Jun 302023
Neil’s Summer Flavours & Favourites – Picture & Early Chapter Books! #kbcBookBingoJr (5-8 years)
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It’s a little hard to believe that this is our third KBC Book Bingo! It seems Neil has literally grown up at KBC (his first bingo being at age 4 and this one at age 6), reading the books recommended by KBC members! Over this past summer, we completely weaned Neil off the screen and books played a huge role in being able to do that. Here are the books Neil has read this summer: 

1. A book with pirates: Captain Flynn and the Pirate Dinosaurs: The magic Cutlass by Giles Andreae and Russell Ayto

This book brings together the authors of ‘Giraffes can’t dance‘ and ‘Cats and Robbers‘! The final result is dinosaurs who can time travel but can’t swim, and need Captain Flynn’s help to find a magic cutlass! Written in rhyme, the book will be loved by pirate and dinosaur lovers alike!  

2. A book with siblings: Chicken Squad by Doreen Cronin

Not human siblings, but chicken siblings – four of them, each with their own unique quirks! Along with a squirrel and JJ the dog, the siblings try to solve a mystery of who has been prowling in their backyard. A fun chapter book with lovely black and white illustrations. 

3. A book with grandparents: Grandma Bird by Benji Davies

Noi is spending her vacations with her grandmother, on a deserted island and there isn’t much to do there except eat seaweed soup. Noi hates it there. But. when she ventures out into the sea alone and gets stuck in a scary cave while rescuing a bird, who will rescue Noi? My 6 yr old loves this story of a dramatic rescue. 

4. A book by your favourite Indian Author: When Adil Speaks Words Dance by Lavanya Kartik

As my child is growing up, reading books on inclusion is becoming more and more important. This book is an excellent one to show kids how talking is often not the only way to communicate with others – drawing, writing and sign language can be other mediums to communicate with people who can’t hear. A beautiful book to not only promote inclusion, but show them what it means to be kind. 

5. A book by Mark Sperring: The Don’t Panic Gang 

Funny books are our favourite genre, and Mark Sperring is a pro at them! This is a book about a superhero gang consisting of a sumo cat, ninja bird and kung fu worm. It’s a great book to read to kids who are scared of creepy crawlies, and of course, it will leave you in splits!

6. Any Indian Language Book: Lal Pari by Ranjna fatehpurkar, a part of the NBT Barkha Set 

A little boy likes breaking flowers, and doesn’t think much about it until one day a red angel suddenly appears in front of him and takes it upon herself to make him realise why this isn’t a nice act. This is a very easy to read book, with a lovely moral. 

7. A book set outdoors or in nature: Rabbit and the Bear: Attack of the Snack by Julian Gough and Jim Field

Rabbit and bear are best friends, hiking through the woods when suddenly they hear a splash! What has fallen out of the sky? Is it a monster, a snack or something worse? This is a chapter book with fully colored illustrations. Easy to read and extremely funny!

8. A book about bugs: Rex the Rhinoceros Beetle by M. G. Leonard

Rex’s friend, Duncan, claims to have extraordinary strength and powers, but when they come face to face with danger, will Duncan be able to use his powers? This is an amazing book on beetles, and also on why it isn’t nice to lie! Neil, of course, loves the book since it has beetles but also because it offers lots of information on rhinoceros beetles on the last page, including the fact that we must leave some portion of the garden overgrown for beetles to forage in!

9. A book set in winter: The Christmas Selfie Contest by Rosie Greening

Alfie is not a team player, and wants to be the best at everything. He enters a selfie contest, but the perfect selfie eludes him. With time running out for the contest, will he be able to capture the perfect selfie? A lovely book to encourage your child to be a team player. 

10. A biography: Irwin Rocks with the Crocs by Neha Bhagat

This book is dedicated to Steve Irwin and helped me introduce him to my child. It is about a child who loves crocodiles, wants to swim with them and have one as a pet. How can he do that? Aren’t they dangerous? Through this book, children will also learn about a lovely place named Paga ponds in Africa, where the crocodiles are extremely friendly towards humans. 

11. A book set in another country: Who Stole Mona Lisa by Ruthie Knapp

Set in France, this is the amazing story about the time when the famous painting Mona Lisa, was stolen from the museum. Narrated through the point of view of the Mona Lisa, it describes her journey right from the beginning – the day she was painted, how many hands she exchanged, and how she was stolen. How will she be found? An awesome adventure and mystery story, with a free history lesson!

