Booka-booka-book – Elijah’s favourite new word. He’s weird in that he’s not usually interested in a bed time story. He shouts for his Booka-book as soon as he wakes up. He crawls off the (floor) bed and grabs his “The Gruffalo” board book that Micheala bought him for Christmas and sits next to you to read it. He normally only lasts a few pages before he wants to bash the book around and turn the pages himself. I don’t think I’ve ever got through a full book with him.
Having a baby daddy who previously worked as a bookseller and VM for Waterstones means it’s only natural for our house to be FULL of books.
Craig actually focused mainly on the children’s section of his shop and took an interest in the illustration of the story books he worked with. We had a small collection of childrens books prior to even conceiving Elijah! Once upon a time he wanted to write and illustrate his own book so he bought a few of his favourites to use as inspiration. The book writing has unfortunately been put on hold because working, wedding planning and “dadding” takes up a lot of his time! I hope he gets back into it though. His ideas are great!
Elijah has an AMAZING collection of books. His dad has bought most of them but his ex colleagues have been kind enough to gift us more beautiful books.
A lot of his books aren’t necessarily “age appropriate” and certainly have a target audience of older children but it doesn’t really matter as long as we are reading to him. Reading to children is so important.
We don’t have a lot of the “classics”. We have a lot of unusual books, new books, beautifully illustrated books and books with important messages. So I thought I’d share some of our favourites. It’s been really tough narrowing it down.
A reference book is a book that doesn’t have a narrative or a story. It can be just pictures. Or pictures with captions or some facts and figures. We have A LOT of reference books. I absolutely love them. I think they’re so great to allow you to actually engage with your child. There are no, or very little, words to read. So you can describe the pictures. Talk about what they’re showing. Make the noises of whatever it is showing and ask your child to point out certain parts of the picture. I some times prefer these books to stories because it can feel like you’re reading “at” your child instead of “with” them. Here are a few of my favourites.
Pantone Colours – I love this book because it is one of our more age appropriate books that we have. It is a board book meaning Elijah can go wild bashing at it and turning the pages himself. I tend to make the noises of what’s on the page. Roar-ing at the yellow lion and blub-ing with the orange goldfish.
Full Speed Ahead – This book is so beautifully illustrated. And it’s really informative too! Did you know a gazelle can travel the same speed as a fire truck?! It is a fairly simple concept showing the speeds of different animals and objects. But trust me, it is so interesting. Kids would love it!
Animals – Quite simply this is just a beautiful book with HUGE pictures of different animals. Again there is lots of roar-ing and hooting when we flick through the pages of this book.
One Thousand Things – This book is brilliant for engaging with younger children. You can count things, look for things, and discover new things on each page. It has pages and pages of beautiful little illustrations and there is a mouse to find on each page! Lots of fun for littles!
Books with a message
This is a collection we hope to grow as Elijah gets older. Books are a fabulous way to convey an important message be it compassion, kindness or being yourself.
Iggy Peck Architect & Rosie Revere Engineer – These books are so clever and have a lovely rhyming prose. Each books feature a child with a certain passion which seems unusual and unnecessary to those around them. They become discouraged and almost defeated. That is until their passion becomes the saviour. We need to buy Ada Twist Scientist next!
Tough Guys Have Feelings Too – Being a boy mama this book is SO IMPORTANT. This book flips gender stereotypes on its head in a beautiful way. The image of a crying Super Hero on the front page is striking. Suicide rates among men are so heartbreakingly high. We need our boys to know it’s okay not to be okay sometimes and that they can show their feelings and get support if they need it.
The Journey – This book is particularly poignant in our current world. The book follows a mother and her two children on a journey into the unknown. As refugees they are searching for are a new and better life. This book truly teaches compassion and understanding.
Fanatically Great Women Who Changed the World – All children should get this book. Not just girls! This book is probably best for older children. It features amazing ladies such as Coco Chanel, Rosa Parks, Jane Austin and Frida Kahlo.
Special Mention – Oliver Jeffers
Oliver Jeffers is my favourite children’s author. His books are creatively illustrated and often really funny. I thought I’d share a few from him that we all enjoy.
Once Upon an Alphabet – A short story for every letter of the alphabet. I read a few of these to Elijah before bed once. Then stayed up and read the rest on my own because I enjoyed it that much!
Stuck – In this book poor Floyd has gotten his kite stuck in the tree… as well as his shoes, a ladder and the kitchen sink! A really fun read.
A Child of Books – A brilliant book with and important message too! A child’s imagination is magical. And this book really displays this.
The Day The Crayons Quit – Okay! I know this one wasn’t written by Jeffers. I was initially drawn to the illustration which he did. But the book is so funny and imaginative. Duncan heads to his box of crayons to find they’ve all quit! They have left him notes with their various grievances. Orange and yellow are arguing over the true colour of the sun. And Beige is sick of being called “light tan”. The follow up book The Day The Crayons Came Home is equally great.
I hope this gives you some inspiration for what you can read to your cubs. Please let us know your favourite children’s book in the comments!