I love sharing books with my little one. Some of my earliest memories are of my parents reading bedtime stories to me when I was about three or four years old and as I grew up I used to loved losing myself in a good book, often by torchlight under the covers. I still love reading now, although these days the torch isn’t usually necessary! So it has always been important to me to encourage my daughter to enjoy books and thankfully she clearly does.
Our latest trio of favourites has been: It’s Mine by Rod Campbell, Stripy Horse: Hide and Seek by Jim Helmore and Karen Wall and In the Night Garden Party: Come to the Party by Andrew Davenport. The first two have been borrowed from the library (we’re big fans of the library) and the latter is a much-treasured present from Granny. I think I now know all three off by heart! And all are hard cover board books so can stand a fair bit of toddler wear and tear.
I remember Rod Campbell’s classic lift-the-flap book Dear Zoo from when I was a kid but It’s Mine was a new find for me (although it’s apparently been around since 1988). This book is just as quirky, if not more so. It takes young readers on a journey through the jungle where we find lots of different animals. Each is initially obscured except for a visible body part, leading you to ask ‘who does the green tail belong to?’And you turn the page to find out – ‘it’s mine says the crocodile’. The illustrations are simple and bright and there’s lots to see and talk about with your toddler. Our daughter loves naming animals and body parts so this book has been perfect for encouraging this. At the end of the jungle journey there’s an exciting pop-up surprise and also a page where you can find and count all the animals featured.
Stripy Horse: Hide and Seek
This is a less elaborate book than It’s Mine but Little Miss loves it just as much. This has been our first encounter with the adorable Stripy Horse character but we’ll definitely be checking out more of his adventures. As the title suggests, this particular story takes readers on a game of hide and seek, always a toddler favourite. The simple, rhyming text is very endearing and it also gently introduces the concept of opposites – low/high, in/out, in front/behind. And the brightly coloured illustrations are just lovely.
In the Night Garden: Come to the Party
Little Miss loves the In the Night Garden characters, and she actually got to know them first in books before we unleashed the TV version! This book is by far her favourite at the moment. The story is very simple – Upsy Daisy is having a party and wants all her Night Garden friends to come. It has wonderful, vibrant illustrations with a lot of extra hidden detail that you may not notice at first. A highlight for Little Miss is the page where she has to spot where Igglepiggle is hiding. Finding the teeny tiny Pontipines, who are hidden on many of the pages, is also great fun – and has showed us just how observant our little one can be.
Based on how much our toddler has enjoyed these titles, I’d thoroughly recommend them all. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve renewed the two that are library books! We must be nearing the renewal limit on them but it will be sad to see them go.
I’d love to hear what others have been reading and any recommendations for us to try next.