Saturday, July 30, 2011

Chicken Soup for The Little Reader’s Soul.

The boy and I have been playing host to the flu lately so life has been all about medicines and hot soups and very little about reading and blogging. Although my own reading is temporarily put on hold, I’ve been reading to the Little Guy a lot lately in an attempt to keep his spirits up.  Luckily, it’s working. I’ve done a post before on our favourite books, but we’ve bought and read a LOT of books since then, so here’s the latest top picks.

We All Went on Safari by Laurie Krebs with illustrations by Julia Cairns

This one is a little gem. It’s a counting book set in Tanzania where a group of Masai children go on a day long safari and spot many different animals.  So Arusha spots one leopard while Mwambe counts 4 lions. Each number is also stated in Swahili.  The book contains a colourful map of Tanzania, some info about the Masai people, facts about the animals mentioned in the book and also the meaning of the names of the children in the story. But all this doesn’t make the book feel like a textbook, far from it. My son enjoys repeating the Swahili numbers with me. The real draw (excuse the pun) are the exquisite illustrations that make Africa come alive for you on these pages.

Robert the Rose Horse by Joan Heilbroner illustrated by P.D.Eastman

Robert is an amiable and industrious horse with a most unfortunate allergy to roses. His sneezes are so stormy that everyone and everything around him gets blown away or knocked down. It all turns out ok when his sneeze saves the day. This is a funny and engaging story that isn’t really trying to teach you anything, Also, as someone who is allergic to almost everything, I can totally relate to poor Robert.               

The Pig in a Wig by Alan MacDonald illustrated by Paul Hess

The Pig in a Wig is the story of Peggoty the Pig who thinks she’s beautiful until she overhears some lambs calling her ugly, fat and bald. All the other animals on the farm also seem to think that you have to have hair to look good. In desperation, she makes herself a wig, which only makes everyone laugh at her. Poor Peggoty is quite heartbroken, until something happens and she learns that pigs are perfect just the way they are. A non-preachy way to teach the kiddies that everyone has their own special kind of beauty.

Thump Bump Tiny the Dancing Hippo by Janet Craig with illustrations by Diane Paterson
Tiny, the not-so-tiny hippo loves to dance. His family loves him and really wants to encourage his passion. Unfortunately, a hippo dancing around the house can really make everything go Thump Bump. So Papa, Mama and Sally make him his very own stage where he can dance to his heart’s content. This is a really simple story with very simple words and a merry little rhythm to it. Plus, what’s cuter than a hippo in a leotard?

Elmer on Stilts by David Mckee

Elmer the patchwork elephant comes up with a plan to mislead the elephant hunters. But it’s not going to be easy for a whole herd of elephants to walk on stilts. Good thing Elmer is so ingenious. My son loves everything that has anything to do with elephants, so this one was a pretty clear winner. I must say I find the sight of all those elephants on stilts pretty funny myself. Tee Hee! I’m easily amused.

I’d love to know your favorite books for toddlers? Do share.


  1. Wow this realy takes me back to my childhood! There's something really comforting about children's books and there is nothing cuter than a hippo in a leotard! Except maybe an elephant :)

  2. Lan you're right. Children's books are comforting, not to mention fun.

  3. My favourites for toddlers go way back, like 18 years back! My kids really liked Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Picture board books, depending on the age of the toddler, with things they can manipulate are always a big hit. I'm a little rusty on this now.

    Thanks for the visit. I'd say the author got the age right for Buddy's Tail, ages 9+. There needs to be the ability to comprehend the messages that would be advanced for little ones. Definitely a good one for a bit older child.

  4. Shirley I must get The Very Hungry Caterpillar for my son. I've heard a lot about it.

  5. I love picture books. I bought "The True Story Of The Three Little Pigs" by John Scieszka for my youngest niece last year. She loved it and so did her sisters who were a little to old for it. Despite the story though they wouldn't take the side of the wolf.

  6. Karen I just looked up The True Story Of The Three Little Pigs. Such fun. I'm definitely getting it for the boy.