Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Our favourite children's books

If there's one thing my children have inherited from me, besides freckles, a sweet tooth and a quick temper (yep, it's brilliant when we clash) is a love of books. Finn especially can sit for hours absorbing the story through the pictures. It never fails to amaze me how he can perfectly recite a story after only 3 or 4 nights of me reading it. Clearly he's not inherited my memory.

5 Days old. Max's first book (quite a read)

We have a bedtime ritual which involves a bath, milk and 3 stories. As I have mentioned before I never buy toys (our families' generosity sees that we don't have to!) but my rule doesn't apply to books, I could buy them until the cows come home. Or I run out of money. I love our snuggly evenings, kids hanging on to my every word as I read.

There is a steam railway a small walk from our house and one day a lady was coming out of the gift shop with a distraught 3-year-old. The girl clearly had been told she couldn't have something from the shop and her Mum snapped 'I'm not buying you a book, you have one at home. Let's go and get some sweets instead'. One of the saddest things I've overheard a parent say.

Our library has a great children's section and every few weeks we return home with our little Bookstart bag bursting from the seams. I love these 'new book' days and so enjoy seeing the boys' anticipation at going to bed with a brand new story to experience. The same feeling I get starting a new book. It's magical.

So over the past 4 years, I've read alot of children's books and this, dear readers, is our pick of the best (in no particular order)

1. Zog by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

Julia Donaldson's style is very easy to read, with many accompanied by wonderful illustrations by Axel Scheffler. We enjoy all her books but this one particularly for me as at the end the princess announces she doesn't want to be a princess after all, but a doctor. An excellent moral indeed in this era of all things pink and pincessy.

2. Forget-Me-Not by Michael Broad

A lovely tale of a little elephant, a mother's love and the importance of listening

3. When Dragons are Dreaming by James Mayhew and Lindsey Gardiner

I don't quite know what it is about this book but I love it. It tells of how the fairies are scared of dragons until one day a little dragon helps a fairy in need. A sweet, short tale, perfect for bedtime.

4. Pinkie Mouse, Where Are You? by Allison Green and Deborah Allwright

I particularly like stories which inspire traits I'd like my children to possess. This tells of a brave Pinky Mouse and a shy Pangolin playing hide and seek. Pangolin soon discovers he's braver than he thinks thanks to Pinky hiding a bit too well. A tale of friendship and breaking boundaries.

5. You Choose! by Pippa Goodhart and Nick Sharratt

We could sit with this book for hours. Wonderfully interactive, it takes you though a series of scenarios and the vibrant illustrations allow you to choose which you'd like. Children can choose where they'd like to live, what pet they'd have, what they'd do for a job amongst many other things. If your child is over about 2 years old, this is a must.

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