Jun 142022
Alphabet Crazy Daksh’s Nerdy List of 30 Books #kbcBookBingoJr (3-7 years)
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I am posting these reviews on behalf of my almost 4 year old son, Daksh for #KbcBookBingoJr (3-7 years).

I joined KBC in the beginning of 2021 and this was the best thing that happened to Daksh and me. Daksh was going through a phase when he was having behavioral issues due to too much screen time and due to this the doctor had asked us to reduce his screen time a lot. We were at a loss regarding how to go about it and then books came to our rescue. It was only through this group that I realized Daksh’s love for alphabets and reading. Below is a list of old and new books which Daksh has been reading during this summer.

1. A green-coloured book: Monkey mayhem! – By Ronne Randall, illustrated by Jacqueline East

This book was gifted to us. A book about three little monkeys who just want to have some fun but, in their frolicking, they disturb all the other animals in the jungle. Grandpa Gorilla has strictly forbidden them from making noise but what happens when they see Gulliver Gorilla in danger from Claudia Crocodile? A book which reminds adults to let children be children and teaches children to have fun but not at the cost of disturbing others. Daksh and I love to make the different noises made by the monkeys while reading this book!

2. A book with a penguin character: And tango makes three – By Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, illustrated by Henry Cole

I had bought this book based on a KBC recommendation and it is such a beautiful book to explain different kinds of families to children. Based on a true story, this book is about two penguins, Roy and Silo (both males), who loved each other and wanted to make a family of their own. Their keeper, Mr. Rob Gramzay, notices this and gives them an egg which needed caring for. The two, take care of it as if its their own egg and hatch a beautiful girl penguin which is named as Tango. What I like best about the book is that it shows that longing for a family and children may be there in all kinds of couples and everyone should be given a chance to have a family if they are willing and capable to care and provide for them. Not sure, how much Daksh understands the concept of different kinds of families, hopefully soon he will internalize the concept on his own. But he loves counting the penguins, the eggs, and the stones in the book.

3. A Tom Percival Book: Ruby’s Worry

How do you explain handling of difficult emotions like anger, worry and being different to a child when many adults have problems grappling with these big emotions? That’s when Tom Percival books come to the rescue. He is a true teacher in the sense that he makes these difficult emotions so simple to understand that even toddlers can relate to them. Daksh understands that a worry becomes bigger if you do not talk about it. He even understood the concept of big and small from this book! The best thing about all Tom Percival’s books is that he is not preachy. He doesn’t say we shouldn’t be worried. In fact, he says it is normal to be worried, and he helps children handle their worries better.

4. A book with siblings: Rabbit! Rabbit! Rabbit! – By Lorna Scobie

Rabbit is the only child and loves it that way because he has everything for himself. But, when his parents have news for him, things change. He must share everything. The book is so relatable if you have a sibling. The complete horror of seeing your sibling using and destroying your stuff, the rules you make for your sibling so that you can stay with each other without getting onto each other’s nerves! Soon, Rabbit’s parents have more and more news for him, and his home becomes crowded. Rabbit sends all his siblings to the neighbor fox’s home so that he can have everything for himself again. He has all the space and liberty now but he doesn’t like to be alone. What happens when he goes to the fox’s house? What does he see? Read this book if you have siblings whom you can neither live with nor can live without!

This book can be ordered from Scholastic India via our kbc storefront as well. Scholastic India always has special offers on.

5. A book about school: I walk with Vanessa – By Kerascoet

This is a picture book with no words, that depicts the scenes which happen in school beautifully. A new girl joins the class and sits alone having no one to talk to. During play time and while going home, she is alone and sad. Another girl notices this. When a school bully harasses the new girl, Vanessa, the girl who had been observing doesn’t feel nice. What does she do about it? Read this beautiful book to find out how she stands up against bullying.

6. A Rib-tickling book: Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! – By Mo Willems

This is an interactive book in the sense, that the bus driver leaves the bus in the care of the reader and asks the reader to make sure that the pigeon doesn’t drive the bus. The whole book is about the pigeon pleading with the reader to allow it to drive the bus and the reader not doing so! Daksh and I have loads of fun and many laughs while co-reading this book. We role play while reading, where I am the pigeon and plead with him to let me drive the bus. I use different voice modulations to read the pigeon’s parts and Daksh loves to say a big “NO” to me every time. We love reading this book together and enjoy the role reversal where I am the one throwing tantrums and Daksh is the one saying NO to me.

