Books were a massive part of my childhood. I have a lot of memories of being curled up in bed, engrossed in a children’s novel, begging for five more minutes before lights out. I am very grateful to my mother for being such an advocate of bed time reading and I am trying to pass on that same routine to my own daughter.
That said, the world is a different place now and with a tv, an iPad, a laptop and two iphones in our household (compared to a black and white, two channel tv in 1980’s Ireland!) I think it is going to be a hard task trying to encourage Aoife to pick up a book in the years to come.
Luckily she seems to enjoy some down time before bed, flicking through picture books and pointing to characters or images that she recognises. We have also recently started to read to her in an attempt to bring on her speech, but mostly she just prefers to flick through the books at her own pace.
Here are a few of her favourite books at the moment:
- THE STICK MAN by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler
The Stick Man is a tale of a stick who “lives in the family tree with his stick lady love and their stick children three”. After getting picked up by a dog he ends up lost and far from home. Like all good children’s stories, it comes good in the end with the Stick Man finding his way back to his family just in time for Christmas.
The rhyming in this book makes it really easy to read aloud but the book is quite long and Aoife never lets me get past the first few pages before she starts flicking through them herself. That said, she is still content to sit and look at the pictures by herself so I think The Stick Man is going to be a firm favourite for the next year or so.
- TEN LITTLE LADYBIRDS by Melanie Gerth
Aoife has been counting to ten for a few months now and this book tests those skills by counting the ladybirds backwards from ten down to one. Each page has the corresponding number of 3D ladybirds to the number and encourages children to count the insects for themselves.
Although this book is one of Aoife’s favourites at the moment, I can see it getting relegated down the pile very soon.
- MY FIRST BOOK OF COLOURS from North Parade Publishing Ltd
I haven’t been able to find this book for sale online although there are dozens of similar ones available on Amazon. This book devotes two pages of everyday items to ten different colours. The chunky tabs make it easy for little fingers to go straight to the colour page that they want.
This book will help toddlers not only to learn colours, but also in identifying everyday objects. The last six pages of the book are devoted to testing and revising the colours. This section of the book is more suitable for an older toddler and so we will definitely keep encouraging Aoife to read this book for another few months.
- MY FIRST WORDS by Sarah Phillips
Again I couldn’t find this book for sale online but I believe it may be a shortened version of this book by the same author. I bought this book as a replacement for another “first words” book which a friend of mine gave to Aoife when she was about 8 months old. She loved that book so much and turned the pages so many times that the book slowly fell apart!
Luckily she seems to enjoy the replacement just as much. It is bright and colourful and is sure to grab the attention of most toddlers. The pictures are of every day items that most toddlers will recognise. Aoife enjoys calling out the names of things that she knows (usually “shoe”, “sock”, “teeth” (ie toothbrush) and “apple”. We also use the book to try to expand her vocabulary with other items that she might recognise.
Does your toddler have a favourite book? I would love to get some more recommendations.