I read a lot of books out loud to little people, but still, I feel like I don’t do it enough. My voice tires easily and I’m guilty of persuading them to ‘read’ it to me, particularly those book versions of Disney movies. I sometimes condense long paragraphs into a few sentences, or read everything monotone, my ears tuning into adult conversation.
However, there are some picture books that I love as much as the three-year old. I never get tired of reading them out loud, and in my experience, they are always a hit with the under five crowd. Here are my favourites.
1) The Spooky Old Tree
This is short, scary and has the perfect ending. It’s also repetitive enough that most kids are able to memorize it, which is adorable.
2) Mr. Putter and Tabby series
All advice on writing for children, says that the protagonist must be within a few years of the focus child’s age. If that’s true, I really don’t understand why a 65-year-old man and his cat holds tireless interest for toddlers.
3) Dr. Seuss anything
Cat in the Hat, Fox in Socks, Green Eggs and Ham, Mr. Brown Can Moo, ABC. Reading rhymes is a hundred times easier than prose, so I’m forever a fan of these fun and fast folumes. Ha.
4) Miss Rumphius
This book is longer and more involved than most of my favourites, but I love the independent Miss Rumphius and her beautiful legacy.
5) Are You My Mother?
A humorously mournful story of being lost and then found.
6) the Olivia series
These books show a spunky pig in all her well-meaning, but messy, glory. Most of the books also feature pull out pages and have very pictorial humour, which is great for young ones.
7) Goodnight Moon
This book makes me sleepy just reading it. It’s gentle and has a sort of ritual to the words, which is perfect for bedtime.
8) Caps for Sale
Some naughty monkeys steal a peddler’s caps, and he loses his temper trying to get them back! I remember Dad reading this to me, and children still seem to like the monkey’s saucy behaviour.
9) Blueberries for Sal
Again, this seems long for a children’s book, but the littlest ask for it. Perhaps the idea of hanging out with bears on a blueberry hill in Maine seems very adventurous. It could also be the contributing factor to their bear obsession!
10) Curious George
And if your child doesn’t find George making pancakes at a fundraiser funny, then I despair!
What are your favourite picture books? I’d love to hear them!