Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Euna's Top 5 Books for 1 Year Olds...

We love books here. I was brought up to love books. I was raised on Roald Dahl and some of my fondest memories of being a kid are being read to by my Dad. Then later I was old enough to read to him. Then a bit later collecting the "Goosebumps" books. Then later still I was begging my Mum to let me read her books. 

Much later on when I was tutoring English I saw the link between a love for learning and children who read for pleasure. 

So Steve and I made a promise to ourselves that books would be king in this house. Our children will never be denied a book. They can never be spoiled with too many books. We will always show an enthusiasm for reading and when ever it is possible we will make time for reading to our children... Even if it leads to ALOT of cold coffee!

Now I don't blow my own parenting trumpet often and the odds are I had no real hand in this myself and she would always of been this way regardless… But Euna does love books. She loves looking at them. She loves to pretend to read them. She loves being read to and I quite sure she LOVES my whale voice in "The Snail and the Whale" ;)

We spend a lot of time reading in this house, suffice to say this girl knows what she likes and I can certainly testify to her investment in research. So here it is, in descending order, Euna's top 5 books for 1 year olds…

5. "Animal Hide-and-Seek" Illustrated by Stephen Cartwright, Usbourne

Beautiful quality, hard pages and what one year old doesn't like farm animals?! This is a great example of a touch and feel texture book, with flaps and every opportunity for interaction. There's little text but you can have a really great play and learning time with this book. The proof is in the pudding and my girl pulls off a wicked quacking duck thanks to the hidden ducks on every page of this book.

4. "There's a House inside my Mummy" by Giles Andreae and Vanessa Cabban

This book should come with a warning sticker for hormonal pregnant women; it will make you cry. Lovely pictures illustrate an easy to recite rhyming poem about a little boy who's expecting a sibling. Seriously sweet. Probably not majorly relevant unless you are giving your baby a sibling, otherwise could lead to a line of questioning you don't want to go down. As it is we love it, we call it her special book and it's been a lovely way to mark this pregnancy to her.

3. "Millie Moo" Priddy Books
This is just the best example of a "touch and feel" book you can find. Awesome quality, gorgeous rich textures for a baby or toddler to enjoy and the narrative is fabulously wacky and creative. 

2. "Calm Down, Boris!" by Sam Lloyd 

I think the whole point of reading at this age is to show your toddler how fun books can be and no book can be brought to life better than this one! Even the most subdued of children's readers can jump into this one and engage a little one, the Boris puppet and the leading narrative make you play! It's really clever and so interactive. And not least it has a lovely little moral story.

1. "Stick Man" by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

I restricted Julia Donaldson's appearance on this list to just one entry but truth be told, we could have a top 20 and it would all be her stuff. She's just bloody brilliant. My personal favourite is the whimsical "The Snail and The Whale", Steve's is "Zog" and I know my niece and nephews have all adored "The Gruffalo" as they grew up. All of them are classics. All of them have beautiful and interactive illustrations. All of them are so multi-dimensional and have great topical morals I can imagine discussing in further detail when she's a bit older. All of them are creative, refreshing and genuinely entertaining to adults. 

And of all of them "Stick Man" is Euna's clear favourite. She demands it is read to her a minimum of 4 times a day. I can recite in my sleep and even did recite it whilst driving down the M4 to Devon without even having a copy in the car. (Word for word… Mummy high five?) I love that every page half a dozen animals to find and do an impression of. I love that Santa makes an appearance. I love that the characters and narrative gives it genuine heart. It's the literary theme to her toddlerdom and has such a special place in this family. 


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