7. A book by an Indian Author: Bounce, Hop, Raaga Pop – By Shyama Panikkar, illustrated by Radhika Tipnis

I am in awe of the wonderful way Shyama has combined music, mathematics, and children’s play into one book. I wish I had a mentor like Shyama, then maybe I would have also learnt music along with mathematics. If your child is fond of music and of mathematics, do get this book. It is amazing.

8. An award winning book: Tikki Tikki Tembo – Retold by Arlene Mosel, illustrated by Blair Lent (Winner of the Horn Book Award in 1968)

This is a Chinese folk tale. Parents in China gave their first-born sons long names in order to honor them and their succeeding sons shorter names. It shows the consequences of having longer names through a simple incident of a boy falling into a well and why the Chinese decided to having shorter names for all children. Daksh and me love reading this book together, especially repeating the extremely long name together!

9. A book with a female protagonist: Nibi’s Water Song – By Sunshine Tenasco, illustrated by Chief Lady Bird

Nibi is a thirsty girl in search of clean drinking water. She tries to find clean water at her home, at her neighbor’s place, in the river, but when she doesn’t find clean drinking water anywhere near her home, she goes to the big town nearby. She gets a small bottle of water from a house which is not sufficient to quench her thirst. What does she do when she is unable to find clean drinking water anywhere? She starts a protest. Soon enough everyone joins in her protest and helps to bring about a positive change in their community. This is a powerful story of a little girl starting a movement which helps not just her but the whole community. Please get this book if you want to teach your children that they can bring about big change starting with just small steps.

This book can be ordered from Scholastic India via our kbc storefront as well. Scholastic India always has special offers on.

10. A book that breaks gender stereotypes: I’m a real boy – By Clayton Koh

This one is another very special book. We all strive to raise sensitive children who are not just kind to others but even to themselves no matter what their choices are. I got this book for Daksh because I wanted him to know that he can decide to do whatever he wants and still be proud of himself. He likes to help his grandma in the kitchen, he likes to read books, he likes to play with the ball and he likes to sing and dance. Thankfully he is unaware of gender stereotypes till now but still we read this book to make sure he is confident and comfortable in his own skin.

This book can be ordered from Scholastic India via our kbc storefront as well. Scholastic India always has special offers on.

11. A Scholastic book: Clifford Phonics Fun Reading Program books

The Clifford Phonics books are very special to us since Daksh started his independent reading journey with these set of books. I had gotten one during the Scholastic Sale and when I found his affinity for the book, I got all that I could find in the series. The words are simple and repetitive and since the story involves Clifford the dog… it is very interesting for Daksh. He loves to read all the books in the series and hence we couldn’t pick any one.

These Clifford books can be ordered from Scholastic India via our kbc storefront as well. Scholastic India always has special offers on.

12. A Zayn and Zoey book: SEASONS with Zayn and Zoey

Daksh likes all Zayn and Zoey books because he can relate well with the siblings. It is as if he is learning along with his friends. We especially like the ‘seasons’ book, because he learnt the different seasons from this book, what people wear, eat, and do during each season, and how the vegetation changes during each season. It is an informational book with an engaging activity in the end which Daksh loved doing.

ONLY KBC MEMBERS HAVE A SPECIAL COUPON CODE KBC15 which will give you 15% OFF when you order directly from the ZAYN AND ZOEY website. Simply click this link that takes you to the Zayn and Zoey shop on their website.

13. A non-fiction book/encyclopedia: National Geographic: Little Kids First Big Book of the Ocean – By Catherine D. Hughes

We got this book on Amardeep’s recommendation on KBC when Daksh was 2.5 years old. He took to this book immediately because of the amazing pictures. Within a week or two Daksh knew all the sea creatures in this book. Even though these books are a bit expensive, it is worth investing in these books since they are not just interesting to the kids, but the facts provided also interest the adults. Also, the books will last us a couple of years, since currently Daksh is just interested in the names and pictures but as he grows older, he would be interested in the other details provided too.

