Books have been part of our parenting journey ever since little Siddhanth was barely a few weeks old. We started with Sid gazing at black and white contrast books to exploring textural touch-and-feel books and eventually nibbling and licking the books too!! Currently, at 3 years, we have many favorites and start and end the day reading them!
The Kids Book Café and its wonderful team have played a huge role is nurturing our little bookworm’s journey.
1. Yellow book: ‘Beautiful Oops’ by Barney Saltzberg.
This book teaches children (and grown-ups) to celebrate mistakes. A tear, a spill or a smudge can be transformed into something beautiful using creativity!
2. Leaf/flower on the cover: ‘Hugless Douglas’ by David Melling.
Douglas, a gentle grizzly bear wakes up from hibernation. He wriggles out of his pyjamas and sets out to look for a hug. He climbs up high, stumbles into a thorny bush, tries to cuddle up to some animals but can’t find the perfect hug! Eventually he finds someone familiar who gives out the best and most perfect hugs.
3. Book with siblings: ‘I’m a Big Brother’ by Caroline Jayne Church.
This book introduces the subject of becoming a sibling to the little ones. With endearing illustrations and simple text, the idea of getting a new baby in the family is introduced. It also explains what babies mostly do (eat, sleep, cry and poop!). A wonderful book if you have a baby on the way and would like to gently ease your child into the role of ‘big brother’.
4. Book featuring Mum: ‘Monkey Puzzle’ by Julia Donaldson.
This is the tale of a baby monkey who gets separated from his parents. As he tries to describe his mother to a concerned butterfly, he stumbles across various jungle creatures closely matching his descriptions but not his Mum! With witty lyrical lines and enchanting pictures, this book is a heartening and hilarious read for toddlers.
5. Book featuring Dad: ‘Rory the Dinosaur-Me and My Dad’ by Liz Climo.
Little Rory, the dinosaur loves to spend time with his Dad. One day, Rory decides to explore the island on his own. As he goes about his day, he misses his Dad never realizing that his father is closely behind him, making sure Rory is okay. This heartening story celebrates the father-son bond.
6. Bedtime book: ‘The Littlest Dreamer-A Bedtime Adventure ‘ by Suzanne Smith.
This bedtime story is narrated by a father to his son. The father wonders what his child will dream about: whether he will be a brave knight fighting dragons, exploring space with aliens or scoring winning goals on a football pitch. With a captivating storyline and colorful pictures, this is a book your child will love to snuggle with.
7. Lift the Flap: Usborne Lift-the-flap Why Should I Brush My Teeth.
The Usborne series are an absolute treat packed with age-appropriate information and wonderful illustrations. Children are inquisitive by nature and lift the flap books are a perfect way to address curiosity and practice fine motor skills. This informative book teaches children about the importance of brushing teeth: why, how and when! It’s packed with many fun facts, including how animals keep their teeth clean without brushing!
8. Book about a Cat: ‘Mog the Forgetful Cat’ by Judith Kerr.
This is a timeless classic about Mog, a languid cat who would rather blissfully doze than be bothered about what’s happening around him! One night, Mog’s forgetfulness sets the family on an adventure that makes Mog an unlikely hero!
9. Book by Debi Gliori: ‘Little Owl’s First Day’ has been a wonderful addition to our bookshelf. The first day at school/daycare is a huge milestone for kids (and their caregivers). This book helped us immensely while starting pre-school. Little Owl isn’t too eager about going to school and misses his Mummy and baby owl brother. Through charming illustrations and a gentle storyline, we learn that you can have fun and learn at school!
10. First experiences: ‘Potty Training’ by Leslie Patricelli.
Toilet training can seem like a messy daunting experience for caregivers and toddlers! This book gently introduces the concept of using the potty chair and normalizes it! With endearing illustrations and simple text, this book follows a tiny tot who desperately needs to relieve himself!
11. Makes you giggle: ‘Gajapati Kulapati Gurrburrrooom!’ by Ashok Rajagopalan.
Everyone’s favourite gentle giant, Gajapati Kulapati is back with this hilarious ‘noisy’ adventure. When Gajapati Kulapati feasts on sugarcane, bananas, rice, jaggery and coconuts, he develops a tummy ache! This rib-tickling story is bound to have you giggling as Gajapati Kulapati discovers a unique noisy way to cure tummy troubles!
It’s about an adorable koala bear named Kevin who steadfastly clings onto his old life and is hesitant to try new things. Eventually with the support of his friends in the outback, he discovers that life can be NEW and WONDERFUL!
13. Addressed issues: ‘Hands are not for hitting’ by Martine Agassi.
This is a highly recommended book which gently reminds toddlers that hands are meant for friendly and caring actions and not for hitting! With lucid text and adorable pictures, this book also has a note for caregivers on how to deal with emotional outbursts from toddlers.
14. Loved illustrations: ‘Counting Creatures’ by Julia Donaldson.
Another timeless classic from the queen of children’s books. This book has stunning vibrant illustrations of baby animals in the wild along with engaging lines. A fantastic way to learn counting as we discover “who has more babies than that”?
15. Book by an Indian author: ‘My First Book of Little Devis’ by Bhanumathi Narasimhan.
This is a fabulous children’s book to introduce the various Hindu Goddesses to your little ones. It has charming illustrations about various Goddesses accompanied by simple prayers. It encourages children to follow their dreams while the Divine Mother will make them come true.
