This week the weekly geek site informed me that April 2nd was International Childrens Book Day. In celebration I thought I’d share Adam’s favourite books.
When I was compiling the top ten I realised that the books I enjoyed reading to him were very different to the books he liked best, so I thought I’d compare the two!
The books I enjoy reading to my three-year-old son
The Gruffalo is my favourite picture book. It’s rhyming verse is easy to read, the gruffalo is very endearing, and it has the cleverest plot I’ve seen in a book for young children. Adam enjoys listening to it, and loves the disgusting sounding food the mouse suggests – owl ice cream anyone?
The only problem is that it is a little bit too long for him. I sometimes miss out a few pages so that he will sit through to the end. I think this will be perfect for him once he’s four or five.
Mr McGee is a lovely story about a man who decides he’d like to have some blackberry jam, and goes off to search for some blackberries. As with the Gruffalo it is really easy to read, as it all rhymes:
This morning he was feeling grumpy.
He’d made the porridge and it was lumpy.
He’d put two sugars in his tea,
then spilt the lot and burnt his knee.
The plot is simple, but Adam finds a lot of it very funny. He has read it so many times that he can recite it. I highly recommend this book for three-year olds.
The Incredible Book Eating Boy
This picture book is a must for all book lovers. It’s about a little boy that decides to eat books. He discovers that by doing so he learns everything that is inside them. In the end he realises that it is better to read them though!
Adam is happy to read this, but never requests it. I think it is much more appreciated by the adult than the child, but if you get the chance you should have a quick read of this one, as I love it!
You’ve probably never heard of Whiff, but I don’t know why, as he should be a classic! Whiff finds it hard to find friends, as he smells and is surrounded by flies. These flies tickle everyone leading to all sorts of trouble, including Adam’s favourite – jelly and custard getting stuck to the ceiling! It flows nicely, is a great story, and makes toddlers laugh. If you’re after something new, then this book is a good choice.
The Very Lazy Ladybird is another classic. It teaches young children about lots of different animals, and they love the sneezing pop-up at the end. Adam still enjoys reading it, although it is probably best for children under three.
My son’s favourite books
This non-fiction book on steam trains is my son’s favourite book by a long way. Published in 1978, it is packed with photos of trains from around the world. He spends hours comparing relative chimney sizes, the colour of traction rods and how many carriages each train is pulling. It bores me to tears, and it doesn’t matter how many times I hide it at the bottom of the pile – he always manages to find it!
This large, bright board book is another favourite. Six plastic tug boats are visible through holes in the pages, and each one has it’s own page, explaining the job it is going to perform that day. Each tug boat has a name and my son want to know it, and why it is helping the tourists/going to the docks/helping the sail boat etc. I think this book is OK, but I don’t really understand his fascination with it. I have now read it so many times that I can recite it without the book!
Harry and the Dinosaurs Romp in the Swamp
Adam loves all the Harry and the dinosaur books, but this is his favourite. They build a swamp in the garden using plants and pretend the hose is a snake. He thinks it is really funny, especially when they capture the snake in a basket. I quite enjoy it too. It is a nice gentle book, which is easy to read, and has the added benefit of explaining that it is not scary to go and play with new friends.
The Bedtime Bear is a very confusing book to read. There is no real plot; instead each page is crammed with little pictures, flaps to lift up and a few words to describe what is happening. Adam finds this book funnier than any other. He is literally crying with laughter when he reveals the skunk in the bunk or the wombat in a bath hat. I find it quite annoying to read, but it is worth it for the pleasure it gives him.
One Day in the Jungle
This book has a very simple concept – basically each page consisits of animals sneezing. As the book progresses the animals and the sneezes get bigger. Children find it hilarious, but pretending to sneeze can only be fun for so long. I don’t like reading it more than two or three times a day, which unfortuanetly isn’t enough for my boys. Only buy this if you enjoy sneezing!!!
Writing this list has just emphasized the differences between books that children love, and books that adults like to read to their children. I think it is important to read a wide range of books, but just remember to ensure that the children are getting to read books they really enjoy too!
Do you agree with my ratings? Does your three-year-old agree? If you have a three-year-old girl I’d love to know her opinion of the books – do they like the same ones as the boys?