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!). 

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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.