I Love You Through and Through By Bernadette Rossetti-Shustak

  

My son’s nickname is “Teddy” even before he was born. Therefore, we have the tendency to get clothings with bears on and books that feature bears as the main characters. He has recently learnt to be more affectionate towards his cuddly toys so I was thrilled to come across this book which features a little boy with his teddy bear.

The story is essentially very simple yet meaningful. It lets your little ones know that you love them for being them – love their top side, bottom side, fingers, toes, inside, outside  and so on. When I read it to my son, I point to the various body parts so he knows where they are. It reinforces that every little bit of them is being loved. 

Given that it’s a really short and simple book to read, young ones won’t get easily distracted and will probably enjoy sitting on your lap to let you read it through. I love the ending where you tell your little one that you loved them yesterday, love them today and will love them tomorrow too.

Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh

 
What a great way to introduce children to primary and secondary colours! The vibrant illustrations are accompanied with a simple storyline.  

Mouse Paint is a brilliant concept book for young children who are learning about colours and art. I’ve recently started my 13 month old on using crayons and I think this board book will come in handy to reinforce what the three primary colours are.

The text is predictable for adults but this is what young children like. It is short and simple and will definitely keep the younger ones focused. 

Where’s The Cat by Stella Blackstone

 
This is an exceptionally fun book to read for storytime. Each page is vibrantly illustrated by the ever so talented Debbie Harter (read her interview here).

It features a playful cat who has gone into hiding. Can the kids spot its pointy triangular ears, its long back tail or its spotty fur body? Where is it hiding? Adults will find this activity amusing too because just when you thought you’ve found the cat, it’s actually not there! 

Short, simple and repetitive rhymes suitable for very young children (even babies!). 

The Story Machine by Tom McLaughlin

  

These days, gadgets such as tablets, computers and smartphones are everywhere. I do wonder if children know what a typewriter is? I’m not exactly ancient, but I did use a typewriter when I was a child. My cousins had one and I enjoyed hitting the keys. 

This is a fabulous book to share with children the beauty of storytelling. Elliot, the boy in the story, chances upon a machine that’s quite different from the gadgets he knows. He figures out that it makes letters and hence it must be a story machine. As he isn’t very good with letters, he thinks he can’t create great stories. However, he soon notices that the letters look like pictures and brilliant stories need great pictures. And with great pictures, he can make magical stories!

It is a tremendously inspiring book for both adults and children. At the end of the book, Elliot realises that he’s the one creating the stories; not the machine. Even though he isn’t good at spelling, he manages to tell his own stories in his own unique way – using pictures. 

Not every child is a spellingbee champion. They all learn words as they go along. As adults, should we extinguish the fire they have in them just because they aren’t good at something? I doubt so. Let’s encourage children to blossom, to think out of the box and be creative. Let’s bring out the best in them. 

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen

 

I’ve heard so many good things about this book, therefore I had to pick it up when I saw it in the bookshop. 

A brilliant book for very young readers who love repetition. 

We can’t go over it. / We can’t go under it. / Oh no! / We’ve got to go through it.

This beautifully illustrated family of four encounters caves, mud, forests and rivers while on their journey to hunt a bear. Each time they encounter an obstacle, they overcome it with great enthusiasm and confidence. I imagine that it is a great book for storytime as there’s frequent usage of onomatopoeia which can be exaggerated if you get kids to carry out the actions too. Don’t children just love to participate at storytime too?

I particularly liked the part when they finally found the bear and had to go through all the obstacles again to get home. It felt pretty thrilling! It’s definitely an interactive book which will capture the minds of little ones. 


Bear on a Bike by Stella Blackstone

 

One of Barefoot Books bestsellers which captures the hearts of young readers and parents alike. This vibrantly illustrated rhyming book features a boy running after Bear which travels on different modes of transportation – bike, raft, steam train, boat, carriage and so on.

Each page is fill with colourful pictures that allows both children and adults to develop the  story further or have a conversation. After reading each page at storytime, I love pointing to the top right hand corner of the opposite page to ask the children where they think Bear is heading to next. 

It is also a great bedtime story where Bear embarks on a journey in a rocket. Kids will love waving goodbye and goodnight to Bear.