16. Food in the Title: ‘Kozhukatta’ by Sumi Chandrasekharan is a rib-tickling tale of forgetful Ponnu. He loves to eat “crunchy, munchy, curly and swirly snacks” but keeps forgetting things – including peeling a banana before eating one! He visits his friend and discovers a delightful new snack: kozhukatta. What follows is a hilarious adventure of how Ponnu tries to remember the name of the snack, forgets it and then re-discovers the taste hot pillowy rice dumplings!
Fifi and Frankie are twins who are as different as chalk and cheese but love the same stuffed animal “Funny Bunny”! The twins are constantly fighting over who gets to play with the patch-work rabbit until it leads to a “ripper” of a climax!! Will Fifi and Frankie learn that sharing is caring? This heart-warming tale will teach your childoo about how sharing your toys only multiplies your joy and not divide it!
18. Day out with family: ‘A Musical Road Trip’ by Shyama Panikkar.
If your child enjoys Indian classical music, this is THE book to read! We embark on a musical journey with little Tara and her family as they discover the ‘swaras’ amidst nature on their road trip. Did you know that ‘Sa’ (Shadjam) is associated with the sound of a peacock or ‘Re’ (Rishabam) originated from the call of a skylark. Through lyrical text and vibrant pictures, we discover that music and Mother Nature are beautifully intertwined.
19. Taught an important lesson: ‘What Little Boys Are Made Of’ by Susanna Leonard Hill.
This book busts stereotypes that boys have to be rough, tough and stoic. Through simple words and engaging illustrations, this book seeks to empower and encourage little boys to be kind and sensitive and even normalizes being vulnerable, at times. A perfect ‘modern day nursery rhyme ‘ for impressionable young boys.
20. Grown Ups Favourite Book: ‘Jungle Radio, The Bird Songs of India’ by Devangana Dash
This award-winning book is a riot of color and music! With brilliant eye-catching illustrations and musical calls of various birds, this book teaches us to tune into the Jungle Radio. With a list of bird sanctuaries, things to take on a bird watching trip as well as commonly sighted birds in India, this book provides a rich immersive experience!
21. Hand Me Down you are attached to: ‘What The Ladybird Heard Next’ by Julia Donaldson.
The story is narrated in Donaldson’s inimitable lyrical rhyming format with colorful, glittery pictures. This is a tale of an adventurous ladybird who comes to know that a couple of thieves are planning to steal the farm’s big red hen! She orchestrates an elaborate plan with other farm animals to outsmart the bumbling bandits!
22. Book you tore: ‘Giraffes Can’t Dance’ by Giles Andreae.
This was the one of the first books we bought for little Sid. It’s been pulled, licked and bitten over dozens of readings. This story is about Gerald, the giraffe who wants to join in on the Savannah ‘s annual party as the other animals waltz and twirl to rock and roll. Gerald is laughed off for his two left feet by the others. He meets a wise cricket and what follows is a heartwarming tale of self-belief, confidence and joy. It’s a fantastic takeaway for children and adults alike that “we all can dance, when we find music that we love”.
23. Carried to bed and slept with: ‘100 Dogs’ by Michael Whaite.
This book chronicles canines of all shapes, sizes and personalities! Whether it’s a tall dog or a small fits-in-your purse dog, all fur babies are loving and loyal! With wonderful illustrations, this book has been carried to bed and cuddled along with our doggo plush toy.
24. Written in rhyme: ‘The Gruffalo’.
This is yet another timeless classic from the Julia Donaldson -Axel Scheffler duo. The tale is about a mouse who encounters predators and manages to keep his wits about him and frighten them by describing a ferocious fictional creature called ‘The Gruffalo’, What happens when he actually bumps into a Gruffalo!
25. A book that grandparents read to you: ‘My First Hanuman Chalisa’ by Chitwan Mittal.
The Hanuman Chalisa needs no introduction. This simple yet powerful prayer penned by Sant Tulsidas is about India’s ultimate superhero, Lord Hanuman! With stunning illustrations and lucid translation of the Awadhi prayer, this book is a must-have if you would like to teach the meaning behind this timeless prayer.
26. Book with food stains on it: ‘Breakfasts of India’
This book by Kutuki publication is a delicious way to introduce the different breakfast dishes from across our country. Join us on a finger-licking, mouth-watering journey as we learn about misal pav, puttu-kadala, luchi-aloo torkari and aloo paranthas!
27. Kept you busy: ‘Search-and-find Alphabet of Alphabets’ by Allan Sanders.
This book is 26 pages of finding fun as we learn the alphabets and spot objects. A for Alphabet, B for birds and C for Creepy Crawlies! This book is E for engaging, educating and entertaining!
28. Wonder house book: ‘Alphabet Phonics Book’ – Dan’s Day.
Teaching your little one to read doesn’t have to be a difficult task if you have the wonderful Wonderhouse books by your side. These books demonstrate the relationship between sounds of a spoken language and the letters/syllables of the written language. With adorable pictures and perfectly sized to be held by toddlers, these books are a must-have as your child embarks on their reading journey!
29. You gift often: ‘The Little Shloka Book’ by Priya Subramanian.
This palm-sized book has Sanskrit shlokas that can be chanted at various times of the day (for example a shloka for when you wake up, a shloka to be chanted before eating). With charming pictures, this book is the perfect way to introduce the power of prayer to your child! We love gifting this pint-sized prayer book.
30. Got from KBC Reccos: ‘Lulu’s Lunch’ by Camilla Reid
If you have a child going through a picky-eating phase, this lovely book might just be what rekindles their interest in food! With interactive text and touch-and-feel illustrations, Lulu is sure to make your child (and you!) hungry for more!
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