Baby J loves books. Her absolute favourite thing to do at the moment is to empty them from her bookshelves one by one until they’re piled up around her. She’ll then take each book and leaf through it with the superior and earnest look of a chief judge deciding on the shortlist for the year’s Man Booker Prize. When she’s seen enough of a book (often a single upside down page is sufficient), she’ll flamboyantly cast it to one side and turn her critical eye to the next brightly coloured chronicle that catches her eye. And so on.
I’ve become as brutal as my daughter with my tolerance for children’s books. I read to Baby J everyday and there are some truly horrendous examples of children’s literature out there. Tales about remembering to brush your teeth before bedtime (just because it’s a dinosaur wielding the tube of toothpaste doesn’t make it interesting), moral heavy stories about sharing toys and tidying away your toy box (yawn) and the obligatory ‘be brave at nursery’ propaganda (what child wants to hear about that just before they go to bed?) They’re not exactly subjects to engage a toddler’s imagination and surely that’s what children’s books should be all about. And don’t get me started on awkward and forced rhymes – how do the editors of some of these books sleep at night?
I’m starting a bookworm in training section of this blog where I’ll share the good books that pass the high literary standards Baby J demands. Here are a few of her current favourites and please add your suggestions in the comments below if you feel inspired. We’re always on the look out for new stock for Baby J’s library.
Rod Campbell - ’Dear Zoo Noisy Book ’
Sue Hendra - ‘Barry the fish with fingers‘
Julia Donaldson – Tales from Acorn Wood
Sam McBratney - ’Guess how much I love you‘
Roger Hargreaves – Mr Men and Little Miss
Eric Carle – ‘Brown bear, brown bear, what do you see?‘