I love children’s picture books. I can spend a whole lot of time browsing shelves with picture books at the bookstore. And, I tend to buy picture books that I like (as though I am the intended audience!). But it’s a win-win really, because my kids normally like what I buy (ahem, mama has good taste), and also, since I am the one who usually has to read for them anyway, I get to enjoy the book myself too!
A tip for parents: When a kid likes a book, they would most likely request for it to be read again and again for like a million times. So it’s really worth getting a book that you’d enjoy too.
I feel so much joy bubbling up within me every time I look at my kids’ bookshelves, even more than when I look at my own bookshelf! Anyway, here are some of my favourite picture books to date:
Where Is The Green Sheep? By Mem Fox & Judy Horacek
This book is simple and fun! When reading it through with Amy, she would pick out the cutest detail that I had overlooked (“Look that sheep is crying!” “It’s this sheep’s birthday!”). I find myself chuckling too as I turn the pages, because the words and expressions are adorable!
Goodnight Gorilla, by Peggy Rathmann
I remember when Amy was born, I had diligently done my research on the best books to get for your baby (read: Google). There were many lists by many people, but Goodnight Gorilla is almost always included in the lists. And those lists must be right, because both my babies love this book! I used to read this a trillion times to Amy, and I’m now going in the millionth time for Alistair. Also, I think the fact that the book has so little words gives us a lot of leeway to play around every time we read it. Sometimes I’d focus on the balloon. Sometimes it’s the banana. And sometimes it’s the miniature soft toy version of the animals. (hah! let me know if you spot all those)
The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle
Speaking of classics, you can’t get any more classic than this! The Very Hungry Caterpillar is so loved, you can find it now in various versions and merchandises. In fact, it’s even got its own stage show! Again, both Amy and Alistair love this. Amy could memorise the entire book, and Alistair loved putting his small little finger through the holes as we go through the fruits.
When I’m Feeling… collection, by Trace Moroney
I believe that emotions are a natural and important part of being human, even the negative ones. Instead of suppressing them, we should learn to manage our emotions well so that we do not become controlled by them. And to be able to manage our emotions, we have to first understand and recognise them. Amy loved learning about the different feelings with this collection – Loved, Angry, Lonely, Scared, Happy, Kind, Sad and Jealous. It also helps me to explain and teach her better ways to express herself whenever she feels angry or sad or jealous. Very helpful for parents of preschoolers!
Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr Seuss
When I first started reading this book for Amy, I didn’t think much about it. But halfway through, I think I was reading more for myself than for her. Don’t let the rhymes fool you. There are so much wisdom and truth in this book! I wish I had read it when I was a child. It would have prepared me better for the world and for, well, growing up. It’s by far my favouritest children’s book in my house. And so, I will leave you with some of my favourite lines:
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”
“You’re off to Great Places! Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting, So… get on your way!”
“Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.
Except when you don’t. Because, sometimes, you won’t.”
“I’m sorry to say so but, sadly, it’s true
that Bang-ups and Hang-ups can happen to you.”
“But on you will go
though the weather be foul.
On you will go
though your enemies prowl.”
“And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)”
Have you read the books mentioned? Do you have them for your kids? What do you think of them?