14. A mystery/ Adventure book: The Great Monster Hunt – By Norbert Landa, illustrated by Tim Warner

The duck, the pig, the bear, the wolf, and the owl, all believe that there is a monster under duck’s bed. How do they trap it? Read this hilarious book to find how information is twisted and transformed when it passes from one to another, leading to so much confusion and adventure. Daksh loves to repeat the different monster sounds while reading.

15. A book on Space/Solar System

We chose two books for this category since we couldn’t decide on one.!

Space – By Sarah Powell, designed by Nicola Friggens and Katherine Radcliffe (the book linked is by Roger Priddy which is similar)

Daksh learnt all the planets in the solar system from this book at the age of 2.5 years! But, he still loves this book, and we know that this will last him for many years to come. The best thing about this book is its design. It is very well created. Bright catchy font on dark coloured glossy paper and beautiful images attracts kids to read this book. Lot of cool facts are included, not just about the planets but about space in general. Highlighted notes on every page make it an interesting read as well.

There’s no place like space! All about our solar system – By Tish Rabe, illustrated by Aristides Ruiz

This is part of the Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library series. The text is simple and rhyming in nature and is therefore interesting for young children to read and learn. It also gives a cool trick to remember the planet’s names. Apart from the planets, it gives some interesting facts about the sun, moon and the constellations. The author uses a cool story telling with data technique wherein big numbers/data are presented in the form of a concept which children can understand – example: How big is the sun? We just heard right this minute a million of our Earths could all fit right in it.

Disclaimer: This book includes Pluto as the ninth planet so some of the facts in the book might be a bit outdated.

16. A book on any festival: Lucky, It’s Diwali! – By Nalini Sorensen, illustrated by Shamika Chaves

In this simple yet beautiful book, Diwali is described from the perspective of a dog. It gives details about how people celebrate Diwali. Even though, I was expecting more details on what we do during Diwali and why we celebrate it, the heartwarming message at the end of the book kind of makes up for the other details it misses. This book will be enjoyed by little older children (maybe 6+ years) since it has a lot of text and less pictures. So, if you have a pet lover at home, do get this book to visualize Diwali from the eyes of a dog.

17. A book about a place in India: Maccher Jhol – By Richa Jha, illustrated by Sumanta Dey

Words fail to describe how much I have loved this book. I was born and brought up in Kolkata so this book holds a very special place in my heart. In this simple yet powerful story it manages to capture the essence of Kolkata. The words used in the book (Baba, Hari-da, Robi Kaku, Pujo pandal, Ma Durga, Dida and of course the title) and the mesmerizing illustrations, transport you to the city of Kolkata. On a side note, I had read reviews about this book and knew it was about differently abled people but had forgotten when I was reading with Daksh. This book introduces children to differently abled people in a subtle manner and conveys the message that if they put their minds to it, then even differently abled people can achieve success. Daksh loves the beautiful illustrations in the book. He calls the book as Machli Jhol and loves to do the stirring action of the spoon.

To order this book or any other acclaimed book by Pickle Yolk Books, please be sure to use kbc’s Special Promo Code KBC50 to avail a discount of Rs. 50 on any book you purchase from the Pickle Yolk Books Shop (on their website). 

18. A book that talks about food: The good Indian child’s guide to eating mangoes! – By Natasha Sharma

A hilarious book which introduces us to different types of mangoes, mango lovers and of course the different ways of eating them. Since Daksh and me, both, are mango lovers, we love to read this book and enact it. Humor is something which I find very difficult to reflect in my writing and I am amazed at how the author has taken a simple subject of mangoes and written such a hilarious book on it. You have to read it with your childoo to have loads of laughs along with eating some yummylicious mangoes!

19. A bilingual book: Neelu’s Big Box – By Nandini Nayar, illustrated by Shreya Sen, translated by Vidhu Purkayastha

A beautiful book regarding a child’s creativity and optimism.  Neelu finds a box and she decides to build a fort with it. Using the various knick-knacks she finds in the house she is ready to build the fort, when she trips and falls on the box. The box becomes flat! But, she doesn’t lose heart. She starts thinking of building a boat with the same items. An amazing book to do pretend play with your child, enhance their creativity and teach them the lesson that “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!”. I got the book in English and Hindi language, so it also helped me teach Daksh simple words in English and Hindi.

