Posts Tagged With: Julia Donaldson

What we read in November…

Oh dear… yes you did read that title right! Once again, I’m playing catch up with this post and several others yet to come. My offline to-do list has been rather manic of late and juggling life and two little ones has felt quite a struggle if I’m being totally honest – more of that in another post. But I hope everybody had a lovely Christmas and my very best wishes for the year ahead.

Now back to the books. At the start of 2014 I decided to join in with the 300 Picture Books Challenge to read, as the name suggests (duh!), at least 300 different books over the course of the year. We got off to a flying start in the early months but our progress did slow off somewhat when baby number two arrived in July and our regular library trips became more of a logistical exercise. But by the skin of our teeth, I think we just about did it in the end. So now I’m determined to share our final two posts and finish the job properly! Not least because it was one of last year’s New Year’s resolutions and I want to be able to tick at least one of them off that particular list as done!

So, by the end of November we’d read 274 different books.

300 Picture Books Challenge November

The favourite from this bunch was Monkey, Monkey, Monkey – not mine, hers I must add. If I’m honest I’m a little bit bored and mildly irritated by the blinking monkey! It became a bedtime favourite, meaning it’s stashed under her bed, along with her other elite reading material, and asked for again. And again. And again! I’m hoping to sneak it back to the library very soon. Basic premise is that monkey wants some monkey nuts – monkey-monkey-monkey nuts! It does have a good rhythm I admit but if you’re after a book with a chimp as the leading man (or woman?!), I much prefer Monkey Puzzle by Julia Donaldson.

A couple of other interesting titles were Princesses Love to Share and The Friendliest Ballerina, both aimed at gently teaching toddlers some of those important social skills that the terrible twos can often find lacking. Little Miss is quite a girly girl so princesses and ballerinas do go down well.

We also both enjoyed Shark in the Dark and Norman the Slug with the Silly Shell. Both fun and a bit different, with great, bright pictures.

And, finally, You Choose was a really interesting concept. It’s not really a story book at all but a great way to start off conversations with your little one and encourage them to use their imagination. Each double page spread poses a question, such as where would you like to live, or what would you like to eat, accompanied by loads of quirky little illustrations for them to choose from. Little Miss, predictably enough, would like to live in the pink fairy tale castle and eat chocolate cake all day! It’s a very entertaining and interactive way to enjoy a book together and an idea we’d not seen before so well worth a look.

You can see all the books we’ve read for the 300 Picture Books Challenge on our Pinterest board. And watch out for our final post very soon. I hope!

Thanks for reading.

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What we read in October…

Last time I posted about reading, I said our updates had slipped from weekly to monthly. Only problem is that I now seem to have got even further behind and, as you’ll see from the title, I’m still grappling with what we read back in October when we’ re now halfway through November!

Time is short these days – and our BT Broadband connection outrageously temperamental (I digress but it winds the hell up out of me *red mist descends* and I need to find the will to make them sort it out) – but I’m hoping things will get that little bit easier as Little Mister gets bigger and I can eke out just a teensy bit more time for this blog. Please bear with me folks!

Despite the recent irregular updates, reading still has a massive place in our house and we’ve been managing to get to the library more regularly again these last few weeks.

300 Picture Books Challenge October... www.mummystodolist.com

Our most recent batch of reads includes titles from some of our old favourites – Julia Donaldson and more Maisy mouse, by Lucy Collins.

There have also been a couple of good ones linked to important toddler milestones.

A Bed of Your Own is a gorgeous book, with lovely illustrations and wonderful rhyming text. And it’s amusing for parents and toddlers alike, as lead character Suzy Sue and her bed-invading animal friends grapple with settling down for a good night’s sleep. Little Miss quite recently made the transition from cot to bed and I’d recommend this book as a fun way to encourage little ones with bedtime.

Meanwhile Who’s On the Loo? was discovered just as we were getting to grips with potty/toilet training (more to come on that in another post!). This one’s pretty basic and features various animals sitting on ‘the throne’, as my mum used to call it, as little duck learns to make the transition from potty to big toilet. The major attraction with this book comes at the end when you press a button to hear the toilet flush. I defy any toddler to be able to resist the lure of a flushing toilet, real or otherwise!

Much loved by Little Miss has been Lovabye Dragon. It’s a current bedtime favourite that must be placed beside her bed each night (we drew the line at letting her sleep with it!) and I’ve had to repeatedly renew it. It’s about a little girl who dreams of having a dragon for a friend and a dragon who dreams of being friends with a little girl. It’s a gentle little tale, quite a calming book to read before sleep. It is perhaps just ever so slightly odd at times but maybe that’s just me! It clearly has masses of appeal for its target toddler audience.

And last, but by no means least, there’s been my latest personal favourite A Squash and a Squeeze by the fabulous Julia Donaldson, the moral of which I have to remind myself of daily as, like the little old lady in the book, I’m constantly grumbling about the size of our house these days! Come to think of it, I feel like a little old lady some days too! As with all of Julia Donaldson’s books, the text is so memorable. I could probably real off most of the story here for you now! She has a perfect knack for writing books that are loved by children but also entertaining for adults. And I love the underlying message of being grateful for what you’ve got.

