Ishani and I have been reading together since she was a couple of weeks old. Our library has grown immensely since then and thanks to the lovely age-appropriate suggestions at Kids Book Café, our love for books has been growing by bounds and leaps! Here is a list of 30 books that Ishani and her Mamma have read lately as an entry for the #kbcBookBingoJr Challenge. Most of these books (except where specifically mentioned) would be suitable for 2-5 years.
- A Dino Book- Dinosaurs Love Underpants
An extremely funny book on how the dinosaurs are after cavemen for their underwear. It even relates this war for underwear to the extinction of dinosaurs. I had to be careful while explaining to her that this is fiction and not the real reason why dinosaurs disappeared (a fact that is very difficult to accept for my 3 year old who wants to see dinosaurs on the road). Also, it helps in learning the names of the most commonly referred dinosaurs.
- A lift-the-flap book- Where’s Spot (6 months – 3 years)
The Spot series is one of the most engaging series for little ones. This one is so cute! It’s about the mother looking for her baby all around the house. It is fun to have Ishani say ‘no’ every time there is an animal other than Spot under the flap.
- A fairytale- Little Red Riding Hood
I am not a fan of fairy tales and have not introduced them to Ishani as such. However, hubby had narrated the story of Red Riding Hood to her one day and she caught on to the name. So, when I saw this book on the Scholastic website, I bought it. This is one of the age appropriate Red Riding Hood stories for kids. The book is interesting as it has hidden things on each page and children have to find those. I also liked the version of the story in this book.
- A funny book- Gajapati Kulapati Kalabalooosh (1 year+)
While we love all the books in the Gajapati Kulapati series, this one is special as this was the first of the series that we bought. Gajapati Kulapati, the friendly elephant, the reason for our love for elephants. The book has fun illustrations and simple text. Ishani found the jumping of the elephant in the water very funny and every time I’m about to get to that moment when the elephant jumps in the water, she laughs uncontrollably! We also had fun doing kalabalooosh with our bath toys during bath.
- A one word title- Tiddler
Another beautiful book by Julia Donaldson, our favourite author. This is a story about a small fish that tells tall tales. Some believe these stories while some don’t but it’s these stories that save him at the end of it all. Narrated in Julia Donaldson’s style of repetitive text, it makes children believe that it is great to use your imagination. The last line of the book, is the cutest. Ishani says,
“So Julia Donaldson wrote this book for me?”
- A book about space/ solar system- Usborne Look inside Space (3+ years)
Thanks to the recommendations on the kbc group, we have become huge fans of the Usborne Look Inside series. The book has flaps to engage the child and we usually read these books in question-answer form. Look Inside Space has excellent photographs and minimal text.
- A book on good habits- Germs Make Me Sick!
An extremely relevant book in the current scenario. It explains what a virus and bacteria is and how they infect us. Some of the information is quite detailed for a 3 year old and hence, I had to skip it. It then highlights the habits we must inculcate to save ourselves from these virus and bacteria. A book that was extremely helpful in explaining the importance of washing your hands often.
- A touch and feel book- That’s not my snowman… (0+ onwards)
A sturdy board book that Ishani likes reading to her little brother. Introduction to different textures soft, bumpy, fuzzy as parts of the snowman’s body keeps a baby totally engaged.
- A rhyming book- Green Eggs and Ham
Like any other Dr. Seuss book, this book is a delight to read due to its simple rhyming text. Ishani found the ‘Sam, I am’ at the end of sentences extremely funny and shouts it out before I can read it. While the book is fun to read, it also teaches kids to try new things before deciding whether they like it or not. Now, every time she says no to something, all I need to say is ‘Sam, I am’ and tada…!
- A book by an Indian author- When the Earth Lost its Shapes
This book about how a tiny dot is able to return everything to order when things change is an inspiring one. It tells you that no matter how small you are, you can always make a difference. An awesome book for inspiring children to be confident. The illustrations (different shapes) are extremely appealing to the young ones and the language is very simple.
- A picture book- The Way Back Home
Oliver Jeffers’ books are unique. He has a different style of appealing to the readers. We love all the adventures of this little boy from the series. The boy calling out to the Martian to lower the rope is my favourite part as that’s when my little girl also starts calling out to the Martian.
- A Dr. Seuss book- There’s a Wocket in my Pocket
I really wanted to write about Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? here as it was our first Dr. Seuss book at 1.5 years but Ishani wanted to read this one and so here we are. This book by Dr. Seuss had us in splits at the meaningless words that rhyme. We had fun saying more rhyming words and also started playing a game “Does this rhyme?” ever since we read this book. I have read this one to my infant as well and have caught him smiling at some of the words (or maybe expressions!).
- A bedtime story- Goodnight Moon (0+ months)
This must be one of the most reviewed children’s book ever. The colourful room, the rhythm of the book, the appropriate lighting, the setup of the room, the ascend of the moon – everything about this book is so beautiful. I have read this book every night for last 3 years and still love it. Sometimes, we also play I-spy and look for items in the room. PS: has anyone counted the number of books on the bookshelf?
