We love books. And I think no baby is too young to be read to (or shown pictures to!). As our library of books explode, I would love to share our favourite ones with you!
On Mondays I post 3 book reviews of books that we are curretnly reading. On Wednesdays I post a Book & Craft project. So do pop back on those days!!
In the meantime:
The easiest way to do this, is through an “Amazon Store” – then if you like something you can buy it straight away. I do get a small (!!) commission, which I will put towards prizes and competitions! Please do take a look and click on the below!!
PS Some books may be cheaper if you “hunt” a little for them on ebay or specialist provider (e.g. Animal Lore & Disorder by J Riddell), I would love for you to enjoy these books as we do, without spending a fortune! They are listed through Amazon, as it is a convenient way to review.. Similarly, if they are out of stock, do look for them elsewhere!!!
[Note: There are a whole range of books that I love, but that Red Ted isn’t quite ready for yet (e.g. Oliver Jeffers books) – I will review only the ones that Red Ted loves already! I am sure he will adore the other ones, once a little older] – Scroll down to read about books that Red Ted enjoyed when younger, with more recent books added to the top!
(for more books reviewed by myself & other mums visit: http://mummybloggersbookclub.blogspot.com/2010/03/blue-chameleon-by-emily-gravett.html)
29 March 2010:
Lost and Found, Oliver Jeffers Finally! Red Ted is old enough for the fabulously lovely Oliver Jeffers books! We love the quirkiness and we love the gorgeous drawings. Get one. Nuff said. Think Jeffers will be our first stART project – http://tinyurl.com/yf5hykc).
2 March 10:
I was going to do this review a while ago and never got round to it. But as it is (supposedly) Dr Seuss birthday, I really must get on with it and do it today! So. Dr Seuss. A classic. Have to say, The Cat in The Hat is still a little advanced for Red Ted (though we do read it), but if you want a little Dr Seuss in your life, than the Pocket Library and the I Can Rhyme book a both fabulous – bright colours, silly rhymes and “typical” Dr Seuss drawings. Lovely. Red Ted particularly likes the library, as it is a nice size to hold and he can tidy them up! If you do get both, you will find there is a little bit of an overlap, but that is good – toddlers like familiar things! For the parents – lots of words, colours, counting etc etc. A must have! ;-)
11 Feb 10:
Well! How lovely is this, one of my Blog Reader has made a book suggestions and what a lovely book it is! Available in both English & German: Good Night Gorilla (Gute Nacht, Gorilla) – Peggy Rathmann
“Ben (16 months now) is loving the “magic” book you gave him, but since a week he’s got a new favourite: Good Night, Gorilla” by Peggy Rathmann. Here’s a brief teaser from the author’s website: Good night, Gorilla… Good night, Elephant… It’s bedtime at the zoo, and all the animals are going to sleep. Or are they? Who’s that short furry guy with the mischievous grin? Good night, Giraffe… Good night, Hyena… It’s beautifully drawn on 17 double page spreads and doesn’t need more copy then the ever repeating : “Good night…” But it even got us, the parents, hooked with its funny side stories that are quietly evolving through small details (the ballon goes travelling, the mouse with its banana, etc.). I can even recommend it for older children 2-3 years, as they can tell the stories themselves and for a change “read” to Mummy and Daddy. Enjoy! :)”
9 Feb 10:
Klipp Klopp – Nicola Smee – as Red Ted gets older, suddenly the German Book market explodes with excellent books. We recently ordered “Klipp Klopp” – about some farm animals going for a ride on a big horse and he LOVES the book! I can lure him upstairs with a promise of Klipp Klopp when I have change Pip Squeak. Hurray! What is in it for the parents? Not much, apart from that it is fun to read, esp when the horse goes faster and faster (klipp klopp klipp klopp klipp klopp klipp klopp) etc. Enjoy!
14 Jan 10:
I haven’t posted new books in aaaaages. Sorry! Part of the reason being, that Red Ted seems to love all his books at the moment.. a different favourite one every day (or so it seems). Here a few that do stand out:
Nutshell Lirbrary by Maurice Sendank. Red Ted loves these, as he loves little books he can hold and put in and out of little boxes. (Be ware, as he learns to do this, it easier for him to only fit 3 books, so I have hidden one… else he gets very frustrated). Mummy loves these, because a) she had two of the little books when she was little b) loves Maurice Sendank’s quirkiness and c) (for all parents) it has counting, seasons and alphabets + just a little story about a lion. What more could you want?!
Was ist Wo? Suchen & Finden – Kari Grossmann – Now as Red Ted enters the age of vocab, this is a fabulous book – well, this “type of book” is a fabulous book. Well known amongst the German readership, Wimmelbuecher (http://www.amazon.de/s/ref=nb_ss?__mk_de_DE=%C5M%C5Z%D5%D1&url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=wimmelbuch&x=19&y=21) are a bit like Where’s Wally books – no story, just a picture book with busy scenes, where you can explore and find things. As Red Ted is keen to learn words, he loves to point to differnt things and get mummy to tell him what it is. Equally, he has found a “daddy” and a “grandpa” and a “grandma” in his Wimmelbuch (not real “daddies” etc, but figures vaguely resembling them and these have been christened as daddies and grandpas! rather sweet, I think!). Get one. Even if it is in a foreign language!