12. ​A book about someone making the best out of a sticky situation: Anatole and the Cat by Eve Titus

An award winning book, about Anatole. Anatole is a mouse, but not just any mouse – he is an honorable, hard working mouse, who works in a cheese factory as a Cheese Taster. However, one day, the unthinkable happens – a cat enters the factory and Anatole gets so flustered, that he mixes up his cheese pairing recommendations. When repeated requests to the President to ensure there are no cats in the factory fail, Anatole quits his job only to realise a few days later that he can’t give up that easily. So, he decides to “bell the cat”, and how!

This is a beautiful story of facing your fears, and being brave. It also very hilariously explains that not all mistakes are perilous, and some of them can turn out to be very rewarding – therefore striving for perfection should not be the goal always, and creativity is good. 

13. ​A book with a bird on the cover: Chicken Little and the real and totally true tale by Sam Wedelich

If you’ve loved reading Mo Willems books, you will love these too. Hilariously written, the books are about the adventures of a chicken. This particular title is a new spin on the classic tale of the “sky is falling”! A really good book to tell your kids that it is not good to always believe what you hear!

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

14. A non-fiction book: Stuff: Curious Everyday STUFF That Helps Our Planet by Maddie Moate

This is an amazing book with information on floating bins in the ocean, and of course since I’m from Kolkata – my favourite is the environmentally friendly, clay tea cups (bhar). The illustrations in the book along with the step wise explanation for each, is perfect for children to understand how these innovations are helping the world. 

15. ​An inspiring book: Vatsala Loves Snakes by Arthy Muthanna Singh and Mamta Nainy

The lead character, a girl, loves snakes but her friends and family can’t understand her passion for these creatures that they think are dangerous. During a school trip to a national park, Vatsala meets the park ranger (a woman) who explains that she too had a similar love for snakes, and chose to become a herpetologist. I love the book for the strong woman characters it contains, with a little girl being determined to follow her dreams and an elder one encouraging her through example. It shows the little girl being extremely passionate about her area of interest and continuing to learn more about them despite everyone around her being apprehensive, and her joy in learning is evident from the various facts she shares about snakes. If you want your child to know that following your interests is good, no matter what others may say, and at the same time read a story revolving around strong women characters, and gain some knowledge about snakes along the way, this is a perfect book!

16. ​A book that helped address an issue: Kiki and Jax: The life changing magic of friendship by Marie Kondo

If you, like me, have struggled to get your child to keep their things in their respective places, this book is a great one to read. Two friends love playing together, but their friendship is impacted when they cant find their toys due to being disorganised. Will they be able to organise their things?

17. ​A book published by Parragon Publishing: Bubblegum Bear by Melanie Joyce

Do you have a child who is always grumpy? They must meet Bubblegum Bear. Bubble Bear is always happy, and does not let things upset him or make him grumpy. He is resilient and knows how to overcome problems with a smile. Are you ready to meet him?

18. A book with human-animal duo – No Dogs Allowed by Sonia Manzano

Iris and her family are taking a trip to a lakeside, with their dog named El Exigente. The family consists of varied characters, each with their own distinct personalities, and they make the trip really interesting! However, when they reach the lakeside, there is a huge “No dogs allowed” sign! What will the family do now? This is a very heartwarming book, that has been read innumerable times in our house. 

19. ​A book with a vegetable’s name in the title: Vee loved Garlic by Richa Jha

We’ve had this book since a long time, but my 6 year old has recently started reading it again. The book is really one of my favourites and carries a powerful message of love triumphing everything. It is a great book to explain to children that if you truly love someone, you should accept them as they are, and not try to change them.

We at Kids Book Café are Pickle Yolk Books’ Community & Affiliate Partners! So should you wish to buy this book, please feel free to use our 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).

20. A book with the letter Z in the title: Fizzy and Bandit by Sarah Crossan

This is A Bloomsbury Young Reader book, which means it is a brightly coloured, chapter book, which by itself makes it appealing to children! The story is about a little girl Fizzy, who really wants a dog. When one suddenly appears out of nowhere, she prepares to do anything she can to keep it, including making elaborate plans about hiding it from her dog-averse mother! Will she be successful at hiding it? Neil loves the illustrations of the dog, and the many ways Fizzy tries to hide it!

