When most people find out they are pregnant they start stockpiling the useful stuff- baby clothes, nappies, maybe going out and buying the little bean a special ‘first’ teddy. For me however the news we’d waited so long to hear gave me a ticket to indulge in one of my favourite passions- Children’s books! I have always loved reading and that past time for me started as a child when our parents would take us to the library or read us bedtime stories; it was the era of the wonderful Mr Dahl and I remember night after night of being transported to friendly giants caves or the bedrooms of forgotten genuis girls or the burrows of the fantastic mr fox! So by the time George was born he had more books than baby grows and was read to from the point of being able to vaguely support his own head! In the same way that some husbands fear the credit card bill coming when they see bags from designer shoe shops, Jon starts to twitch if I go to Waterstones unsupervised!
One of my favourite Christmas traditions is our advent book box. I buy books over the course of a year and also find ones at the back of the shelf that we haven’t read in a while and wrap them up. We open one a day and have a special Christmas blanket that we snuggle under and read our new book together. Sat next to the twinkly lights on the tree and it makes me feel very Christmassy! Our favourite thing to do is to snuggle down as a group and read a story! It’s probably the only time our children are genuinely still and they will literally sit for hours listening.
So because I’m a book geek, I put together a top ten of our favourite books to look back on with nostalgia in years to come (and also because I love a recommendation for books!) However, ten became 25! In no particular order, here goes!
1. Dear Zoo: Rod Campbell
A staple favourite in our house! It’s a right of passage and they all get one bought at birth from nana! We have multiple copies- most of which have a torn lion cage! Watching George and Esme read it to Ted last week melted my heart!
2. Kitchen Disco; Clare Foges and Al Murphy
3. Pants: Giles Andreae and Nick Sharratt
4. The Lion Inside: Rachel Bright and Jim Field
5. The story of the little Mole who knew it was none of his business: Werner Holzwarth
A mole wakes up one day with a poo curled on his head and sets off on a mission to find out which animal so rudely woke him up! A walk through the farmyard investigates all the different animals and their poo! A book about excrement… of course the kids love it!
6. Oddsocksosaurus: Zainab Mian
A must for any dinosaur lovers. A little boy takes you through all his different moods and the kinds of dinosaurs that he becomes- a good one for getting children to recognise that its ok to have different moods!
7. How to wash a woolly Mammoth: Michelle Robinson
8. Where the Wild Things are: Maurice Sendak
9. Grandad’s Island: Benjamin Davies
Don’t read in an emotional state! It’s a lovely book about a little boy who loses his grandfather but is told in a gentle story of travelling to an island and Grandad choosing to stay there. It would be a great book for helping children deal with a bereavement but it is also just a lovely story of a relationship with grandparents.
10. Jack and the Flum Flum Tree: Julia Donaldson
11. Where’s my Teddy: Jez Alborough
12. There’s a Bear in my Chair: Ross Collins
If you go to the BBC IPlayer, Tom Hardy reads this one. You may need to watch it, 30 or 40 times to truly understand the plot line!! ;0) A funny story about a bear who steals the angry little mouses chair!
13. Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam: Tracey Corderoy
14. And Tango Makes three: Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
A beautiful story based on real life. The keeper in Central Park zoo noticed that two of the male penguins had fallen in love and were mimicking the other penguin couples by sitting on a stone to try to hatch it. They give them a spare egg to adopt and Tango is born. A great story to get kids to realise that not all families look the same!
15. Blown Away! Rob Biddulph
One of our absolute favourites and an author I’m desperate to hear more from! 3 penguins, a seal and a polar bear inadvertently hitch a lift from the North Pole to the rainforest on the end of a kite string. Love the illustrations too.
16. GRRRRR! Rob Biddulph
17. Giraffes Can’t Dance: Giles Andreae
18. Sloth Slept on: Fran Preston Gannon
19. Silly Billy: Anthony Browne
20. Smartest Giant in Town: Julia Donaldson
Another of many of the Donaldson franchise that I could have included! A kind hearted giant that helps out animals at the cost of his new outfit. A quirky little song runs throughout that you are guaranteed to get stuck in your head!
21. The Day the Crayons Quit/ The Day the Crayons Came back: Drew Daywalt
22. Supertato: Sue Hendra
23 and 24. Oi Frog! And Oi Dog! Keys GRay and Jim Field
25. Never Tickle a Tiger: Pamela Butchart
Recommendations welcome in the comments below! I’ll start saving up for a splurge! X