Book Week 2018 is happening in Australia this month (August 20th – 24th) and children everywhere will be dressing up as their favourite book characters or following the 2018 theme – Find Your Treasure. I have always loved reading from a young age and I am hoping to pass my love of reading on to my child. So far so good! My child is only two and his childcare doesn’t do a dress up so I thought I’d share some of our favourite books over the past couple of years to celebrate Book Week instead.
Below you will find some of our favourite books, divided into the age groups of Under 12 months, One Year Old and Two Years Old. All books were either purchased ourselves or given as gifts from family and friends.
Under 12 months….
My First Shapes: This was part of a book pack provided to us at my child’s four week check up. It’s an excellent first book as the black and white shapes stand out to their eyes. He would gaze at each page in those early months, taking it all in. He still enjoyed it as the months went on, holding and exploring it , although it often ended up in his mouth!
The Very Hungry Caterpillar’s Finger Puppet Book: While reading this book you hold your finger in the caterpillar puppet and poke it through the holes in the pages ‘eating’ the fruit as the story progresses. There are simple pictures of different fruit and a colourful butterfly at the end. He would often try and grab the caterpillar and giggle if you tickled him with it. This was a book I could leave with him on the play mat to play with although as a consequence it eventually got destroyed (not pictured as we no longer own it).
Monkey and Me: I purchased this one because of the monkey. The Little Man had the nickname “Cheeky Monkey” since before he was born (and before we knew if he was a boy or girl). It is a nice, simple story of a child and her toy monkey going to see animals and it is nicely illustrated.
Rudie Nudie: When he was almost eight months old I purchased this one as I was currently singing him a made up song about being a Rudie Nudie at bath time. I love this book. It tells of the two children being rudie nudies as they leave the bath and get ready for bed. The pictures are also beautiful. We still love it at age 2 and a half and now my little one regularly tries to run around the house yelling nudie nudie.
Please keep in mind we read so many more books during this age and many that we started with have later became firm favourites as he grew.
One Year Old….
Piranhas Don’t Eat Bananas: My husband purchased this one as part of my Mother’s Day present when bubs was only a couple of months old. Once he turned one he really started to pay more attention to this book as a piranha encourages the others to eat fruit and veggies instead of people. As my boy got closer to turning 2 he started to grab his bum whenever he was offered a plum to eat (if you’ve read the book, you’ll understand why that is funny!)
Where Is The Green Sheep? We got this book for his first birthday as part of the book pack with the little toy green sheep inside. Each page has pictures of different sheep as we search for the green sheep. The rhyming pattern has also been good for his learning. Originally he would stare at the pages as we read before starting to point at the sheep as he got older. He always enjoyed this book but started to get distracted by other options. Now at age 2 and a half, it is back to being a favourite and he ‘reads’ it to us and his toys.
123: Another gift he received for his birthday and this one was really good because the illustrations are bright and also have a sensory element that he could touch while reading. There are other similar ones in the collection as well. Each page has a different animal for you to count and goes from 1 – 10. This book would keep him occupied by himself as well. At age 2 he is now counting and recognising numbers so he is more interested in that part of the book and naming the animals rather than actually reading the words of the book.
The Very Cranky Bear: I gave this to him at 13 months old and it became a fast favourite, consistently, to this day. I can recite this from memory (handy when driving and needing to calm him down!) and now he reads it too. At age 1 he would ROAR whenever the bear did. We are currently on our third copy of this book, it has been that well loved. What’s it about? Four little friends that try to find shelter in a cave and the Cranky Bear sends them away… they all have a turn trying to please him but thoughtful sheep is the one that helps the bear and he lets them stay.
Time for Bed: A lovely story telling all the baby animals that it is time for bed. My boy loves dogs so we always spent a bit of time on that page and if he heard a dog barking he would go and get the book sometimes and find it. We have learnt a lot of animals thanks to this book.
The Very Hungry Bear: Another one from the Cranky Bear series that we introduced after he was 1 and a half. He loves that there were two bears and would copy the SNEEZE that the polar bear would do. Polar Bear needs help getting home and offers the Hungry Bear a pile of fish to help him. This book was a huge help on the plane back from our holiday as Cranky Bear didn’t survive the trip! Sorry to the passengers that probably can recite this one now…
Mr Tickle & Mr Happy: We ended up with a bunch of these small sized Mr Men & Little Miss books but these two have come out as the favourites. To start with he just liked to stack them all up and carry them around. Now when we read Mr Tickle he will hold his arms up for me to tickle him and he tickles me back. There are a lot of words in these books, often too long to hold his attention so I just shorten it as I read along.
Grug at the beach: We got this one in the book pack provided to us at his 12 month immunisations. Again he liked looking and carrying it more than reading it. Then when he was 20 months old a theatre company toured a play about GRUG. We took him to the show with a copy of his book and when he saw the puppet he then made the connection with his book, looking back and forwards. After this Grug became more interesting to him and now he pays a lot more attention, pointing at all the things Grug does at the beach.
Two Years Old….
The Very Noisy Bear: This is the latest in the Cranky Bear series for my son to read and he loves the page where the drums go crash and the bear sings (ROARS). At two and a half he now reads those pages from memory to us and his toys and it is so fun to watch him find joy in this book (the bear joins in all the music noise and tries to find an instrument that suits him).
Pig the Pug: My boy is fascinated with Pig falling out the window and we have read it so often that sometimes I change the words to Pig being a different animal and then he laughs and says no. This book is meant to show that we should share our toys. I’ve started collecting the other books in the series for him to have at Christmas.
Who Sank the Boat? Five animals decide to go for a row on the bay and one of them sinks the boat. My boy loves this one as it has animals in it and then we have to point to them and say goodbye at the end. Sometimes I recite this one to him if I can’t read the actual book and he still enjoys it.
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt: We started this at age 1 but age 2 is when he really got interested in it. A family go on a bear hunt and have to make their way through a bunch of obstacles to find a bear. He also watches the song on youtube and I have caught him acting it out in the hallway before, saying “tiptoe, tiptoe” and then screaming and running away.
The Twelve Days of Aussie Christmas: Again we started this (and a few similar ones) around 20 months old but it really took off just before he turned two. I sang this book to him over and over and a couple of months after his second birthday I hid it! It is just the Aussie version of the song, The 12 Days of Christmas…. so he can have it back at Christmas! Book rotation is a good idea anyway, right?
The Wonky Donkey: Shortly after his second birthday he started showing me this book when I would pick him up from childcare. After a few weeks and his carers telling me how much he loves it I went and got a copy. We meet a wonky donkey and learn all the things about him – the kids I work with at the ELC (3 – 5 years old) always laugh at the stinky page! There is also a song on youtube and it can be a little bit of a tongue twister at first but it is good to sit him with the book and let him listen along to the song and find the matching pages.
Thomas & Friends – The Runaway Kite: My sister got him a set of Thomas & Friends books (one for each day of the week) and his favourite was The Runaway Kite. He only started getting in to Thomas around his second birthday. Thomas has to help find a kite that went missing. It’s fairly short so that helps with his attention span as the other longer books of Thomas often don’t get finished.
I have always loved reading to my Little Man and we started early on as I know that it can really help with their language and speech development. It has also become part of our sleep time routine (and often takes places at other times of the day too) and it has really helped provide a nice close comfort and enjoyment for the both of us. I encourage everyone to read to their child when possible.
What are your favourite kid’s books? Let me know, we are always looking for new books to read!