Children’s books we love
Sunday, July 27th, 2014
It’s never too early to foster a love of books with your child. Stories will teach them all they need to know about the world they live in, take them off on wonderful imaginary adventures and ultimately encourage literacy skills as they begin to read for themselves.
Here are Giraffe’s top picks for junior bookworms:
Best books: 0-2 year-olds
Amazing Baby: Baby Boo!
Babies learning to talk crave friendly words, repetition and plenty of clear pictures that are easy to focus on. The illustrations in Baby Boo! depict a number of babies photographed in simple black and white and juxtaposed with colourful, minimalistic text, making this early board book a visually stimulating experience. Baby Boo! is a lovely, simple rhyming book celebrating babies of all dispositions with a mirror at the end for that extra surprise touch.
That’s Not My Tractor by Fiona Watt & Rachel Wells
This is but one of the hugely popular That’s Not My ג¦ series, all of which use colour and texture to stimulate young minds. The simple, repetitive language (גThat’s not my tractorג¦ its engine is too bumpy’ is specifically designed to improve vocabulary, linking common adjectives (גrough’, גscratchy’ etc) to inbuilt textures for babies to touch. Investigate the rest of the series for similar books discussing dinosaurs, teddies, princesses and many more.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Few children’s bookshelves are complete without this longstanding favourite, featuring cutaway holes for little fingers to explore and colourful food to recognise and count. Toddlers will love to anticipate which foods the caterpillar will eat next and of course his amazing metamorphosis into a beautiful butterfly. A timeless classic.
Best books: 2-4 year-olds
Counting Colours by Roger Priddy, Robert Tainsh and Jo Rigg
Far and away the best book Giraffe ever saw on teaching the concept of colours to older babies; toddlers and pre-schoolers will also enjoy searching for the hidden objects and counting their findings too. There are only a few books that truly stand the test of time as children’s learning abilities develop so quickly, but there really is something for every age in here.
Aliens Love Underpants by Claire Freedman and Ben Cort
Few things induce the giggles in three-year-olds more than the subject of underpants, and this brilliantly funny book capitalises on the effect, in a zany tale about how aliens came to earth to steal your knickers! This is only the first in the series, which has been expanded to include the underwear of pirates and dinosaurs. A fun bedtime read.
Room On The Broom by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler
The author Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler deserve a special mention here, as the multi-award winning team behind The Gruffalo, The Snail And The Whale, Monkey Puzzle and many more much loved titles. In Room On The Broom, we learn the tale of how a witch and her various animal friends overcome all manner of obstacles as they fly through the air.
Best books: 5-7 year-olds
See Inside Your Body by Katie Daynes and Colin King
This popular educational series from Usborne shows young readers what it looks like inside your body, in a fun, colourful board book with plenty of flaps to lift and discover further information. As well as covering human anatomy there are similar titles including the topics of space, planet earth, the sea and more. Note to parents: these books make brilliant birthday presents for your children’s friends!
Winnie The Witch by Valerie Thomas and Korky Paul
Winnie is an enduring heroine who appeals equally to girls and boys. Her exploits are delightfully madcap and the illustrations are so finely drawn that it takes many, many readings to thoroughly appreciate all the hidden humorous details. Winnie The Witch is the original tale, which has now been expanded into a whole series of adventures, all of which are highly recommended. This book is almost as much fun for the parents as it is for the kids!
You’re A Bad Man Mr Gum! by Andy Stanton and David Tazzyman
For slightly older children who are gaining confidence in reading, You’re A Bad Man Mr Gum will induce many a chuckle. It’s clever, witty, ever so slightly dark and, with an average of just ten lines per page, it’s exactly the kind of book that will encourage reluctant readers to give it a go.