 20. An inspiring book: It’s an Amazing Universe! A story inspired by Stephen Hawking! – By Arthy Muthanna Singh and Mamta Nainy, illustrated by Nirzara Verulkar

Part of the Little Leader Series, this is an amazing book to read to our little leaders in the making. It is about the childhood of Stephen Hawking, which is no different from our children – How he cried so much on the first day of school that his parents had to come and take him home, how he did not fit in well with the others in school, did not perform well in any subject be it studies or extra-curricular activities. But he had a special gift of looking at things differently and wondering about the different mysteries of the world.  His curiosity and perseverance led to his becoming the greatest astrophysicist in the world. Daksh loves the images of a small boy tinkering with objects in the book and he can relate to him as he too loves playing with tools!

21. A book by your favorite illustrator: Poonachi: Lost in the Forest – By Perumal Murugan, illustrated by Priya Kuriyan

I am in awe of the book’s illustrations. Using just 3 colours, Priya Kuriyan brings to life the entire story. Being independent and accountable to no one can be fun for some time but it can also lead to loneliness. You can truly enjoy happiness when you have friends to share it with. This beautiful message is conveyed using this simple story and amazing illustrations. Daksh is so amazed by the beautiful illustrations that now he calls any goat he sees as Poonachi! Also, he loves the part in the book where the goat goes deeper and deeper into the forest and the word “Deeper” is written multiple times in a circular fashion. Daksh reads all those instances of “Deeper” every time we read the book.

22. A book by your favorite author: Double the Ducks – By Stuart J. Murphy, illustrated by Valeria Petrone

I love Mathematics, but how do you instill a love for numbers in an alphabet crazy child? Here’s Stuart J. Murphy to the rescue. He teaches simple mathematics concepts (addition, subtraction and so on) using day to day objects and wonderful stories. We got this book when Daksh was only 2.9 years old, but now at age 3.6 years, he truly enjoys the book. He has learnt counting and doing simple addition from this book. If your child does not like Mathematics, do get Stuart J. Murphy books to kindle their interest in the subject.

23. A new author you were introduced to: Along came a different – By Tom McLaughlin

I was introduced to Tom McLaughlin’s books through KBC recommendations.  “Along came a different” is a book on inclusiveness. I was always skeptical about how such a complex social issue could be explained to little children, but this book does that using the concept of shapes and colours in such a simple way that I was left amazed.

The last line of the book “Being different is the best thing ever!” sums up the essence of the book perfectly.

Apart from the social message that the book conveys it is also useful to help children learn different shapes, colours and counting. This has been one of the favorite books of Daksh which we keep reading every once in a while.

24. A book that helped address an issue:

We have two books for this topic, one which addressed an issue for Daksh and one which addressed an issue for me.

No Means No! – By Jayneen Sanders, illustrated by Cherie Zamazing

I started sending Daksh to pre-school since he was 3 years old and I wanted to explain the concept of consent to him. When Asha told us about this book on KBC, I immediately bought it and it has been one of the best buys ever. The book explains consent in such a simple manner. It teaches children that it is OK to use the word “No” when they are uncomfortable with something. When I got this book, Daksh was at an age when “No” was his favourite word and he immediately took a liking to the book! My husband was of the opinion that I should have bought a book to teach him to say Yes instead!

Note to parents: If you do purchase this book and teach your child about consent through this, then take care to respect your child’s NO as well (of course when it is reasonable). Because if parents will not respect the child’s NO, then he/she will not have the confidence to say it in front of others.

How full is your bucket? For Kids – By Tom Rath and Mary Reckmeyer, illustrated by Maurie J. Manning

Sharing a personal story here. There was a time when both my husband and me were very busy in work and the only times when we would talk, it would be to communicate our displeasure regarding something which we didn’t like. I knew this had to change, since talking only about problems in the little spare time we had was causing a strain in our relationship. I had read reviews about this book on KBC and knew this would be apt for the problem. I bought this book, not for Daksh but for my husband and me. We both read the book and now whenever, we are rude to each other, we just mention to the other that “You just drained my bucket” and it helps us keep our anger and emotions in check. Picture books are that powerful. If you want to teach your child to be empathetic with others, do get this book.

