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Books for Toby

My son has just posted a photo of his 6-month-old son on blog.  Toby is chewing a copy of The Hums of Pooh.  My son has commented below:

 How long before I can realistically get him to enjoy The BFG, Swallow and Amazons, The Lord of the Rings, Lord of the Flies???

Please post your favourite children's literature so I know I don't miss anything - he obviously already has Not Now Bernard.

So far people have suggest the Meg and Mog books, There's a Monster at the top of the Tree, Where the Wild Things Are, The Very Hairy Caterpillar, and Harry Potter.  I might suggest the Hairy McLarey books.

My daughter-in-law had not seen Not Now Bernard till they ordered it, since it was a big favourite of my youngest son and I must have read it to him several hundred times.  She was rather shocked at it.  The parents pay no attention to Bernard and just say "Not Now Bernard" to him.  On Page 4 the monster eats Bernard and still can't get any attention from Bernard's parents, and it ends with a forlorn monster hearing "Not Now Bernard".  It always had resonance for me, though what my well-balanced happy wee son got from it is anyone's guess.  

Cheers, Caro

I think amongst the very earliest books George enjoyed were the "That's not my..." series. These have very simple images (one per spread) with textures, and captions like "That's not my car... it's wheels are too bumpy", "'s windows are too rough", etc.

For simple story books, you can get very simplified Mister Men books (the normal ones are way too complex, and not very well written IMO) and also very simplified Thomas & Friends stories (again, the standard ones are quite demanding for young toddlers).

Rhyming books are good for very young ones. They won't understand the stories at first, but most will respond to the rhythms. Julia Donaldson's The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo's Child are a good starting place. Also Monkey Puzzle (in fact this one's simpler than the Gruffalo stories). There's also Michael Rosen's We're Going on a Bear Hunt and many others of that ilk.

Another good one for when he's a bit older - What's in the Witch's Kitchen? by Nick Sharratt. This is a flap book, where objects like the tea pot, washing machine, fridge, jars etc. contain nasty or nice things depending on which way you turn the flap - e.g. the tea pot contains "strawberry tea ... or goblin's wee".

The Spot books by Eric Hill are also good for little ones - very simple stories and uncluttered illustrations.

I thought of the Spot books after I wrote that.  Most of the books I know are quite old, dating to my kids' childhood really.  The Gruffalo was too late for them, but I am pretty sure they have bought it for Toby anyway.  There are some delightful children's picture books around now, but they are probably generally more suitable for older pre-schoolers.  Our library has picture books, and toddler books, and board books for the very young (and destructive).  

For older children, NZ's Margaret Mahy has a wonderful whacky sort of style and lots of imagination.  

Cheers, Caro.
Jen M

Five Minutes' Peace, Jill Murphy.  For pre-schoolers, really, but most parens can appreciate it.  Mrs Large (an elephant) is fed up with her children clamouring for attention so she goes to have a bath and get five minutes' peace.  After a short time, the children come in one by one to read to her, play instruments, etc, and eventually all get in the bath with her. So she gets out, and endeavours to have peace again.  Jill Murphy has written a few books of children, but this one was my favourite.

How about Mog the Forgetful cat, and others, by Judith Kerr?  Again, these are picture books, but fun.  The last one in the series, Goodbye Mog, deals with the death of a pet in a sensitive way.

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