The last 30 days have been a smashing ride for us with these 30 books ticked off the list waiting to be re-visited while we move on to the others.. We try hard to justify each book with the following mini reviews but the real essence lies in the book.
This is one such book that will make you want to pull out your brush before you turn the last page..
Illustrations: The book is fabulously Illustrated with a perfect blend of black-white and colors. Some of the art by the illustrator are funny and clever, such as the boy painting ants in his arm, the paint on the dog.
Content: The length of the text is just perfect to keep a 3 – 4 year sit through the book. Every page turned gets fun and interesting as the reader can guess which part of the body the boy shall paint next.. The hint lies with a rhyming word that ends in the previous sentence on the previous page. Dropping this line from the book for example, ‘Still, I can’t rest.. till I paint my _____’ and it goes as Chest. The dog is silently accompanying the boy in the entire book which adds to the beauty of it.
Our favorite part : The part where one more part is to be painted but mom enters…
2. Leaf/Flower on cover – The leaf men by William Joyce
The book takes us through a journey of what is happening in the garden of an old lady who is sick and believes her garden is magical.
Illustrations : William Joyce books are very magical, especially due to the illustrations and this one is no different. The story takes place mostly on a full moon night and the illustrations have a cinematic touch that do justice to the story.
Content : There once lived an old lady, whose long lost toy lies in the garden unspoken. As the rosebush grew sick, so did the old lady. The fireflies, crickets wished her well, but she wouldn’t wake. On a moonlit night, the lost toy lying in the garden mentions the leaf men could save everything and put them back to normal. So the doodle bugs, tiny is size, brave at heart, take up the mission to summon the leaf men for help. The spider queen never believed in leaf men and also threatens the bugs. Do the leaf men arrive or will things get worse?
Our favorite part : The part where the long lost toy is being brought back silently to the old lady.
3. Books with siblings – The Toucan Brothers by Tor Freeman
A well Illustrated, great story about how community workers hustle to get things fixed in daily life and softly explains the strength of two over one.
Illustrations: Eye-catchy, bright and comic type illustrations make the story very interesting and engaging. The elements in the pictures are plenty which makes the book worth re-visiting time and again.
Content : The story revolves around two brother Toucans who get all the plumbing work done in their entire town, but then they notice a van that read ‘New plumber arriving’. This new plumber assures everyone quicker service at lower cost and soon everyone in the town prefer the plumber pup over the Toucan brothers. How the people in the town pay a price for their choice of a quicker and cheaper service has been crafted well in the story.
Our favourite page : The part where people realise their repairs haven’t been fixed well.
4. Featuring mom – Llama llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney
One of our favourite books that features mom is Llama llama Red Pajama. This rhyming book starts with baby llama reading a story with his mama, then mama kisses goodnight and goes downstairs. But soon after baby llama feels lonely without mama. Baby llama calls for his mama, waits, frets and shouts when mama doesn’t come. What happens if mama’s gone? How will baby llama sleep without his mama? A great book about love and dealing with loneliness when mama is not around.
5. Featuring dad – Following Papa’s Song by Gianna Marino
Little blue whale has many questions for his papa. ‘papa, are we going far today?’, ‘how will we know which way to go?’ ‘papa, how do you swim so fast?’ And as they start their journey answering questions, little blue wonders what could be below and wanders off to where he can’t see. Little blue starts to cry for papa in the darkness where it’s not heard, but how will papa find little blue?
6. Bedtime book – The little elephant who wants to fall asleep by Carl-Johan Forssén Ehrlin, illustrated by Sydney Hanson
This is our most loved book for bedtime, because we never get to finish the book before drifting off to sleep. The book is about a little elephant who is very friendly. He wants to sleep on the other side of the magical forest and takes you across the forest which is lovely and safe. Although the book is a sequel to The Rabbit who wants to fall asleep and a bit of this book has been linked to it, it doesn’t necessarily need the other book to be read prior or alongside. This is definitely a lengthy book for a 3 year old but that’s probably why we doze off before the story ends. Both these books so far have been our bedtime book on both exhausted days as well as energetic ones.
7. Lift the flap – Stop, elephant, stop! by Andrea Shavick, illustrated by Mark Marshall
Like most lift the flap books, this book is a couple of pages long as well. On a hot sunny day, the animals struggled sitting under the burning sun. It was too hot even under the shade. So the lizard jumps in for a cold bath and all the others follow. But what happens when the elephant tries to jump is hilarious.
8. Cat book – Puss in boots by Charles Perrault , illustrated by Fred Marcellino
Puss in Boots dates back to 1697 when Charles Perrault’s collection of tales including ‘The sleeping beauty’, ‘Little red riding hood’ was published. This story takes a new clothing with award winning illustrations by Fred Marcellino’s work of beautiful and soothing art.
