Part of the reason for starting this blog was to keep a sort of diary, having failed miserably at baby books! The only downside being that I started it when the youngest began school and therefore missed the toddler years. Now that The Boy is growing up, we are beginning to reclaim the lounge as ‘adult space’ and have started the process of sorting through, boxing up and giving away all the baby/ toddler paraphernalia that we have gathered over the years. Sorting through our vast quantity of books, the kids realised just how many of them they loved and didn’t want to part with. We had a wonderful evening, reminiscing over their beloved books (many of which, I can still recite from memory) and finding long forgotten favourites.
So, I decided to write a post on our favourite children’s books, to make sure they are not forgotten in years to come. I asked them all to pick their favourite book, the one that they remember most fondly but they just couldn’t choose, so it ended up being two each!
I couldn’t help choosing a couple myself too, as my life was dominated by children’s books for so long, and still is, to some extent! We have enjoyed so many different books but these were firm favourites and ones I would recommend any new parent to share with your babies! We have ended up keeping most of our books, at least for the next few years as The Boy can now read them himself and is enjoying them all over again!
As K is my first born, we discovered many books for the first time, together. Of course there were books that I recognised from my childhood, but many, including her choices, were new to me!
- Tiddler, The Story-Telling Fish, written by Julia Donaldson
‘Tiddler, the story-telling fish’ was a bedtime favourite for months, I could read it without looking and she knew it word for word, so there was no page skipping (don’t judge me- we’ve all done it!) or skimming quickly through that one!
- Tyrone, The Double Dirty, Rotten Cheater, written by Hans Wilhelm
‘Tyrone, the double dirty, rotten cheater’ is about a big bully dinosaur who cheats his way to winning but gets his comeuppance in the end. K loved the fact that the smaller dinosaurs worked as a team to catch him out and also, the lovely illustrations in the book.
Lou’s picks were also two of my faves!
- The Gruffalo, written by Julia Donaldson
The Gruffalo needs no introduction, it must be one of the most popular children’s books and rightly so! We have several copies, but the favoured one was the ‘sound book’ where the children have buttons to press throughout the story.
- Ten Little Ladybirds, written by Melanie Gerth
We have fond memories of counting the ladybirds together and predicting which creature is mentioned next. There is definitely a rhyming theme beginning to emerge in our favourite books!
The Boy’s Picks:
The Boy’s choices were unsurprising! Books that do something. He loves books with flaps, popups and things that move.
- Dear Zoo, written by Rod Campbell
‘Dear Zoo’ is a simple book with the type of repetitive pattern that young children love. He was always excited to guess the animal before revealing it and proudly ‘read’ the book alone (remembered the words!!) as a preschooler.
- Gallop! written by Rufus Butler Seder
‘Gallop!’ is a ‘scanimation’ book that makes the images appear to move on the page, they are really clever and captivating to look at. Our copy has been so well read, I think it has equal quantities of sticky tape to paper! It’s simple rhyming and use of onomatopoeia (words that are a sound) are also endearing to children, making it easy to memorise and repeat.
- The Fish Who Could Wish, written by John Bush
‘The Fish who could wish’ is a book engrained into my brain for ever more! It’s a silly story about a fish whose wishes all come true, set in a rhyme. It’s just one of those clever, catchy books that you either love or it drives you around the bend! To be honest, I think I went around the bend and came back around the other side!
- Sharing a Shell, written by Julia Donaldson
Another Julia Donaldson book! No surprises that she features several times in our top eight I suppose. ‘Sharing a shell’ is another great rhyming read that flows off of the tongue and has wonderful glittery illustrations to go with it! Julia’s books really led themselves to theatrical reading using different voices and tempos for individual characters. The best books are always the ones that mummies and daddies enjoy reading too!
So, those are our top eight books for young children. I’d love to know your children’s favourite books, drop me a note in the comments below with your top two and what you and your kids love about them!