Favourite children’s books

N obviously takes after me in his love of books (plus of course being a typical toddler who’s sucking up all the information in them!).  We tend to have to read quite a few before bedtime, although sometimes he’s quite happy grabbing a pile of books from the bookcase downstairs to look through himself during a quiet period.

We have a bookcase/toy tidy downstairs which is overflowing with books, and upstairs have a handy cardboard box which allows N to flick through the books and find which one he wants.

N's book box
N having picked one book for once.

Current favourites are:

  • Each Peach Pear Plum – Janet & Allan Ahlberg.  We have the board book, and although it took N a while to get into it, he loves it now.  Referred to as “peach plum” by him, he can point out all the hidden people, and likes to repeat the last word on each page like an echo.  I’m really pleased he likes this book as my brother and I used to like it as well, knowing all the rhyme off by heart.
  • The Tiger who came to Tea – Judith Kerr.  Another classic I think from my brother’s childhood.  Again, not a book that N was really fussed about as it’s quite wordy and long for a young toddler.  But a friend with a younger baby said her daughter loved it, so we got it out again, and he obviously just needed to be a bit older as he’s quite happy to sit and read through the whole book at bedtime.  If he wants this book of an evening, it’s “tea tea”.
  • Dig Dig Digging seems to have been surpassed by the Emergency (Margaret Mayo/Alex Aycliffe) equivalent.  He’s a bit obsessed by ‘nee naws’ and ‘fire’ at the moment (winter with a wood burner at home), but I’m not so keen on the non-rhyming of the emergency book when you’re reading it compared with Dig Dig Digging.  Someone mentioned there was a song to the Dig Dig Digging one but I’ve never heard that, so we just have it straight with sound effects and actions that I make up.
  • Anything ‘Spot’.  He’s a big fan of ‘Spot Makes a Birthday Cake’ and ‘Spot at the farm’, and now refers to the books as ‘Spot’.  Takes me a while to know what he’s talking about, but we get there in the end.  Again, it’s great that it seems to be the classics that are really lasting and still popular today. even though we as parents are obviously inflicting our favourites and choice of books on our children until they are old enough to choose in a bookshop themselves.

I tend to buy most of N’s books at nearly new sales.  Usually they’re immaculate and obviously never been read before, as although N’s now stopped chewing books, they still get pulled about.  I never find much in charity shops that’s the right age or in reasonable condition, but maybe I just don’t go in regularly enough.  However, we need to clear out some of the old books that he’s outgrown so we’ve got space in the bookshelves.

What were your favourite children’s books and what do your children like reading?

By the way, the book I’m least keen on is ‘The Snail and the Whale’.  It’s a fine book, but it goes on for such a long time, plus almost has tongue twisters in it…or maybe I just get so excited reading it, I get caught up in the words.

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  1. This did make me smile, we had Emergency and Dig, Dig, Digging! You need to get Aliens love underpants! Thanks for the comment over at The Mad House

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