Jul 212023
Maitreyi’s Marvelous Must Reads 1.0 #kbcbookbingotoddler (0-3 years)
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We started introducing our teeny tiny Mia to books since the day she was born. She is currently 4 months old.  Since her older sister Gargi is a book lover, Mia is already surrounded by books. There was also a huge stash of books waiting for her that the lovely KBCians had sent for her last Christmas while she was still in Mumma’s tummy. The finest thing to see when we read to her is how she reacts to our voice and how she focuses on the illustrations. The read-aloud sessions are also fostering a close relationship between my young bookworms. Here is Mia’s first entry to KBC book Bingo.

  1. A yellow coloured book – Blue Hat, Green Hat by  Sandra Boynton 

A turkey, an elephant, a moose, and a bear are the main characters who dress up in various items of clothes, in various colours. It’s entertaining to read aloud because of Turkey’s antics. The level of silliness is just right to guarantee belly laughter. Mia giggles every time we say the book’s one repetitive word.

2. Leaf or flower on the cover – Baby Touch: Playbook by Ladybird

This book, which we originally bought for Mia’s older sister and carefully stored for the memories, is now being used by the younger sister to make new memories. It’s a sizable baby touch book with a variety of textures to feel, a lift-the-flap page, and two cute mirrors.  As we turn the pages, Mia keeps gazing at the vivid pictures. I can’t wait for her little fingers to develop just a little bit more so she may explore the various textures.

3. A book with siblings – Za-Za’s Baby Brother written and illustrated by Lucy Cousins

Za-Za’s Mum is having a baby. This board book is about how a new baby transforms Za-Za’s surroundings and how Za-Za adjusts to those changes. We can relate to this book since Gargi has experienced all of the circumstances Za-Za does in this book.  She was, therefore, quite excited when I asked her if she would read this one to the baby.  As usual, Mia relished the attention she received from her elder sister as she read her a book. 

4. A book that features mom – Baby Touch: Hello, Mummy! By Ladybird

Baby touch books are crucial when your baby is introduced to books because they provide just the perfect amount of sensory stimulation for their developing fingers and foster an interest in books. This is another Baby Touch book from our collection. This book is about baby animals and their moms. The book is particularly engaging due to its question-and-answer structure. The illustrations are quite lovely. There are cute baby animals and picture of their moms with touch and feel element.

5. A book that features dad – I Love You Just the way you are written and illustrated by Virginia Miller

In my opinion, Virginia Miller’s George is the kindest father ever in a children’s book. While Bartholomew acts just as a toddler should, George responds to every circumstance with composure and calm. He excels at gentle parenting. I enjoy reading this book to Mia because when she will be a toddler, I want to treat her gently, exactly like how George treats his Ba. 

6. A bedtime book – Good Night Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

A timeless book for bedtime is Good Night Moon. The little bunny is saying goodnight to everything in his green bedroom as he prepares to go to sleep. The book is the best one to read before bed because of its simple, peaceful wordings and strikingly contrast pages.  Mia is quite little, so the contrasting colour of the pages keeps her very interested.

7. Lift the flap book – Dear Zoo written and illustrated by Rod Campbell

Sometimes you gift some books to friends, as you feel your child has outgrown them and then after you have another baby you realize that your collection wouldn’t be complete without that book. Have you also experienced this? This is the first book I repurchased for Mia. This delightful lift-the-flap book introduces young children to a variety of zoo animals. A child who is looking for a pet gets delivery of each animal in a packed box, which he has to eventually return as it doesn’t fit his requirement.  Does the zoo succeed to send the perfect pet for the child? Mia is amused by the opening and closing of the flaps! 

8. A cat book – Hey Diddle Diddle illustrated by Kathy Wilburn

It’s a nursery rhyme book which has got a cat with a fiddle, a cow that is jumping over the moon and a laughing dog and other funny things. The pocket board books are a must have in baby collections as they are easier to carry and read on the go. Also, the tiny book size allows baby to carry it and flip through pages easily, though all Mia wants to do is mouth it!

9. A book by Debi Gliori – No matter what written and illustrated by Debi Gliori

This book is a lovely way to show your child that you love them and accept them no matter what. Small is feeling grim and grumpy, Large assures Small that it is going to love them no matter what. The illustrations are very sweet, it shows night-time routine of Large and Small. Sometimes just love is not enough and we all need assurance that we will be loved in every situation. The ending of the story is really heartwarming. This one makes me squish Mia and Gargi in my arms and hug them tightly and assure them that my love for them is eternal.

10. A book on first experiences – The New Baby written by Anne Civardi illustrated by Stephen Cartwright

We purchased this book while Mia was still inside Mumma in order to help the elder one to adjust to the new change. Throughout my pregnancy, we read it to Gargi and she loved this book a lot. Mrs. Bunn is expecting a new baby, Lucy and Tom are thrilled to become the older siblings shortly. While Mom and Dad are at the hospital, Grandma and Grandpa come to take care of the kids. They go to see baby Susie in the hospital after her birth. Everyone pitches in to take care of the baby when their mother brings her home. We had not read this book after Mia was born, thanks to a book bingo cue, we read it to the Mia while Gargi was narrating her the events of the day she was born.

