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I’ve always loved books and it’s a love that I hope to have passed on to all three children. Whilst nine year old Little Miss C is a complete book worm and devours pretty much any story you give her, seven year old Master C is more of a non-fiction reader. He loves books of facts and those that explain how things work. He’s also got quite a thing for audio books with Roald Dahl and David Walliams on regular rotation in his bedroom. But what about the youngest bookworm in the family? One year old Tube Stop Baby.
It’s hard to pin down at exactly what age children start to enjoy books, but at 14 months old now I know that TSB is definitely doing just that. We keep a collection of board books in the living room in a box that she can easily get to and we often find her going through all the books in the box, turning the pages and chattering away to herself about what she sees in them. There’s a second shelf of books upstairs that we sit and read with her as part of her bedtime routine.
Even at such a young age it’s clear that she has favourites. Books that she keeps going back to and ones that she brings over to us to have read to her. It’s beautiful to see and something that I hope continues.
I remember favourite books with LMC, but I never made an effort to keep a record of what she favoured when. This time around I’m determined to change that. So here are mine and TSB’s top five books for one year olds.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Eric Carl
Probably the most well known title on the list, there can’t be a parent alive who isn’t familiar with the story of the little egg laid on a leaf that went on to be a *Very Hungry Caterpillar. With beautiful artwork, lots of opportunity for children to count along with you, complete with holes in the page to help little children use their fingers for counting.
As well as teaching little ones about the lifecycle of a caterpillar the book also contains lots of familiar looking food that little ones will recognise. TSB is always particularly excited to see the watermelon come up on the list of food that the caterpillar tucks into on Saturday.
There are so many reasons this book is a 50 year old classic and rightly so.
Rabbit’s Nap – Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler
I’m not sure how *Rabbit’s Nap first came into our possession but I’m glad it did. A beautiful tale of a rabbit who is desperate to have a nap, but various other noisy animals make it rather difficult for him to do so. With a flap on each double page there is plenty for little fingers to discover as you read the story. I just need to convince TSB to be a bit less enthusiastic about the flaps – ours are held together with rather a lot of sellotape now.
The rhyming text gives the story a lovely rhythm when you read it aloud, making it perfect for a pre-bed story. The fact that it ends with rabbit actually getting her nap (sorry for the spoiler!) makes it ideal for leading on to encouraging your little one into bed themselves.
Goodnight Moon – Margaret Wise Brown
“In the great green room there is a telephone, and a red balloon, and a cow jumping over the moon…”
With words that form in your mouth as wonderfully as these who wouldn’t want to read this aloud?
The artwork in *Goodnight Moon is different to most of TSB’s other books, with pages alternating between black and white and a colour illustrations, between views the whole room and close ups. It’s stylised, but with loads of detail that grabs children’s attention.
That combination of artwork and delicious words and rhyming is what makes me love reading it so much. After all, who can’t help but smile when they read “a bowl full of mush, and a quiet old lady whispering hush”?
Peepo! – Janet and Allan Ahlberg
As you may have gathered from my collection of Ladybird books, I love books set in the 40s and 50s and part of me wishes I had been alive then. *Peepo! fits into that category perfectly.
Again, rhyming text makes it wonderful to read aloud, but to me it’s the illustrations in this book that I love most. There is so much detail on every single page and lots that is referred to in the text meaning that you can point lots out as you read it. I just wish I could jump into the pictures and take a proper look around.
Each double page spread includes a cut out that you can peep through and the way that the text uses the word peepo in the rhyme means that you can then encourage your little one to peep through the hole to the picture on the next page.
That’s Not My…
*That’s not my… books are known and hated by parents across the country, but there’s no doubt that children love them. Their formulaic text makes them somewhat dull to read, but each page has a different texture on it for your children to discover and at this age discovering new things like this is incredibly exciting. TSB can spend ages with a pile of these books, touching the pages whilst making sounds of wonder. That makes it worth putting up with the words!
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