- A book that was gifted to you- Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (1 year+)
This book is what introduced Ishani to alphabets and coconut tree. I have multiple videos of a 1.5 year old running on Worli Sea Face in Mumbai and pointing to the palm trees shouting ‘cocut tree’ (yes, that how she pronounced coconut then). When I read this book to her, the intention was not to teach the alphabets, but to have fun with alphabets. I made a rap song with it and we still sing it like that (to read the book with just the text would be boring I felt).
- An informative book- Usborne Look Inside our World
Another Usborne Look Inside book. Ishani likes spending time with this one just lifting the flaps and observing the pictures. The Usborne Look Inside series enables you to do just that – read them at your own pace and that’s what I love about this series.
- A book on any festival- Festivals of India
When Ishani was 2 years old and started understanding about festivals, I wanted to get a book to explain about festivals. This book has short description of 25 widely celebrated festivals of India. The book mentions facts as briefly as possible. It’s easy to read from this book and then weave stories around what we have read based on the child’s interest.
- A sea creatures book- Tiny Turtle Wants A Friend
A book about a tiny turtle who is looking for someone like himself to be friends with, this is a book with beautiful illustrations. The turtle keeps meeting different sea animals as it searches for a friend. The book has a beautiful message about friendship in the end.
- A book by your favourite illustrator- Monkey Puzzle
My monkey loves monkeys and then we find a book by Julia Donaldson about a little monkey looking for his Mom! While we love all of the Julia Donaldson books, the ones illustrated by Axel Scheffler definitely top the list of our most loved books. The illustrations are so beautiful and soothing to the eye.
- A book on shapes/ colours/ numbers- The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Finger Puppet Book (0+ months)
This was the book that introduced Ishani to numbers. We have the finger puppet book so the caterpillar moved around and taught her the names of the fruits and taught her how to count! This book definitely steals children hearts with its colourful illustrations and the description of the caterpillar chomping off the fruits.
- A book on vehicles- Whose Vehicle Is This?
This is a simple book about vehicles used by community workers. Got this book when Ishani was being introduced to community helpers in her preschool and I was amazed how quickly she picked up the names of the vehicles. Ishani loved guessing who the vehicle belonged to before I revealed the names.
- A monster book- I Love You, Little Monster
This is a lovely book about the love of a parent for the child. I had tears in my eyes the first time I read it to my child. It is a book so relevant in the situation today where parents are juggling with multiple roles and finding it hard to spend time with their little ones. It helps explaining to a child that though we may not be able to tell them that we love them in specific words, we are always looking out for them and we love them. This has become our bedtime book for the last few months.
- A Boynton board book- Moo, Baa, La La La! (6 months+)
This was our first Boynton book and we are total fans of her work ever since. We started learning about animals sounds with this book. I think I first read this book to Ishani when she was 7 or 8 months old. The mooing and baaing hasn’t stopped since.
- A book with a quirky cover- Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus!
A super fun book. This book has us in splits especially when the pigeon tries to throw a tantrum and my child refuses to let it drive the bus! She loved the book so much that she has read it to her grandparents over video calls!
- A book on Mythology- Saraswati
A cut-out board book about the goddess Saraswati has some simple facts about the goddess. A nice way to introduce children to different gods and goddesses. We also have Shiva and Krishna from the Om Cutout Board Books series.
- A sound book- I Can Giggle
This is one of the two sound books we had. I did not buy many sound books as never thought very highly of them considering the loud sounds and also the battery backup that they have. This one has sounds of baby’s giggles and hence, we like it. Ishani now plays it for her younger brother when Mamma is not looking since we are not allowed to play it for the younger one yet!
- A book that has siblings- Ravi’s Roar: A Big Bright Feelings Book
We got this book when looking for recommendations regarding understanding feelings. While the anger part of it did get some attention, what caught Ishani’s attention is the siblings. That having siblings means going for picnic together, playing together. I know it means that the message of the book is not getting noticed but the fact that she is enjoying the book is important to me.
- A book that teaches you a lesson- Giraffes Can’t Dance
When everyone is dancing at the party, the giraffe feels left out and the moment he tries to dance, every one laughs at him and chides him for not being able to dance. He is totally embarrassed and leaves the party until he meets someone who tells him that he can dance and so he does and to everyone’s surprise, his moves are the best of all. Teaches children about confidence and that it is ok to be different and we must accept ourselves for who we are.
- A yellow coloured book- While You Are Sleeping
Though the cover is only half yellow, I really wanted to get this one in the list. It introduces children to the concept of different time zones. I have friends in the UK and US who have children of Ishani’s age and she has seen her little friends on video calls. She found it interesting how when she wakes up, her friend in UK is still fast asleep in the middle of the night, and the one in US is only preparing to go to bed.
- A book about animals/ birds- Oh Dear! (1- 3 years)
I had to struggle to choose between Dear Zoo by the same author. This book is precious. It has animals, it has a granny, it has a kid and it has flaps! What more does a child need for the book to be fun? It introduces children to the homes of different farm animals and we totally loved the ‘Oh, Dear!’ every time Buster went to the wrong animal for eggs.
- A book with magic- Room on the Broom
Julia Donaldson’s work creates magic. Her books are so engaging with simple, repetitive text. Her books make it easy for children to associate things. I introduced Ishani to magic with this book and we even did a role play. While Ishani had not heard the word “witch” before this, this book helped me explain to her who a witch is and how a witch is not always mean.
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