11. A book that makes you giggle – The Wonky Donkey (sound book) by Craig Smith

Wonky Donkey is a story about a peculiar donkey. The repeated and rhymed style in which he is depicted makes the book even funnier. Whenever we say Hee Haw, Mia chuckles. The read-aloud is made more enjoyable by the Hee Haw sound available with this sound book. It’s a super entertaining book and ensures laughter riot.

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

12. A book on big emotions – Smile with Splosh! written and illustrated by David Melling

Splosh is going on a picnic with his friends. Throughout the picnic, a number of situations occur that cause them to experience a range of emotions. Will Splosh and his duck friend overcome their emotions? Will they enjoy their picnic eventually? Will they ask for help?  It is beautiful book to introduce big emotions for tiny kids.

13. A book that was helpful in addressing an issue – Baby Touch Tummy Time by Ladybird

Mia did not enjoy tummy time, but this book made it easier.  This book is designed in a way that it can stand upright, and the baby can see the illustrations while being on their tummy. Illustrations on each page are pretty thoughtful, there is a high contrast page for newborns, followed by a brightly coloured page with bold illustrations. There are fun touch and feel elements too.  Mia’s tummy time increased with this book as she really liked the bright and interactive illustrations.

14. A book you love for the illustrations – Baby Touch First Focus Faces by Ladybird

As a baby’s vision begins to develop, faces are the first thing they focus on. Babies love faces. This book features high contrast photos of numerous faces. We love this book because it has perfect illustrations of baby eyes! Mia used to carefully stare into these and focus on each image. The tiny legs kicking with excitement is the best sight ever.

15. A book by an Indian author – Gajapati Kulapati Kalabalooosh written and illustrated by Ashok Rajagopalan

Gajapati Kulapati, our lovable and compassionate elephant, is weary of the hot, sunny weather. Everyone in the village is experiencing the oppressive heat. So, they make the decision to jump in the pond to beat the heat. What happens when Gajapati Kulapati runs Gad-gad Gudum Gudum, Gad-gad Gudum Gudum and dives into the pond among others? The book is packed with rhythmic repeated sounds, which keeps young children engrossed in the narration and guarantees laughter.  When I gesture as if to say “big elephant,” Mia’s eyes light up, and if one wants to hear belly laughter, we must go “Kalabalooooooooosh”.

16. A book that has food in the title – Chocolate Mousse for Greedy Goose by Julia Donaldson

Books by Julia Donaldson and Nick Sharratt are indispensable when we talk about baby books. Julia Donaldson’s style of writing simple rhymes and Nick Sharratt’s big, interesting illustrations make this book a special one.  All animals are having a meal together. Some get chocolate mousse, while others must make do with eating only cloth. Are they all ultimately content and happy? Mia was happy seeing all the animals.

17. A book with a stuffed animal – Unicorn (Hand Puppet Fun)
In the blossom forest, Twinkle the Unicorn resides with the fairies. Visit the magical and enchanted world of unicorns with this lovely hand puppet book. Twinkle uses the unicorn power to grant the wishes of her fairy friends. Engaging actions of the puppet make kids pick this book repeatedly. I am surely raising another Unicorn lover.

18. A book about day out with the family – We are going on an Egg Hunt by Martha Mumford

Based on the classic ‘We are going on a Bear Hunt’, this Easter special book has a family of bunnies who are going on the egg hunt. To uncover the small eggs concealed under the book flap, they have to search through sheep, chickens and bees. They do, however, also have a rather unpleasant surprise waiting for them. It’s a wonderfully adorable book with intricate details and vibrant illustrations. Additionally, it is a first-numbers book, which aids in introducing numbers to children. The illustrator has done a fantastic job – on each page, a tiny ladybird accompanies the rabbit family. Which child doesn’t enjoy adorable bunnies and chocolate eggs? This book offers a lot of room for voice modulations when reading.

19. A book that teaches an important lesson – Baby Feminists by Libby Babbott-Klein

This lift-the-flap book introduces well-known feminists like Dr. Mae Jemison, Frida Kahlo, Michelle Obama and Malala Yousafzai to young readers. The same feminists are illustrated as newborns, beneath the lift the flaps.  This book imparts the crucial lesson that tiny infants can develop into recognizable adults, and achieve great things in life.

20. Grown up’s favourite book in the house – A B See illustrated by Elizabeth Doyle

The most gorgeous book in our collection is this one. Each alphabet is designed in a way that it includes the things that start with that alphabet. It makes a fantastic seek-and-find book. The creatures that are included in this book have been carefully selected. The colour scheme is incredibly eye-calming. The embossed illustrations increase the visual impact.  Mia is too small to fully enjoy this one because it is intended for slightly older children, but I can wait a few more months!