Der Hase mit der roten Nase & Der Katzentatzentanz – Helme Heine. Keen to get him lots of German books, I bought both of these “blindly” from Amazon. They just “looked German” to me so off I went and ordered them from Amazon.de – they will deliver to the Uk! Both books are very popular. Red Ted even made up his own “sign language” for “bunny” – which is pointing to his nose, as the bunny in this story has a red nose. Whenever I am drawing with Red Ted, he usually asks for a bunny at least once.. both stories are short simple rhymes, accompanied by cute drawings. Not too much too learn from, but enjoyed very by Red Ted! (The Bunny one is already falling apart). The Englishman manages to read the Bunny book, whilst the Cat book remains a tongue twisting mystery to him!
30 Sept 09:
Colours (Magic Windows: Pull the Tabs! Change the Pictures!) – the “real” magic windows books finally arrived (actually, they arrived about 5 weeks ago) and believe you me they were an INSTANT HIT. The first day, Red Ted would not let go of them, nor let anyone else take a look. Since then we have progressed to reading and pulling the tabs together and Red Ted cannot get enough of them. I have noticed his little friends play with them too and our 6 yrs old and 8 yrs old visitors where also intrigued (admittedly, the longevity for this age group is prob a little shorter). Not only are they fun (well, they are magic!!), but you get to learn about colours and where things go/ what things do etc (e.g. Hat on your head or The snake hisses – depending on which book you have). Somewhat harder to get hold of, but you can get them here – http://www.abebooks.co.uk/servlet/SearchResults?bt.x=90&bt.y=12&sortby=3&sts=t&tn=colours+%28magic+windows. I love these little books! And so does Red Ted!
15 July 09:
My Busy Farm (Tiny Magic Window) – by Stewart Cowley. Well… I was after a “magic window” book (the ones where they use acetate to create see through pages) and there wasn’t that much on offer in the UK (I have some US ones on order through a funny online bookshop). This one arrived and proved an instant hit with Red Ted – it is a nice 18 month old size – i.e. small. He loves the “holes”, as well as the acetate pages… and will lie in his cot “reading”. [For the parent: Teaches about what animals eat, encourages a recap of animals seen as well as “finding 10 little chicks” – so some counting! Perfect!!]
Tell Me About Baby Animals – by Justine Smith. This book was recommended to me by a fellow “Booky Friend” (Fun on the Farm came “from” her). Again, though a v simple book, it is a hit! It has shiny bits and bumpy bits, though not as “exciting” as your normal touchy feely book, still interests Red Ted. There is lots of counting and “encouragement of discussion” – the next stage of reading is here! Add some flaps and everyone is happy! Red Ted is coming upto 18 months now, but I am sure he would have liked it early too!
29 May 09:
The Tickle Book, by Ian Whybrow and Axel Scheffler. Another “latest” favourite of Red Ted. He adores the tickle book – especially on the first page where he loves to “knock on the door” to find the tickle monster… I think that the anticipation of the tickle is the fun thing.. he has even learnt to pull some of the pully things (if you help him). Note: do NOT let your little ones play with this one on their own, it will get destroyed, as The Englishman found out this morning. “Me” was not happy… a new one is on order. Tut tut. We do let Red Ted “play” with his books, but I do take care with the ones that have high damage risk – simple flaps he’s ok with, but the tickle book was just too exciting and interesting… how does it all work?! It was just asking to be pulled apart.
23 May 09:
“Animal Hide & Seek” – Stephen Cartwright. I have been oohing and aahing as to whether to add this book – but the fact remains that Red Ted loves it. And has in enjoyed it every since I bought it for him (7 months old???). It is a lovely little book – cute animals, fabulous textures (check out the thistle!) and some counting etc. But that is exactly it, it is almost too lovely. Everything is perfect. The animals, the children, the composition… I do wonder, whether it is a “Disney-esque” production – i.e. Usborne books commissioning a series of books that tick certain boxes. And anti Disney (etc) that I am, I don’t know whether I like this! This range of books comes in all shapes and sizes – flap & feely books (like this one), noisy books and even sticker books. It wouldn’t surprise me if a cartoon turned up soon… But Red Ted loves it. It is nice… but somehow… you decide.
