Thursday, October 14, 2010

The kids books I love!

I've always loved kids books - even before I had kids of my own I used to browse the childrens book section in book stores. I love the pictures, I love the words and I love the sentiment.

Since having kids and hanging out at the library I have also discovered that there are a lot of really bad kids books out there. Bad pictures, awful words and no story line - they are inane, and boring and why would they get published?

Also since having kids I have discovered some fabulous books that I love (and the kids love too).
Firstly, Moo Baa La La La! by Sandra Boynton. This is such a great book to read aloud and the pictures are simple and fun. And for both my kids, it has been the first book that we can read aloud together - I do the words and they do the sounds. It is also one of those books I keep "in stock" in my present drawer for first born babies as a welcome to the world book or for their first Christmas.
I also love to read aloud any of Linley Dodd's books. We have most of the Hairy Maclary/Scarface Claw books but Slinky Malinki Catflaps is my favourite. I love making the cat fighting noises, I love being the grumpy neighbours and I love the wood heater that Slinky curls up in front of! And I think the kids quite like this book too (although maybe not as much as I do).
Another book that the kids have both loved is Penny Dale's Ten in the Bed. We borrowed from the library for Matilda and I had to renew the loan about 6 times and only returned it once I'd bought a copy for her 2nd Birthday! This another book that is fun to sing to the kids and I love doing a really, really, really loud CRASH for when Nellie (because elephants make a lot of noise when they fall out of bed). This is fast becoming one of Kelvin's favourites - it must be a 2 year old thing!

Tree Ring Circus by Adam Rex is another book I love because of the elephants!! And the pictures in this book are amazing. Basically the elephant makes 33 creatures in this tree and the tree crashes to the ground. Ever since we started reading this book that is Matilda's explaination for any fallen tree we walk past - OOOOO, elephants!!
Kelvin was given a copy of The Gruffalo last Christmas which is a great book and Julia Donaldson creates some wonderful rhymes (one of my faves being "Alright" said the Gruffalo, bursting with laughter, "you go ahead and I'll follow after."). But I really like Room on the Broom. I grew up on a staple reading diet of Meg and Mog books so perhaps I have a soft spot for any broom-riding lady in a pointy hat. But Room on the Broom has a great dragon who decides he feels like witch and chips for his tea - how could you not love it!! And in the end the witch creates herself the most amazing deluxe broom with armchairs for herself, the dog and the cat plus some special accommodation for the frog and the bird!
And my absolute favourite book is Pearl Barley & Charlie Parsley by Aaron Blabey. It is such a lovely, lovely, lovely book. And I think I love this book because I feel like Charlie is the author and Pearl is his wife. The pictures are gorgeous and I love reading it. This also doesn't seem to be a particularly well known book so I like to give this to little girls I know when they turn 3! If you're familiar with Henry & Amy by Stephen Michael King - it's a bit I think it's so much better, sweeter, more lovely. It's a great book!!
And the book we're enjoying at the moment is The Fly by Gusti. We borrowed it from the library and it's been a pleasant surprise (because the library bag can be a real jackpot). Lets just say it has graphic pictures and involves toilet humour which suits my 4 year old. It's good fun!

Oh, and if you haven't seen The Wonky Donkey by Craig Smith yet (or heard the song) you're missing out! This is our "Break in Case of Emergency" CD in the car!! Clever humour, fun pictures and stick-in-your-head-in-the-middle-of-the-night song - you can't go wrong.
So do you have any favourite childrens books that you've discovered (or rediscovered) recently?


Sarah said...

Great post Ange! Ina certainly loves Pearl Barley and Charley Parsley - actually I saw it in Book City the other day so perhaps it's not so obscure!

For babies and toddlers, my absolute faves are Peepo! and The Babies Catalogue by Janet and Allan Ahlberg. So much real-life detail in the illustrations to pore over and talk about. Also, I'm a Miffy fan.

That Pesky Rat by Lauren Child
Time for Bed by Mem Fox
In the Town All Year Round by Rotraut Susanne Berner (my absolute fave)

And I agree about the dodgy library books. I find library visits frustrating, the books that are on the shelf are often boring or weirdly scary or dark. I've had the experience of grabbing a book about a cat (always popular here). Lovely illustrations, I read a couple of pages and all seemed fine. When i got it home I discovered it was all about ghosts of people who died in the house during a war. So glad I didn't wing THAT at bedtime! I've started browsing the catalogue and placing holds - much more satisfactory!

Car said...

Great post Ange, I see some of our favorites there! Have you t,ride Hairy Maclairy? We only have the one, but Miss 3 loves it!

We also love the berenstain bears - I loved these as a kid and seems K loves them too.

I started reading Charlie and the choc factory last night and she loved it! Love the way Mr Dahl wrote, you can put so much emphasis into an ordinary sentence.

Also love Enid Blyton!

Tanya said...

I think I am Pearl Barley and my husband is Charlie Parsley- I love that book. He's got a couple of other good ones too.
My kids are 8 and 10 now and constant readers, they still love a picture book every now and then- but favourites of mine that have survived the test of time have been: all the Milly Molly Mandy books (so fun and with a map of the village at the front of the book), I agree, Enid Blyton still a winner and Pippi Longstocking also a hit. I have tried with 'The Muddle Headed wombat' but that hasn't caught on at this stage!

dillpickle said...

How good is Linley Dodd!?! They are such fantastic books, and I especially love the way she doesn't dumb the language down. A couple of the particularly popular books in this house (with the nearly 2 year old) are Each Peach Pear Plum by Janet & Alan Ahlberg and We're Going on a Bear Hunt by someone else...? Also very popular is the Little Pea, Little Oink and Little Hoot books by Amy Kraus-Rosenthal.

And yes, there are some incredibly stupid/inane/pathetic books for kids published - what I don't understand is why librarians buy them. Surely they should know better?