21. A hand-me down book you are attracted to – The Very Busy Spider Written and Illustrated by Eric Carle

It was bit difficult to choose a book in this category as most of Mia’s books are hand-me down from her sister. I picked this because Eric Carle was the first author the elder one loved and we cannot skip including his book in this listicle. The very busy spider is the story of the quiet spider who is engulfed in his task of building a web. When various farm animals approach and invite him to join them, the extremely busy spider doesn’t get distracted and just keeps working. Young readers can learn about farm animals and their sounds from this book. The spider web also has a touch and feel component.

22. A book you tore – Together we can by Beth Shoshan

We don’t have many books in this category as Mia is still too small and Gargi has always been extremely gentle with books. Board books are also quite sturdy and tear-proof.  However, this book suffered wear and tear from use. Big and Small are the main characters in this tale. Small wanted to do everything Big is doing, but in a way that was manageable for him.  Small wonder what would happen if Big couldn’t accomplish what only small could.  It’s an ideal book for siblings and teaches about the special bond they share together. 

23. A book you have carried to bed and slept with – That’s not my dinosaur by Fiona Watt

One of the must-have baby book series is Usborne’s “That’s not my..” series. We have That’s not my Dinosaur from the same series. It has got big bright illustrations with big touch-and-feel elements. The textures are very prominent on each page. The illustrations are simple and uncomplicated. The reason it made its way in our bedtime routine is because it’s easier for elder one to read it to the younger one. So, she kept it on the bed, reading this to Mia every single day!

24. A book written in rhyme (not nursery rhymes) – Hide and Seek Pig written by Julia Donaldson illustrated by Axel Scheffler

Our favourite author, Julia Donaldson, typically writes all of her books in rhyme. In this book, Pig and Hen are playing hide and seek. Pig goes to find the hiding hen behind the book flaps, but instead he encounters a variety of other animals that assist him in his search. Does Pig eventually find the hen? The rhymed narration and Axel Scheffler’s illustrations are a perfect match. Mia likes the element of surprise and the lift-up flaps.

25. A book your grandparent read to you – My Little World Unicorn: A magical book of colours Written by Patricia Hegarty

The Grandma asked, “You’ve already started reading to her. “Yes, and she already likes the books”, said the 6-year-old book enthusiast! She gave Grandma this book and requested her to read it to Mia. Grandma was taken aback by Mia’s coos and giggles when she read it to her. This wonderful book of colours features pages that are vividly coloured with the cutest unicorns. Additionally, the rainbow is cut out, which makes it simpler to flip through the book. It’s a must have for Unicorn lovers.

26. A book that has food stains on it – This Rabbit, that Rabbit written and illustrated by Jane Porter

Since Mia hasn’t begun eating solids yet, there aren’t any books with her food stains, but there are plenty on this book because we’ve read it a thousand times for the elder one. Elder one loves reading this book to Mia. It features two really amusing bunny illustrations and rhymes throughout. Babies become quite interested in this first-word introduction book because of its simplicity and fun factor. Every time Gargi performs bendy Rabbit, Mia laughs. 

27. A book given to you so mom/dad could have tea in peace! – Reach for the Stars (Cloth book by Scholastic) – [note from asha: the hardcover book has been linked here]

Babies have an inherent sensor that detects when their parents are having tea. Mumma hasn’t had hot tea in months because Baby Mia wakes up exactly when Mumma pours tea into her cup.  We generally offer her this book since it has crinkly pages, a silicon teether for mouthing, and—most importantly—is washable. The visuals are pretty cute and feature tiny babies. The language is simple, specially written for babies. Other intricate book features include pull-tabs, felt pieces for texture, a Velcro opening, and a snap that may be used to secure the book to a carrier or stroller.

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

28. A book by Wonder House – My first Shaped Board Book Hanuman

We chose this one for Mia for a compelling reason. Mia enjoys gazing out the gallery window at the setting sun, and she occasionally lunges for it, leading us to believe that she is, in fact, just like Hanuman trying to leap and catch the sun. She also makes a beautiful face that resembles the adorable Hanuman on the book’s cover. Children can learn about Hanuman through this cut-out book. The language is simple to comprehend. It has some amazing facts about Lord Hanuman and really lovely illustrations. 

29. A book you gift often – Dinosaur Dance written and illustrated by Sandra Boynton

We always choose Sandra Boynton’s books to gift to young babies. Her books are perfectly written for infants. I loved gifting Dinosaur Dance to one cute baby. My heart was filled with great joy when her mother mentioned how much she enjoyed the book and how she brings the book for reading before bed. Dinosaur Dance is perfect for a read-aloud with motion. Different dinosaurs are stomping, shaking, and performing their best dances. 

30. A book you got from kbc recommendations – Where’s My Peacock? illustrated by Kate McLelland

Choosing a book for this category is challenging because we almost exclusively select our books based on KBC recommendations. When I saw the review given on KBC, we decided to add it to our library because we didn’t have many bird books. This book is breathtakingly beautiful to touch and feel.  The textures are quite pleasant to the touch. We are taken on a tour in the search of the peacock, who is hiding. Along the trip, we come across a number of creatures and birds that resemble the peacock but are not actually it. Where is the peacock hiding, exactly?

[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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