9. Book by Debi Gliori – All the way home by Debi Gliori
A warm & funny father-child duo book for all fathers of smallies.
Illustrations : The illustrations are chilly and there’s much on each page than the content suggests. Definitely a pick for the winter for added fun.
Content : While all the penguin mothers are out hunting fish for the family, the daddy penguins are with the children looking after them. The story revolves around one of those daddy penguins who is narrating a story which he claims even mommy penguin isn’t aware of. This story is about a past adventure that they have been through. A feel-good story for every dad, who too wasn’t very brave at the beginning of parenthood.
Our favorite part: The last page!
10. 1st experiences – Whiffy Wilson – The wolf who wouldn’t go to school by Caryl Hart, illustrated by Leonie Lord
This is a great book for little ones who do not want to go to school in the initial days. The story revolves around a wolf named Wilson who couldn’t count or even write his name. He spent his entire day watching tv and always whined how school is boring. He asks his friend next door to play with him, but his friend doesn’t have the time as she goes to school. Wilson doesn’t want to go to school no matter what. His friend decides to take him to school, and Wilson had an amazing day filled with fun. Wilson gets ready to school on the next day, but…
11. Makes you giggle – How to hide a lion from grandma by Helen Stephens
There was a lion who lived with a girl named Iris. Iris’ grandma would come visit her while her parents went away and she had to be sure grandma wouldn’t notice the lion. Grandma is home already but Iris hasn’t figured out where to hide her lion. Luckily, grandma paid less attention to her surroundings and the though the lion is out in the open, grandma funnily misses it out very time. But grandma has her own secret to hide. What could it be?
12. Big emotions – Glad Monster Sad Monster by Anne Miranda and Ed Emberley
This book is one of the best books on emotions due to its simplistic, to the point content. There are many colored monsters who each mention the things that make them feel they way they do. Orange monster says, “listening to terrible thunderstorms, being chased by grumpy growly things worry me” and so the other monsters speak this way. But what makes the book extra interesting are the masks of each monster that fit small eyes and nose. These masks are provided for each colored monster with their corresponding expression. We had great fun with the masks while reading the book and even after finishing it. The book comes with a pouch at the end to store them masks safely for future reading and fun.
13. Addressed Issues – The Good Egg by Jory John, illustrated by Pete Oswald
A feel good book about how being very good to others could stress oneself, and it isn’t worthy when those that you care for do not care about you.
Illustrations : Pete Oswald’s illustrations are playful and unique in their appearance. The story by Jory John perfectly accompanies the illustrations also giving it a sense of deep emotions.
Content : Jory John’s books are a treat and also thought provoking and this one is no exception. The story speaks about a good egg, who is very kind and helpful despite all the other eggs being bad and naughty. The good egg fixes everything the other eggs mess up until the good egg starts to crack with all the stressfulness. So how will the good egg handle the situation? Would it be worth changing the other eggs or what would be the best way out?
Our favorite part : ‘Little by little the cracks started to heal’. The healing process depicted in small steps…
Mama frog has a birthday party to arrange for little frog. Mama frog is curious to know whom little frog would like to invite. Little frog wants to invite red fox, purple butterfly, orange cat, green snake, yellow bird, blue fish, white dog with black spots. But none of his friends seemed to have arrived as there comes a green fox instead of a red one, yellow butterfly instead of a purple one and so on. This book magically transforms these different colored animals into little frog’s friends with just a bit of patience and observation. This is one of a kind that we have found and this book taught us how illustrations can impact and fool around with us.
15. Indian Author – Namaste Mumbai by Rachana Chandaria – Mamania and Kavita Bafana, illustrated by Sandhya Prabath
This book by Bloomsbury India is very colorful, very vibrant and lively in its art and text. The story is about 3 friends who explore the busy streets of Mumbai city travelling from one tourist location to another. The beauty of the city has not been lost in the pictures and one can easily spot many familiar favourite things such as a bhel puri stall, ice gola, or even a watermelon one. There are a few facts about the place at the end of the book and even a cartoonistic map of Mumbai.
16. Food in the title – The bean machine by Adam Bestwick
Jack liked beans and ate them for breakfast, lunch and dinner with every food he ate. Back in the backyard the bean tin cans kept growing and piling up. Jack’s dad hired a van to carry the tins for recycling, but they were unable to handle the ever growing tin cans from Jack’s house. Eventually, when the tin mountain crashed in their backyard, Jack finds a solution along with his friend Will…
17. With a stuffed animal – Corduroy by Don Freeman
A classic book from 1960s that has never lost it’s beauty in the story, text or illustrations..
Illustrations : Simple watercolor like illustrations that give the story a deep sense of emotion.
Content : A lonely bear sits in the toy shop. While the rest of his friends find a home, this bear doesn’t seem to be picked by anyone. The bear has a mini adventure in the mall where the shop resides. Will the bear step his way outside the shop and find himself a friend?