Phew! So that’s it for now. Hopefully I’ll be able to write my November update before the end of the month this time!

We’re still recording all our reads for the 300 Picture Books Challenge and you can see them all on our Pinterest board. We’ve now read 258 and just collected a new batch from the library so I reckon we’re still on track to complete the challenge of reading 300 different picture books in a year.

In the meantime, I’d love to know what you’ve been reading lately. Are there any children’s books you’d recommend for us?

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300 Picture Books Challenge update

It’s more than a month since I posted on our reading progress. When I last did our new Little Mister was still a rather large and uncomfortable bump! I’m finding it hard to keep up the blog with a new baby in the house but thankfully reading books with Little Miss is much easier. “Read it Mummy” is one of her most uttered phrases and it’s been a handy way of keeping her occupied when I’m breast feeding. I have even managed to make it out to the library with both children on two occasions! Today’s visit saw me attract a mini crowd of listening toddlers as I read Mr Tumble’s Hide and Seek out loud – the other mums really should pay me for my services!

300 Picture Books Challenge update

Anyway, the list of books we’ve read this year has continued to grow despite the huge changes and sleepless nights of the last few weeks. When I last wrote we were on week 25. I’ve no idea what week we’re on now, somewhere in the early thirties I assume, it’s all a bit of a blur at the moment! Either way at last count we’d added 11 new titles – and re-read countless old ones – taking our tally up to 234 different books read so far this year.

I’m starting to think I should also keep a list of books damaged this year! We’ve had three moments of toddler recklessness in the last week alone. Little Miss tends to save her destructive tendencies for library books rather than her own. You could say this is quite smart – why mess up your own reading material when you can have the pleasure of ripping up someone else’s?! Let’s just say I’m becoming a dab hand at repair jobs. I think the latest streak may be bad behavior brought on by the frustration of her new little brother arriving and stealing some of her limelight – the last of the book victims was a black and white first baby book we’d dug out for him.

Easily the favourite book of the last month, and one that’s still going strong, is Superworm by Julia Donaldson. Regular readers of this blog will know how well her books go down in our house and this one is no exception. We’ve read it so many times now that Little Miss can recite whole chunks of it. It’s one of those books that is great fun to read out loud.

Cinderella also has to have a mention. Not because Little Miss liked the story that much. More because she developed a strange obsession with taking the book to bed with her every night for weeks on end. She called it her ‘incerella book’ and would cuddle up to it along with her usual bedtime ensemble of ‘Dolly’, ‘Other Dolly’, Giraffe, Rabbit, Upsy Daisy, Puppy and Mouse Blanket. We decided to wean her off the new addition to the line up after finding little teeth marks all round the edge of the book. I love books but nibbling a hardback for comfort can’t be that good for you!

I for one need no help getting to sleep at the moment and on that note had better wrap things up for the night and get a bit of shut eye before a certain hungry baby comes calling in the early hours.

Don’t forget you can always see what we’ve been reading and follow our latest progress on our 300 Picture Books Challenge Pinterest board.

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300 Picture Books Challenge #22

After finally passing the 200 books read mark last week, Little Miss has suddenly been much more receptive to new titles again – typical toddler! We’ve added another seven to the list this week, with Chocolate Mousse for Greedy Goose by the ever-popular Julia Donaldson the most read. She’s also been keen to revisit The Monkey Puzzle too. Both combine the classic ingredients of animals and brilliant rhyming text. And thankfully they’re ones I’m very happy to read over and over again!

300 Picture Books Challenge Week 22

So our total now stands at 208 and you can see what we’ve read so far and follow our latest progress on our Pinterest board.

Find out more and join in with the 300 Picture Book Challenge over on the Child Led Chaos blog.

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300 Picture Books Challenge #13

So this week we reached the halfway point of the 300 Picture Book Challenge – hooray! Our current tally now stands at 152 different books read since the start of the year. I’ve been pretty good at keeping up-to-date with our progress on our Pinterest board and it’s lovely to be able to look back and see everything we’ve read. There’s no way I would remember even half of them had we not been doing the challenge and, I have to admit, looking at the board is a bit of a mummy ego boost too!

The three new titles we read this week were all birthday bounty from Little Miss’s special day last week. Two were by the fab Julia Donaldson of The Gruffalo fame and, as with all her books, these featured the usual brilliant and quirky rhyming text. Monkey Puzzle is great for learning about different animals and our edition of Room on the Broom is the sound book version, which adds another interactive dimension to a great story.

Also new was Peppa Pig book Baby Alexander, which is currently Little Miss’s favourite. This sees Peppa introduced to her new baby cousin. At the start of the story he can only say ‘goo,goo’ but Peppa soon teaches him his first word.

Among the remaining birthday books, we’ve still got a whole mini library of Ladybird classic fairy tales to tackle – 24 in total! And we’re also overdue a visit to the library. Onwards and upwards!

300 Picture Books Challenge week 13

Find out more and join in with the 300 Picture Book Challenge over on the Child Led Chaos blog.

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