The Lion Who Wanted to Love by Giles Andreae

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Leo is a brave young lion who has been asked to leave the family by his mum as he takes no interest in hunting other animals. Unlike other lions, Leo just wants to befriend other animals. He is different.

I tend to like children’s fiction that features a character who is different to others. It sends the message to children that everyone is different and that’s perfectly alright. We should not mock or think that someone different is lesser.

Instead of simply fitting in, Leo sticks to his believes and befriends the other jungle animals, winning them over with his big, loving heart. The is a beautifully written rhyming story with bright illustrations that will capture a toddler’s attention.

No Matter What By Debu Gliori

  


Sometimes as parents we are so overwhelmed by work, housework, text messages, emails etc that we unknowingly neglect our children. In No Matter What, Debi Gliori reassures the little ones that they will always be loved. Be it when they are grumpy or scary like a crocodile, we will always love our children. 

This story of unconditional love is one which every parent should read aloud to their little ones. The illustrations are funny and the questions put across by Small are cheeky. Definitely one to make both adults and children laugh. 

My favourite line in the book is

“It’s like that with love – we may be close, we may be far, but our love still surrounds us…wherever we are.”

It’s the one sentence I’ll repeat to my boy who has extended family living away from us and I want him to know that they love him too despite the distance. 

Fun at the Opera by Susanna Goho-Quek

  

A beautifully illustrated book which introduces children to the dying art of Chinese opera. 

This is a story of excited siblings waiting to watch their brother perform on stage. At the theatre, the young children are invited backstage to try on the dramatic costumes and vivid make-up. Readers will be drawn into the fun story by the vibrant pictures. Little will you know that this book is well capable of teaching children about Chinese opera. 

Although it’s not stated when the story takes place, the fact that the granny and mum are out with that many children seem to suggest that this story takes place decades ago. The chaotic scenes are nothing but filled with joy and closeness to granny. A brilliantly written and illustrated book to introduce Chinese opera to children.

Love You Forever by Robert Munsch

 

Published in 1986, this Canadian picture book tugs at your heartstrings. I tried reading it to Theo was he was a day old in neo-natal care but after one page, I had a melt down. I felt the meaning of the following words: 

I love you forever,
I like you for always.
As long as I’m living,
My baby you’ll be.

This book portrays a mother’s deep and unconditional love for her son from birth till he’s a grown man. In her eyes, he’s always her baby boy. It really touched me when the son, a grown man, visited his frail and sick mother and rocked her just like she had always done so with him. At the end, he goes back home, picks his baby daughter up and sings her the song his mum used to sing to him.

I can relate to this book even though my boy is only 10 months old. He has already driven me up the wall a million times but at the end of the day, he’s still my baby and I love him so.