21. A second hand book: Harry in a Hurry by Timothy Knapman

Aren’t we all always in a hurry? But, kids are more so – what shall I do next? Their mind is always whirring. Harry is just like this, always hurrying. His scooter breaks, and while Tortoise offers to repair it, the problem is he is very slow! This is a lovely story about slowing down, and the beauty that can be seen only when you slow down and enjoy the surroundings around you.  

22. A book with stars on the cover: The Hundred Decker Rocket by Mike Smith

Are you ready to go on a trip to space, in a rocket built by you, meet aliens, and learn about the importance of keeping planets and space clean? Oh, and along the way you can have the most awesome search and find game on a hundred decker rocket!! The four page fold out of a hundred decker rocket is AMAZING- your child will spend hours looking at the details (mine keeps trying to find all the washrooms in there!)

23.  A book about books: A Hero Called Wolf by Lucy Rowland

No matter what I write about this book, it won’t do justice. Wolf is sitting in a library reading, and feels bad since he thinks he is always portrayed as a cruel villain in all stories, not as a hero. To be a hero, he thinks, you have to be good looking and charming. But, suddenly a prince, a woodcutter, a giant and others barge in with unique problems – all of which wolf is able to solve through things he learnt in books. This is a beautiful book that teaches us the true meaning of a hero, and also the importance of books. 

24. A book with a villain: Banana Fox and the Secret Sour Society by James Kochalka

The secret sour society is back to create trouble, and this time it is big trouble! The famous detective, Banana Fox is called to investigate and find a missing turtle, but he finds himself deeper and deeper in goo (literally). What is Banana Fox going to do to find the turtle, catch the villain and get out of all the goo? My child absolutely loved the thrill and excitement in the book. Combined with the fact that this is a Graphix chapter book, this is a huge hit at home.

25. A book that has a royal character: The Queen’s Knickers by Nicholas Allan

Have you ever wondered what kind of underwear Kings and Queens wear? If you have (or even if you haven’t!) you must read this hilarious book – The Queen’s Knickers. The Queen has different knickers for every occasion, which is why when the knicker trunk gets lost, there is a national crisis! The book describes the different knickers the Queen wears – one with a parachute while on a plane, a floral one for garden parties. What do you think she wears for Christmas? A little girl wonders which knickers the Queen would wear if she visited her school? Would she call a knicker designer and have special ones made? 

26. A book that focuses on cooking or baking: How to make an apple pie and see the world by Marjorie Priceman

What do you do when you want to bake an apple pie but the shops are closed? Take a trip around the world, of course, to collect the ingredients! Such a fun book to learn what ingredients go into a pie and in which countries these can be found. Neil starts imagining how he can write a new book based on this theme – How to make an ice cream and see the world!

27. The most engaging Activity Book: The Book of Me by Adam Frost

Getting a child to write is the most painful thing, unless you have this book and you get them to write fun stuff about themselves and their parents. Funny in places, the book helps the children get their creative juices flowing, while encouraging them to pen down their thoughts. Neil loves writing one or even half a page in this every day.

28. A book you gift often: No Buddy like a Book by Allan Wolf

This is a book that celebrates the power of books, which is why I gift it often. The book highlights how a reader will always have a buddy- their lives are always full of friendship, love and adventure! So many of us turn to books to get through a rough patch, to get through a tough day – that is the power of books and imagination. 

29. An early chapter book you enjoyed: Billy and the Mini Monsters: Monsters Go Green by  Davidson Zanna

This is a chapter book about a boy and his pet monsters, and the adventures they have. The book has all coloured illustrations and this particular title is about protecting the planet, with the boy visiting a recycling factory and the monsters sneaking in! What adventures are they going to have? My child loves the illustrations of monsters, and how easy this one is to read.

30. A book you got from kbc recommendations: Joseph had a Little Overcoat by Simms Taback

An award winning book, that is based on the concept of reusing and upcycling our clothing. Joseph has an overcoat, that he uses for many years, but once it is old and frayed, instead of throwing it away, he decides to make a new garment from it. What will he make? What makes the book especially charming are the die cut holes that keep you guessing about what the next garment will be, on each page. 

ADDED BY ASHA: What Happened to You? is an incredible book that Neil read out for WRAD2024 here in the kbc fb group!

[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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