Kids’ Books

Wow – sorry for that longer than average hiatus.  I was out of town.  Onward…

I am so lucky to have two children who love books.  Even at preschool, the teachers have remarked on P’s love of books and reading, and how it helps to calm him.  And M has loved books too for a few months. She’s in that adorable stage where she flips pages and “reads” them aloud in her baby talk.  Children’s books are a blessing and a curse, because a good one is such a joy.  And a bad one – well, let’s just say reading “Diggers” 11 times in a row kinda makes you want to poke your eyes out.

P is not discriminating.  He will read most anything.  And then once he reads it, he wants it again, and again, and again.  He even likes to pretend that the catalogue of Thomas trains is a book – about a boy with a lot of trains of course.  He’ll listen to poems like Alligator Pie.  I’ve even indulged myself and read him Little House in the Big Woods; and James and the Giant Peach, and while he doesn’t understand it all, every now and then he perks up and ask a question that showed he’d been listening all along.  Lots of animals get cooked, slayed, lost and so on in the Little House books, and that’s always entertaining.  Although Little House on the Prairie did give him a bit of a fear of wolves… I probably should have skipped that passage.

He’ll also read those really inane books – you know the ones where there’s no title, just a bunch of stock photos and some publishing house intern’s rhymes. (“The elephant is really big!  And so is the bright pink pig! Goat says baa and Cow says Moo! Bunny rabbit says Achoo!” – that sort of thing.) Somehow those books proliferate in our house – I’m not sure why because I don’t buy them.  There are only so many books about baby farm animals I can take. I mean, YAWN!

I hadn’t bought any books in a while – we are quite regular library users – but I felt like our permanent collection needed a perk up, so I went on a bit of a spree this afternoon and bought a bunch, old and new.  Some, like Corduroy Bear, or Ashanti to Zulu are ones from my own childhood.  Others were one I wish I’d had, like books by Gyo Fujikawa.  And others were ones I don’t know but that I’d heard are good, like Iggy Peck, Architect.

Now I can’t fairly review the books I just bought, because I haven’t read them all, or even read any of them recently, but I thought I’d recommend a few of our (read: my) favourites – ones I don’t mind reading over and over and over, as requested.  I’ve given minimum ages below, but at almost 4 P enjoys all these books too.

I am a Bunny by Ole Risom and Richard Scarry

This is a board book we have for M.  The illustrations are gorgeous and go through the seasons, and the simple text about the bunny is sweet without being cloying.  It’s nice to have a baby book you actually enjoy reading, that’s not just peekaboo this, touch that.  This is any age book.

Dogger by Shirley Hughes

A childhood favourite about a boy and his lost stuffed animal.  You know it’s funny, I still find this book suspenseful. This books has a fair amount of text, so I’d think ages 3 and up, or even 4 depending on your child’s attention span.  Shirley Hughes is wonderful.

Olivia by Ian Falconer

I love this spunky pink pig who annoys her cat, dreams of being a ballerina and never wants to go to bed.  Olivia is everywhere these days, but she’s worth the hype.  Again, pretty much any age… we got it for P when he was about 18 months and he enjoyed it then.  I won’t watch the TV show though; pretty sure it would ruin it for me.

Cat Balloon by Palo Morgan

Kind of a weird one, but it’s the story of a cat who dreams of sailing to the moon and doesn’t let all the other cats who tell him it can’t be done get him down.  Not that much text, but also not a board book, so I’d think age 2 or up… it’s quite whimsical and quirky and would be enjoyed by an older child too.

So tell me, what kids’ books do you not mind reading AGAIN and again?

4 thoughts on “Kids’ Books”

  1. Books! My favourite topic. 🙂 Currently, Colin (3) is into William Steig, and I can happily read any of the ones we own over and over again. I also love Julia Donaldson (Gruffalo rocks but definitely branch out into others!) ‘Stanley’s Party’ is a fave, as are the cautionary tales published by Usborne (‘Don’t Tell Lies, Lucy’ etc.) I’d definitely recommend you try Peter on the ‘My Father’s Dragon’ series in a little while! Also, if you’re ever looking for more ideas, check out Sonlight curriculum’s read aloud selections; they really focus on some fantastic literature. 🙂

  2. I’ve never gotten into the Olivia books, something about the pictures turns me off… one of my absolute faves to read with the girls is The Little Engine that Could – also from my childhood. We love pretty much anything Robert Munch. Alena really digs Dr. Suess, Leila not so much. But mine are the same, they’ll read anything.

  3. Everytime I picked up a book today, I thought “I need to go add that one to my comment!” 🙂 So. Margaret Wise Brown’s ‘The Good Little Bad Little Pig’ is delightful. ‘Danny and the Dinosaur’ by Syd Hoff. Clement Hurd’s ‘The Merry Chase’. I had forgotten Colin’s so-far-all-time-fave ‘Blueberry Pie Elf’ by Jane Thayer! OH does he love that book; I loved it as a child and always remembered the gingham print on the cover, so I found it for my boys and he adores it.

  4. I love children’s books. I have all of mine saved from when I was little to hopefully read to our kids one day soon. My favourite is “Mr. Bell’s Fix It Shop” Still makes me tear up!

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