Monday, July 30, 2012

the books we read

Last week Daniel started reading The Hobbit to Che. I watched his little face as he was introduced to Bilbo Baggins and then I listened to all the questions he had for Daniel. Later the same day my boys went for a walk to see the hobbit house - a home near us that's built into a hill, complete with round windows and a grass roof. Really, truly, it exists. 

Whilst in Melbourne Che purchased his first ever Tin Tin book (top photo). I stayed at the cafe breastfeeding Poet but lucky for me Tamara captured this gorgeous moment; the excitement of a little boy who, with his very own money, bought his first comic. 

Books are such a big part of our life. At least once every day I'll find Che curled up on his bed flicking through the pages of a story book. Sometimes I'll join him for a lazy afternoon reading session and every night, without fail, there's a bedtime story before slumber. So what are our favourite reads? In my opinion, you can't go through the first few years without reading:

  • The Terrible Plop by Ursula Dubosarsky, illustrated by Andrew Joyner, is a rollicking rhyme based on a Tibetan myth. Comical pictures, loveable characters and an upbeat's one of the best.
  • Little Cat and the Big Red Bus by Jane Godwin, illustrated by Anna Walker, is a heart-warming story complimented by the whimsical artwork of one of my favourite artists. 
  • The Amazing Machines series by Tony Mitton - these ten books are written in verse and feature quirky animal characters as they explore a variety of vehicles and machines. I stop each sentence half-way through and Che finishes. Sometimes I read the entire sentence and change the words (and then he changes them back) - tricks encouraged by his Montessori teacher. Each book has a glossary at the end with vehicle-related words...perfect for pre-schoolers.
  • anything by the wonderful Shirley Hughes. The queen of children's picture books, Shirley infuses everyday scenes with beauty and warmth. I love how she glorifies the work of the muma and recognises the wonder of nature and the seasons. We're currently reading Dogger, Out and About and The Big Alfie Out of Doors Book
  • The Way Back Home, How to Catch a Star, Lost and Found and Up and Down - all by the fabulous Oliver Jeffers. These tales of adventure are dreamy and fanciful - perfect for little imaginations. 
  • Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox and Helen Oxenbury - I'll admit that I may have shed a tear or two when I first read this book as a new mum. It so accurately captures the joy of having a baby and the illustrations are precious.
  • Hello Baby by Jenni Overend and illustrated by Julie Vivas is a beautiful celebration of home birth - an honest and realistic depiction of the journey. I recommend it to all my pre-natal students who are preparing their children for a new sibling or seeking a comforting story about labour and birth.
  • Alex and Lulu - Two of a Kind by Lorena Siminovick is the sweetest story about best friends. The illustrations are beautiful and the characters....utterly adorable. 

As we begin to venture into chapter book territory I am most excited about The BFG, Pippi Longstocking, James and The Giant Peach and Matilda.  

Of course, there are a plethora of gorgeous children's storybooks out there. What are your favourites? 

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