For New Parents and New Readers
Once your kids reach about four
they will beginning to assert themselves about books that they do and do
not like and can also show interest in early reading and educational kids books.
Follow their lead, allow them to choose some of their own
books, whether off the shelf at home or in the library. They will be much happier with a book that they
have chosen themselves.
If they want you to stop reading to show what words mean or to
As early readers my kids have loved the Lynley Dodd series about Hairy McClary (the raggedy dog), with lots of great rhyming words, and plenty of other friendly four legged characters.
David Kirk- Miss Spider’s Sunnypatch Kids
favorite friendly spider is back and this time she’s having babies!
Like all new parents she and Holly are worried about doing the right
thing- do their babies need sun, do they bite and all those booties to
knit! When their ten little eggs hatch all the booties are knitted just
in time for every one, and that’s eighty feet! Of course all the worry
turns to joy when their babies emerge and complete the spider family.
This Miss Spider adventure continues on from earlier editions with it’s
vibrant colours, larger than life imagery and rhyming, sing-song text.
It playfully depicts the worry and subsequent joy that all new parents
There is a good collection of Miss Spider books available- Miss Spider’s Tea Party, Miss Spider’s Wedding, Little Miss Spider at Sunnypatch School, and our old favourite Miss Spider’s New Car.
Doreen Cronin- Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type
farmyard cows unite to improve their working conditions after
discovering a typewriter in their barn. Farmer Brown is dumbfounded when
he starts finding letters demanding better conditions with the cows
then going on strike. Eventually a compromise is made with the help of
the impartial duck.
This book is loads of fun and even the adults will burst out laughing at
the antics of the herd. Kids will love the silly story line and
wonderful illustrations by Betsy Lewin. Can also be used to help kids
understand the fine art of negotiation! A valuable skill for them at
Other Doreen Cronin books include: Giggle, Giggle, Quack and Duck for President
Douglas Florian- Mammalabilia
master of word play, Florian will amuse with his slightly naughty
humour and nonsensical poems. Children will love seeing their parents
get tongues in a tizzy sharing these witty verses. The illustrations are
painted on brown paper bags with exciting textures and designs.
Florian has a superb body of work including: Insectlopedia, Lizards, Frogs and Polliwogs and Zoo’s Who
Laurence Anholt- The Magical Garden of Claude Monet
has taken a novel approach to introducing children to famous artists –
he has covered Monet, Degas, Van Gogh, Picasso, and DaVinci – and used
their art to create the backgrounds and settings for his stories.
combination of the simple story and Anholt’s artwork which merges
beautifully with Monet’s own work make it a lovely introduction to the
The book features a fold out of Monet’s famous Waterlilies which is
overlaid with the characters from the book floating across the image.
The book gives information about Monet which is woven into the text of
the story and for art lovers it has a biographical page at the end. A
must for children who are artistically inclined but a lovely story for
those who are not.
Other works by Laurence Arnholt include- Leonardo and the Flying Boy, Picasso and the Girl With a Ponytail, Degas and the Little Dancer and Camille and the Sunflowers.
Richard Waring- Have You Seen This Alligator? also known as Alberto the Dancing Alligator
beloved dancing pet alligator; Alberto is accidentally flushed down the
toilet. Alberto winds his way through a maze of sewers, joining the
rats in water ballet, and being scored (by the rats!) on his Olympic
style diving before trying to make his way home. He unwittingly wreaks
havoc on the city appearing in one wrong toilet after another. This
amusing story will have all kids wanting their own pet alligator. It
shows the likeable Alberto cowering in the sewers, hiding from the scary
alligator squad, more like a teddy bear than a frightening reptile.
The story gives a real twist to the urban legend of alligators lurking
in the sewers. It will delight parents and kids alike with its humour
and illustrations. Children will love to follow Alberto’s journey
through the sewer and and voice the varied screams and howls from the
frightened townspeople as Alberto pops up in their toilet bowls!
This will also appeal to younger children as will ‘Ducky Dives In’ a story about the duck who loves mud. (Does this sound like your child??)
Other recommended authors- Chris Van Allsberg, Emma Thompson, Lynley Dodd, Jill Murphy.
*TIP – add your own favorite books below, we’d love to hear your recommendations..