Traditionally, Book Week in Australia is held in August but thanks to covid19 it has been moved to October 17th – 23rd this year. Well in my area of Australia anyway. The last couple of years I have made a list of books that my child has enjoyed reading over the past year (so this year they are suitable for 3.5 – 4.5 year old children but may also suit other age groups). I will link previous posts at the end.
Admittedly I felt a little uninspired as I went through the book shelf trying to remember what books had stood out the most over the past year. There are a few things I realised while doing this post that I wanted to point out and look at changing in the future:
- Reading has changed for us. We still read each night but he now also accesses books through his pre-school via group time and borrowing their literacy packs. We are also following his learning interests and practicing speech sounds. We may find ourselves reciting words during the day, learning the sounds of letters, names of characters, planets and dinosaurs or numbers on the calendar. Reading can take many forms but I will always encourage books as it is so fundamental for their learning.
- We also didn’t buy as many books this year, partly because I buy them spontaneously in the shops and covid19 (plus sickness in pregnancy) kept us home for a while. I realised that the books I had been buying were often ones that were a continuation in a series, linked to an interest (such as a TV show or dinosaurs) or were based around a theme, such as Mother’s Day, Christmas, etc.
- I also realised that there is a lack of diversity in our books lately and I am hoping to change this over the next year. The Black Lives Matter movement certainly drew some attention to this for me personally. I would love to include some more Aboriginal books and those from other cultures in our collection. If you have any recommendations for 5 year olds or even for babies, please let me know.
Now, the list! So, what books did my child choose to read the most? Here are some of his favourites:
Grug by Ted Prior (various titles)
We already had a couple of the Grug books but it was earlier this year that my boy reignited his interest in them and asked for more. We have added several new ones to our collection. My advice would be to get the original Grug book as that is the story of how Grug was formed and made his home. Then add to your collection based on what interests your child has (eg. superhero, soccer, etc). We also have the Christmas and Easter ones and I will be adding the school one to our collection this Summer. They are short stories but still appropriate, particularly if your four year old is showing an interest in trying to read.
Peter Rabbit (various titles, based on the TV episodes)
The TV series books have been hard to find and this is what he wants after receiving the Easter one last year (the back cover shows others in the collection). They are short stories but nicely illustrated and he enjoys the familiarity of them when he sees it on TV. We haven’t tried the traditional ones yet but maybe we should?
Scarface Claw by Lynley Dodd
Part of the ‘Hairy Maclary’ collection he quite likes Scarface Claw. I think he finds it funny that the only thing this brave cat fears is itself in the mirror. The rhyming in this book is also great for reading and learning the sounds and patterns of language.
The Wiggles (safety series, distributed by BIG W under their free books for kids promotion)
These were certainly useful in discussing areas of safety. Because he still enjoys The Wiggles it also held his attention. Obviously, these aren’t available for purchase but if you see them being given away somewhere they may be worth looking at.
The Fearsome, Frightening, Ferocious Box by Frances Watts & David Legge
A mysterious voice from a box declares how ferocious it is and all these different animals who are strong and fierce consider opening it. What do they discover is inside when they finally all band together and become brave enough to open it at the end? Great descriptive words are used in this book and it has also got a variety of animals to keep kids interested.
Peppa In Space / George and the Dinosaur (Peppa Pig series)
This year I finally gave in and purchased some Peppa Pig books however I got the two that are tied to his current interests – dinosaurs and planets. Peppa in Space is about the playgroup’s excursion to the Space Museum and George and the Dinosaur sees them digging for fossils at the beach and discovering a dinosaur. These books are longer in text making them more suitable for my child’s age.
Do Not Open This Book Again (series) by Andy Lee
We have the first three books of this series and while they have featured before, this year they made a comeback, particularly the second one. This could possibly be due to the four year old humour of the little character ending up as a rudie nudie at the end. It is a silly book but enjoyable.
What do they do with all the POO from all the animals at the Zoo? by Anh Do
We have had this one for a while but again it was only this past year that it really became a favourite because, well, poo is funny. The characters all have a guess at what they think happens to the poo at the zoo and all the foods it may get turned into (children’s lollies, Easter eggs, yuck!) but we never really find out of course. Perfect for four year olds.
That’s all for this year. Please remember that we always revisit books and just because something isn’t listed as a favourite this time, we probably are still reading it (eg. classics like The Very Hungry Caterpillar). I try not to repeat books each year on the list on purpose. Here are the links to my past posts:
(And as always let me know what books your children have been enjoying in the comments!)