You Can’t Take An Elephant On The Bus by Patricia Cleveland-Peck

Books featuring buses, trains and cars (my son is crazy about his vehicles) are usually a hit in our family. We started off with simple baby books or novelty books which make the noises of the vehicles and gradually searched for ones which are more suitable for storytime.
You Can’t Take an Elephant on the Bus (Amazon Affiliate Link) was a Christmas present to Theo from his auntie. I found the book on Amazon and thought it looked fun. The title itself screams “Of course you can’t!!!”, so I was certain that a series of ridiculous events would unfold in this picture book.

True enough, children are presented with ludicrous scenarios such as a tiger riding on a train, a seal driving a taxi, a hippo in a hot air balloon and so on. That’s the beauty of this book – children love being silly and this book allows you to act silly and laugh along with them. It is very humourous.


I put on my “Gosh! This is so silly!” voice when I read this book during storytime. It helps bring the havoc that the animals are creating to life. I also love the British touches seen in the book – London bus and taxi.


And of course, one thing leads to another. Theo brings out his London bus from the toy box and asks if his little cars can have a ride on it.

 

 

 

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Churchill’s Tale of Tails by Anca Sandu

The book’s pastel illustration caught my attention when I first saw it. Often, children’s books have bright, vibrant and bold colours to capture their attention. So I thought this was different. I didn’t quite know if it would be well-received at home. But it was on sale at the Frankfurt Book Fair, I bought it for Theo. 

It is a tale about a Pig named Churchill who has lost his very precious tail. His friends knew how upset he was that they came up with ideas to “replace” it. However, Churchill had so much fun trying out the different new tails that he had no more time for the friends who helped him out. He stopped playing with them and talking to them. It wasn’t until he found a new friend who had his tail (and returned it to him) that he started to miss his old friends. 

This is a book to explore themes such as kindness, friendship, and  generosity but in a fun and comical way. 

My boy has his own tail now too. 

Owl Babies by Martin Waddell


I bought this book at the Frankfurt Bookfair last year as it came along with a DVD. I was looking for animated stories for Theo to watch and thought this looked interesting. 

It is a story about 3 owl babies who woke up at night only to find their mum missing. They pondered hard over her disappearance with the youngest crying “I want my mummy”. At last, mummy owl returns to the nest safe and sound and they owls rejoice.

Despite being 28 months old, Theo occasionally wakes up at night to look for me. He gets frequent nightmares that send him hysterical. However it has gotten better over the months as he allows his dad to soothe him back to sleep now. When I read Owl Babies to Theo, we pretend that he’s the youngest owl who’s afraid. At the end of the story, I assure him that all is well and that I’ll be there for him in the morning and that I’ve not abandoned him.

Similarly, I also used this story for when he started his new kindergarten. Once the novelty died away and he started having separation anxiety, this story came in handy once again to set an example that mummy will return shortly to pick him up. 

I just love stories like this that we can relate our daily experience with. 

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. 

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. 

Listen, Listen by Phillis Gershator

  

Another beautifully illustrated book by Alison Jay which has an antique-feel to it, Listen, Listen lets children explore the different seasons through the sounds of birds chirping, bees buzzing, hammocks swaying in the wind and leaves rustling. 

It offers not just a story; children can play “I spy” and spot the various objects on each page. For older children, this is a great book to talk about seasonal changes and wildlife. 

I like the short rhyming sentences in the book which make it suitable even for babies who are notoriously known for their short attention span. At the same time, this is a keeper for its educational purposes. It also comes in a big, sturdy board book format – perfect for my one year old who’s still into chewing books!