love!


All information contained in this blog and on our web site(s) should be independently verified by you by a medical professional of your own choosing and you should always conduct your own research and due diligence before making any decision related to the subject matter of this blog or our web site. 


Dr. Pearl


Dr. Pearl Cenon

A pediatrician in private practice in New Jersey for over 15 years, Dr. Cenon (we like to call her Dr. Pearl) also has two children of her own. Dr. Pearl’s husband, Kevin McDonough is also a pediatrician and they work together. She writes basic posts about topics that interest many parents, from skin care and nutrition to seasonal issues, such as allergies and colds. Her kind, approachable tone in each blog post will have you looking forward to the next one.

Baby Sign Language

When I first started my job 7 years ago, I had a co-worker that was learning sign language. I’d always thought it would be neat to know sign language but never learned how. I then found out that she was learning in order to communicate with her 6 month old grandson. I found that very interesting and researched baby sign language.  One day she brought her grandson to work with her and showed us how he would sign “milk” for a bottle, “dirty” if he had a dirty diaper, and even “more” if he wanted more. She told me that it was so easy to communicate with him and that he didn’t cry much because he was able to tell his parents what he wanted. At that moment, I decided when I had children that I wanted to teach them sign language.

Fast forward 5 years to when I had my first child…I’d forgotten about the sign language until a friend of mine told me of a website called “” (the same awesome site that introduced me to BabyLegs). One day I saw the “steal” was a DVD/CD set called Baby Signing Time and I immediately ordered it!  My daughter was about 13 months old and she was just beginning to talk and I could NOT wait to get her started on signing. Once we received the set I put the DVD in and my daughter was captivated by the children on the screen signing. My husband and I sat and watched as well. The host, Rachel, shows the sign, explains how to properly do it, and then sings a song while various children repeat the sign. My husband and I made sure to use signs when talking to our daughter to teach her. After about a month of watching the DVDs every night, our daughter showed us her first sign. We were walking out of the grocery store one rainy day and our daughter signed “rain”. We were so surprised and happy that we stopped right in the middle of the parking lot in the rain and praised her.

Rain Sign Language

It has been about a year since we started using sign language and our daughter knows about 75 or more signs and her communication is extremely advanced for her age. Our pediatrician was impressed with the way my daughter could sign and thought it was great that we were teaching her at such a young age. We have seen a decrease in temper tantrums even though she is only 2 years old because she can communicate with us better. We started later with her but plan on starting with our son when he is about 3 months old.

Have you used sign language with your baby? What type of results did you see?

About the Blogger:

My name is Stephanie. My husband and I have been married 3 years.  We have a two year old daughter and a little boy.

*Flashcard from BabySignLanguage.