Early Morning Reading Friends
One of the (many) great things about being an Aunt is a that I get to indulge my love of children’s books and there is always a book shaped parcel at birthdays and Christmas time from me. I thought I’d share some of my favourites I have discovered or rediscovered with little L.
Robin from Birds, Brian Wildsmith, Oxford University Press, 1967.
:: Brian Wildsmith – Birds. We grew up with a range of Brian Wildsmith books and I love his illustrations with their beautiful colours. Quite a few of his titles are out of print but he is worth looking out for in libraries and charity shops. Brian was also one of the first authors I met when I started out working at OUP. (He is a lovely man and also rather big in Japan, they have a museum dedicated to him). You can see some more of the beautiful birds on this lovely blogpost.
:: Shirley Hughes – Dogger. No list would be complete without Dogger, an enduring gorgeous classic and has been really nice to see that L loves it as much as we did when we were little. (I still find it a rollercoaster of emotions)
:: Judith Kerr – Tiger who came for Tea. Because who wouldn’t want a tiger to come for tea?
:: Anthony Browne – Gorilla. I love this book and often try to engineer it into the reading pile if I get a say. Hannah is a gorilla-mad girl who spends all her time reading, thinking about and loving gorillas. She longs to see a real one but her father is always too busy to take her to the zoo. Then something truly special happens just before her birthday. The illustrations are gorgeous and explores children’s anxieties and loneliness in a lovely way. It still speaks to me and I have been known to get slightly teary at the end.
:: Emma Chichester Clark: No More Kissing. This is a gorgeous book about a little boy monkey who is fed up of being kissed by adoring relatives.
:: Emily Gravett: Monkey and Me. Another monkey themed book about a girl and her toy monkey as they are off to see different animals. Perfect for my animal-loving niece. There is a great sing-song rhythm and you can have fun guessing which animal the little girl and monkey are pretending to be.
Image from A First Book of Nature by Nicola Davies and Mark Hearld.
:: Nicola Davies and Mark Hearld: A First Book of Nature. I first found this in the Horniman and absolutely cannot rave enough about the illustrations in this book. While L is still bit young for the texts, the pictures are gorgeous. It is like a scrapbook of poems, activities and facts about nature. It contains gorgeous details about sounds and sights of nature (beachcombing, stargazing, squirrels, worms, starlings). It really conveys the beauty present in nature and I found it hard to give it away. I would like some of the spreads as prints on my walls. (Although I’ve discovered that Mark Hearld has also designed some gorgeous wallpaper).
You can see pictures of the beautiful illustrations here.
A first book of Nature.
:: Sarah Dyer: The Girl with the Bird’s Nest Hair. A book about a red-headed girl who doesn’t like having her crazy curly brushed. Of course, I loved it. Who does like having their hair brushed?
:: Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen: Extra Yarn. A book about the joy of knitting and magic of wool. A must for a niece who’s favourite jumpers are Grandma handmade. Jon Klassen’s illustrations are lovely.
:: Sam Childs: Woolly. Joyful. Woolly is a pink mammoth who is born without a woolly coat, how will she stay warm? She is a gorgeous character and we love this book very much.
:: Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler : Zog. Julia Donaldson had to appear on this list as we love her books. Obviously The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo’s Child is a big favourite but we also love The Snail and the Whale and Sharing a Shell. Zog has been quite a recent discovery but it is brilliant. Zog is a dragon who is a bit accident-prone and who is looked after by a little girl. The girl is a great character – full of life and funny. She is a great role model and has the fantastic line “But I don’t want to be a princess, I want to be a doctor.”
:: Chris Haughton: Oh No George! George is a loveable but unfortunate dog who tries hard to be good and has the best of intentions but life gets the better of him and he creates a few disasters. Great fun and we all like chorusing “Oh NO George!”. Chris Haughton also wrote a gorgeous books, Little Owl Lost, about a baby owl who loses his mum which we also like.
:: Benji Davies: The Storm Whale. Beautiful book about parenting, loneliness, loss and whales. Noi is a little boy who finds a washed up whale on the beach and looks after him in his bath by telling him stories.
I’ve really been enjoying some of the book recommendations on A Playful Day and want to check out Olivia the Fairy Princess (because a book about pig princesses will be brilliant), Wild (“You cannot tame something so happily wild” and The Paper Dolls (sob!).
Also we need some good books about hippos and rhinos as they are particular favourites at the moment. The poppet loves to sing and last year I bought her The Singing Year last Christmas but I’m also looking for good singing books to help us refresh our favourite songs.
What have you been enjoying with the little people in your life?
A mouse took a stroll in the deep, dark wood…