Our favorite part : The bear goes looking for something and finds something round and small. Although it doesn’t belong to him, his innocence of identifying it to be what he was looking for is not to be missed.
18. Day out with family – Where’s the dragon? by Jason Hook, illustrated by Richard Hook
Where’s the dragon and Where’s the dinosaur are both similar books and are an instant hit in our house. The story is about a boy named George who goes on a hunt together with their dog Meg
Illustrations : The most important parts of this book are the illustrations. The dragon is hidden, yet visible when paid attention to. Not just one dragon, but tens and twenties of dragons are all around George and his grandfather but they completely miss every single one.
Content : George and his grandfather accompanied by Meg the dog, are on a hunt looking for dragons while the grandfather is negative about finding any. Although George manages to find a tail, eye, even fire, his grandfather addresses them as something else and this takes on the humour for the reader while the answer is so obvious.
Our favorite part : They all slept well and dreamt of dragons and Meg snored so loudly that the ground seemed to shake and shudder. This is hilarious when there’s a dragon right there, but they manage to not find any.
19. Taught you important lesson – Zen Shorts by Jon J Muth
Addy, Karl and Micheal meet Stillwater, a bear, in their backyard. Stillwater was just taking his umbrella back that had flown all the way here. Each day, one of the siblings visits Stillwater and Stillwater tells each of them an eye-opening story to tackle the situations of life. And at the end all of them become friends. This book is the first part of Zen Stories and the sequel books have rest more stories.
One of the three stories in the book is about how something isn’t either good luck or bad, as anything can precede the event. We, in our daily lives are always terming something as good and bad, while there can be something good from bad and something bad from the good. The book had many folds to it, and based on the understanding of the reader, these unfold to a certain extent.
20. Grown up’s favorite book in the house – Weasels by Elys Dolan
This book shortlisted for Roald Dahl funny prize 2013, is one of our favourites at home filled with humour, development in the world and touches upon the current day scenario of the domination.
Illustrations : Every single page has a funny weasel to be spotted while the rest are busy fixing and operating. The illustrations are less detailed, vector type yet brings the dramatic story to life.
Content : What does one think weasels are doing? Eating nuts, playing? Here in this book we see, they are plotting world domination. That’s right! So, the weasels work all around the clock, building a machine for world domination, but what happens when they push the start button? Although the story in itself is funny enough, the reaction of each weasel has to be laughed out loud.
Our favorite part : In one of the pages, we can spot a weasel trying to extinguish fire while another saying “I thought a few candles would cheer up the place”, one weasel napping while the whole place is in chaos and lots more.
21. Hand me down book you are attached to – Busy, Busy world by Richard Scarry
33 amazing stories from 33 different countries that can help us understand a bit more about the culture and society in these countries. Richard Scarry never fails to engage little children with illustrations and humorous language in narration. We thoroughly enjoyed a few of the stories from the book such as rajah of India, taking the Tokyo train, Hans – the Dutch plumber, Ah-choo of Hong Kong, Angus – the Scottish bagpiper.
22. Book you tore – The blue jackal by Shobha Vishwanath, Illustrated by Dileep Joshi
We all have heard of Panchatantra and maybe a few stories here and there from it too. But this story is well-put and the traditional Warli style illustrations give the book a very special Indian touch. The fact that little S had torn one of the pages on the very day it arrived makes it memorable.
Illustrations : Most of us would have come across Warli paintings in one way or another, but having it in a book that describes a story or the other way around, makes this book very special indeed. Although the drawings have very few details to it, the child-like illustrations are very soothing to look at.
Content : The content of this book is taken from one of Panchatantra tales, where Karadi, the bear, is narrating the story. This Karadi tale revolves around a jackal who was bullied and wasn’t allowed to eat with the pack. His hunger leads him inside a village, where he accidentally turns blue. He returns back to the jungle after having fallen asleep in a house. The other creatures are confused and terrified of this blue creature. The jackal soon understands the situation and takes advantage of it claiming he has been sent by the gods. But, what happens when the animals find out who this blue creature truly is?
Our favorite part : The tales from Panchatantra are often witty and thoughtful. But we loved the way the tale brings in a non-magical aspect throughout such as how the jackal gets it’s color.
23. Carried to bed and slept with – The bear under the stairs by Helen Cooper
William thought he saw a bear under the stairs and shut the door. He would sleep with his eyes shut tight, and imagined the bear roaming the house while he was asleep. William was scared of the bear, and threw food at dinner inside the door and shut it very quick. After a few days the house starts to stink and the parents want to find out why. But Willam insists on not going to the room. When the mother picks him up and asks why, Willam tells his mother how he had seen a bear. They all go under the stairs and when they open the door, is there really a bear? A wonderfully Illustrated book that helps children who are afraid to let go of their fear.