25. A book on potty humor: What do they do with all that poo? – By Jane Kurtz, illustrated by Allison Black

An interesting and informative book about the “POO” of different animals. Who would have thought that the topic of “POO” is so fascinating for children? I read this with Daksh and his cousin, and they both enjoyed it thoroughly.  They loved imitating the hippo as spraying his POO all around. Daksh loved being help up upside down as a bat and then being straightened when the bat wanted to POO. The book has so many interesting facts, animals recognizing each other through the smell of the other’s POO, animals with sparkly or cube shaped POO, animals using POO to mark their territory. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. If you want to gain some POO knowledge, do get this book.

26. An interactive book with an unconventional format: English Book 6 School Skills (ages 4 – 6) – By Katy Pike (This is a Learning with Stickers book by Scholastic for Rhymes, Words, Comprehension).

I have seen a lot of sticker books but this one is the best. There are rhymes in this book and children must complete the rhymes by pasting the stickers. With more than 190 stickers and about 15 rhymes, Daksh and his cousin completed this book in two days! Even after finishing this book, Daksh loves to read the rhymes from this book based on the stickers. He learnt many rhymes from this book. What an innovative way to teach rhymes!

This book can be ordered from Scholastic India via our kbc storefront as well. Scholastic India always has special offers on.

27. A picture book with more than 40 pages: The tree in me – By Corinna Luyken

This book is not just for kids but also for adults. Every time Daksh and I read this book, we get more insights from it. The book tells us that each one of us has strength and capabilities within us with which we can withstand any obstacle. It is spiritual in the sense that it helps us connect with nature (the tree, the sky, the sun, the wind). We are all one with nature and hence our souls are all interlinked. The illustrations are beautiful. The author uses the illustrations and the colour combination perfectly to drive home the message. Daksh loves to see the beautiful pink/orange pictures and identify objects in the book.

28. A hook book (by Duckbill): The Grand Chapati Contest – By Asha Nehemiah, illustrated by Chetan Sharma

I must say this is our first hook book since we hadn’t yet started with hook books and bought it for the book bingo. I had heard about this book from KBC and when I saw this one on Amazon, I immediately got it via kidsbookcafe.com. When the palace’s Chief Chapati Cook retired the king was very unhappy. Though the queen was not good at making chapatis, she was very good at solving problems. She held a Grand Chapati Contest to find the best Chapati Cook. Get this book to find whether the King is able to find a chapati cook to his liking or not. Daksh’s favourite food is Chapati (Yes! I thank my stars for that!), so he loves the different types of chapati that are mentioned in this book especially the flying Chapati!

29. A book on being eco-friendly: We planted a tree – By Diane Muldrow, illustrated by Bob Staake

A beautiful book, which explains the lifecycle of a tree and how planting of trees benefits the entire eco-system, the soil, the air, the animals, and the people living around it. Using simple text and cute illustrations, this book is perfect to teach the importance of planting trees. Daksh loves to identify the different seasons, animals and vegetables depicted in this book.

30. A book that was gifted to you: Are you my mother? – By P.D. Eastman

This cute little book was gifted to us when Daksh was not even a year old and it has been a treasured possession ever since. A baby bird hatches from an egg and can’t find his mother. He goes on a quest to find his mother. When Daksh was smaller, he was very fascinated by the illustration of the bird hatching from the egg. He knows that baby birds come out of eggs all thanks to this book. Now that he can read some simple words on his own, he loves reading this book. This is part of the I can read it all by myself – beginner books. A cute little story to encourage kids to read on their own.

[Note from Team Kids Book Café: For your convenience, affiliate links (MARKED IN PINK) to some of the book titles & images have been added to enable you to buy the books from AMAZON, should you wish to! A very small amount of money comes to kidsbookcafe.com when you purchase a book via the amazon affiliate link provided (at absolutely no extra cost to you!). Do let us know if you need information about other children’s books by writing to asha@kidsbookcafe.com.]

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