I thought today we’d talk about one of my all-out favourite things to buy…children’s books! Ottilie has adored books ever since she was teeny tiny, and reading together is one of our favourite activities. I’ve recently discovered the lovely independent bookshop in our local town of Haslemere, which has a beautiful selection of children’s books to choose from and such an inviting atmosphere. She’ll happily mill around in there for ages, picking out books to read there and then and a couple to buy and take home for our growing collection. It gives me so much joy.
So today, I’m sharing a few of our favourites! We tend to keep paperback story books for reading at bedtime or during Ottie’s meals, and lift-the-flap board books to read whilst we play in the living room. That way we don’t end up with many torn page-casualties…though a couple of Ottilie’s most-loved books for reading during dinnertime are in a pretty bad way, covered with sticky marks and the odd smudge of pasta sauce I can’t get rid of!
‘The Koala Who Could’, + ‘The Lion Inside’ by Rachel Bright and Jim Field
These story books are two of our most-read, largely I think due to the outstanding Australian accent I deliver during readings of The Koala Who Could ;) Ottie seems to be so engaged by these sweet stories about courage and self-discovery, and the illustrations are brilliant too.
She also now thinks that all koalas are called ‘Kevin’ as per the book, which is just adorable and not something I’m in a rush to correct her on!
‘Lost and Found’, Oliver Jeffers
Oliver Jeffers’ books are just beautiful, with stylish, inky illustrations and simple storylines about friendship and overcoming challenges. Lost and Found tells the story of a boy who discovers a penguin on his doorstep, and in trying to help the penguin find his way home, realises that all he actually wants is to be the boy’s friend.
Ottilie always seems so taken in by the stories of friendship in Oliver Jeffers’ books, and in ‘How to Catch a Star’ (another of our favourites), she always takes my hand and asks me to help the little boy reach the star in the sky he wants to make friends with. And yep, it makes me want to cry every time!
‘The Tiger Who Came to Tea’, by Judith Kerr
I think we’ve read this book every single night before bed for two months on the trot now, but it’s such a classic I still completely love it! The story tells of a ‘cheeky tiger’ (as Ottie has dubbed him!) who visits Sophie’s house, and eats his way through all the cakes and sandwiches, the packets and tins in the cupboard, all Daddy’s beer, and all the water in the tap! The story’s so quaint and old fashioned, and we love the illustrations too. A classic!
This book’s one that we keep downstairs for playtime, as it’s so sturdy and a quick read. It’s got tabs to open and pull and twist that perform different actions within the book, and Ottie especially likes to ‘mix’ the cake batter in the bowl just as much as she does when we bake together in the kitchen! It’s such a simple one but a great toddler book, and any from the series would make a lovely first birthday gift.
‘Peep Inside’ series by Usborne
I LOVE this series of books- it’s definitely my favourite series of baby/toddler board out there…MUCH better than ‘That’s Not My [insert literally anything here!!]‘! These books were the first that Ottie really fell in love with, with the ‘Peep Inside the Farm’ and ‘Dinosaurs’ being our firm favourites. She does sound effects for all the dinosaurs in the book now which makes me laugh every time, and the books have really expanded her vocabulary too. I recommend these to anyone looking to start up a book collection for their little one!
‘All In One Piece’ by Jill Murphy
Or as it’s known in our house, ‘the paint one’! Along with ‘the tiger one’, this is another that’s been part of our bedtime story line up for a good couple of months straight now. Ottie’s obsessed, and always asks me to wipe the paint from Mrs Large’s dress at the end! I just love Jill Murphy’s writing, and remember so vividly finding the Large Family series absolutely hilarious as a child. Isn’t it the best seeing your children love the things you loved when you were little?
What books do your little ones love? :)