24. Written in rhyme – Don’t put your pants on your head, Fred! by Caryl Hart, Illustrated by Leigh Hodgkinson
If getting dressed in the morning in undies, pants and vest is confusing and quite a task, this book is for you..
Illustrations : The illustrations of Leigh Hodgkinson remind us of Lauren Child’s Charlie and Lola. One can expect similar illustrations in all of Leigh’s books like Troll Swap and others. Caryl Hart’s content is very warmly put to pictures and the big size of the book justifies them well.
Content : Fred is struggling to get the pair of socks right, he puts on his shirt inside out and he decides to seek training from Sergeant Smart. Upon his arrival at the fort, to his surprise, none of the soldiers knew how to get dressed. He tries to remember what Kate taught him at home, but messes it all up with a version of his own. Soon the soldiers get dressed up, Fred’s way. The Queen giggles, “That’s not how you’re meant to get dressed”.
Our favorite part : The part where Fred thought Sergeant could teach him to dress, but he taught them his messy way instead.
25. Grandparent read to you – Lion vs Rabbit by Alex Latimer
A funny, witty book about a rabbit defeating a very mean mean lion. A perfect read about how wit can outweigh bullying.
Illustrations : The illustrations of animals are very expressive and funny. There are many things to find the more we look back at the Pages. A very cartoonistic style that keeps the story very engaging.
Content : The story begins with understanding the statistics of Lion’s and Rabbit’s data. The lion’s top speed is 90 kmph, while that of rabbit is 45 kmph. The lion weighs 803 kg, while rabbit only 2 kg. Height of Lion is 198 cm and Rabbit is 36 cm. The Lion is very mean to all the animals in the African jungle and the animals seek help promising a reward. A Russian bear, Moose from North America, Tiger from India all fail one after the other at defeating the Lion. At last, the rabbit arrives and it’s very interesting how the rabbit defeats lion in not one but in every chosen task.
Our favorite part : The entire book is filled with wit and humour, but the rabbit paints a bunny-Monalisa in the painting task which is hilarious.
26. Food stains on it – Kate, who tamed the wind by Liz Garton Scanlon and Lee White
To bring awareness about the usefulness of trees, this book is splendid. It is great for young kids, especially those getting hold of the language.
Illustrations : Sober, cartoon type illustrations that convey the story perfectly. The little girl who is toonistic, draws a much more toonic solution for the problem of wind.
Content : A man lived all alone in a creaky house on the tip top of a steep hill. Sentences like this get repeated over and over throughout the book and hence it wouldn’t take long for someone to unknowingly catch the entire story by heart.. Although the book ends quickly, it has a very important message to deliver and it is very useful for language and sentence building for kids.
Our favorite part : As the trees grew, the wind blew. As the trees grew, the wind blew the time flew. The time flew as the trees grew…. and grew… and Kate did, too.
27. Kept you busy – What would you do in a book about you by Jean Reidy, Illustrated by Joey Chou
What would you do in a book about you, is a great question to ask little children and this book perfectly acts as a cue to build along the story. The illustrations are very magical and there is much on each page to find. The content of the book, although very less in comparison to books such as You Choose by Nick Sharratt, it help about in questioning and helping little ones decide what they would want to do in a book about them and build the story without boundaries.
28. Wonder House Book – Shlokas and mantras activity books for kids
This amazing book by Wonder House is very essential for any Hindu family. The basic shlokas and Mantras that are often used in daily life at home, schools, temples etc are beautifully explained with meaning in the book. The illustrations are very adorable and so are the stickers. There are fun activities that help with basic knowledge about Hindu gods and goddesses.
29. You gift often – Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
Harold is a toddler who is using his crayon through his imagination for a fun playtime..
Illustrations : Though the illustrations are of a baby and drawings entirely in purple color, the objects drawn are very interesting and definitely attract a child’s attention also enhancing their imagination.
Content : Harold wants to go walking under the moon light. He steps out to find out there is no moon. So he draws himself a beautiful moon. Then he draws a road, so on until he gets lost. He needs to return back to his room, but how will he find his room? Very engaging and creative story that runs wild on a child’s imagination
Our favorite part : Harold draws himself a dragon, but gets frightened of this terrifying creature.. The way the drawings are brought to life in the book is quite commendable.
30. Got from Kbc Recos – The great realisation by Tomas Roberts, Illustrated by Nomoco
Apart from the recommendations by KBC community, there was this one book that caught our attention instantly.. The great realisation is a book about the Covid virus and the changes that took place as a consequence of lockdown. Since SBV was born during lockdown in 2020, what better way to celebrate it again than to have this book that reminds us of that very time. The Illustrations of this book are very colorful and vibrant. The flowy type images add to the content that creates awareness about the eeco-system.
We had much fun binging on these books along with others over the past month and a half. We wish you grab a few of them and experience them yourself.
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