19 May 09:
“When We Were Very Young” – A.A. Milne. Or “Classic Books” As a key “Reader to Red Ted”, I asked The Englishman for “their” favourite read… The Englishman didn’t quite get that this was about the books that Red Ted “demanded”, however, he did have a very good point: “I grew up with A. A. Milne, particularly “When We Were Very Young”. I am now immersing Red Ted in the same. Most people know A. A. Milne for Winnie-the-Pooh – however these forty-four poems – first published in 1924 – are a cracking read. Red Ted loves them – as much as I do. For Winnie-the-Pooh fans, he makes one of his first appearances in this book (thirty-eighth poem in the book, Teddy Bear)”. The point I want pick up on, is the fact that he reads somethings that he grew up on and that he loves. This brings passion and pleasure to reading and helps the little ones get into it too! Similarly, I have bought Red Ted German classics “Struwwelpeter” (Heinrich Hoffmann) and “Max & Moritz” (Wilhelm Busch) and “force” him to listen to it, whilst he looks at the pictures…
Already 3 steps ahead (how they grow), for those of you with wee wee babies: going back to when Red Ted was a mere infant and we were terrified parents, here are a couple of our favourite wee baby books:
Bedtime Star (Baby Bright) Rag Book & Shapes & Patterns– These were a new baby gift that we received for Red Ted. Both have been used intensely – the Bedtime star was read to Red Ted as his first regular bedtime read (it has squeaky, jingly and crinkly bits). The Shapes and Patterns book was looked at througout the day and Red Ted still plays with the three shapes that come with it and can be taken into the bath. Fabulous.
Jellycat Pet’s Tails book. There are hundres of fabulous cloth books out there and Red Ted had a few that he really enjoyed.. here is just one example – Jellycat Pet’s Tails book – Jellycat has a whole range of books now (Jungle Tails, Birdy Tails etc etc)… I think the dangly tails make it easy for the wee ones to grab and there are lots different textures. This one frequently joined us on car journeys or in the pram. It is now hidden away waiting for “Nr 2″ to enjoy.
18 May 09:
“Hurray for Fish”, by Louise Cousins: I will start this off with one Red Ted’s “first” favourite reads – I picked up a hardback copy at Tate Modern Bookshop. He really enjoyed it the most 9 months – 12 months, though he does dip back into it every so often. I now know all the words practically off by heart! Needless to say, I was pleased when he went onto his next favourite read… [For the parents: there is counting going on, lots of colours to identify, stripes, spots etc etc so they are definitely learning too!]
“Fun on the Farm” – by Ian Whybrow and Alex Ayliffe – as recommended to me by a good booky friend. I bought it blindy and let myself be surprised! Initially, I confess, I (!) didn’t like it that much, but Red Ted took it like a house on fire – he LOVES opening all the doors – especially the last page, when the farm goes to sleep.. we wish them all night night and then Red Ted waves, joins his bunny in bed and is ready for a good night’s sleep. He has had it since around 10 months and still enjoys it now (15 months) [For the parents: the books starts in the morning and finishes at night, so teaches the little ones about the day, lots of animals and farmyard activities]
“The Very Hungry Caterpillar” – by Eric Carle. This is one of the first books owned by Red Ted and it was given to him in German by a good family friends. Ever since he has started really taking an interest in books (6 months?), he has enjoyed poking his fingers in all the holes and looking at the wonderful butterfly on the last page (get a big version, so the fingers fit in!!). We often play – “eat the finger”… when he pokes the hole and it gets gobbled at the other end by the caterpillar (aka me)… silly, I know. But it amuses us both! [For the parents: lots being taught – days of the week, counting and the metamorphosis of the caterpilla – amazing!] Red Ted’s “reading” age: 6 months to present (and I think it will be popular a whole while yet!)
The “That’s not my ..” range – Fiona Watt & Rachel Wells. This is a gorgeously addictive touchy feely range. We have a total of four of these books (Monster, Puppy, Reindeer & Penguin) and I have to restrain myself from buying more!! I guess the main value of these is it’s simplistic images with great textures. Red Ted enjoyed these from about 6 months onwards. And now likes to “browse” through them by himself. We also have the “Animals” book, which contains 2 piece puzzles. This will be brilliant for many more months to come! [For the parents: gets the little ones interested in books reasonably early on! Animals book – is a “my first puzzle” type book… so two in one!]
“Wer hat denn meinen Hut versteckt?” – Anne Steinwart & Christiane Hansen. Finally, a German German book (i.e. Red Ted has quite a few English books translated into German). I picked this one up randomly in a bookstore in Vienna when Red Ted was 5.5 months old… and he took to it immediately (to my surprise!). It is a lovely little book with pull outs. I tend to add all the animal noises as we go through. Red Ted seems to (still) really enjoy this book, I can’t say what it is about it, but I love it too! [For the parent: I guess the main educational value would be that you have lots of farm animals in it and the text is written in a way that “grows” each time an animal is “added” – am I making sense??]
“Alphabet” by Matthew Van Fleet. Red Ted was given this book at Easter (he was around 14 months old) and he cannot keep his hands off it. Touchy feely. Pull outs. Sticky bits… what more do you want? The wallchart has some amazing pop ups. I do have to confess, that he is only allowed this one “under supervision” as he does get overexcited and pulls things off (he knows not to pull flaps etc off other books, no idea why he does it with this one!) [For the parent: well obviously, it is the alphabet… but i do like the unusual textures, like the sticky octopus and the rough tongue of the lion!]
Watch this space… more book posts coming very soon!