These kids really grow up so fast. One moment they are a cooing baby and within an eye-blink turn into this pint sized dictator (toddler!) with insane energy and sponge like grasping powers. At 22 months, here is a list of books that gave us some most cherished memories together.
- Baby Touch: Snuggle Cloth Book (0-1 year): A very colorful and baby friendly washable cloth book . The pages have no sharp edges and make an entertaining crackling sound when crushed in between those tiny fingers. Found it a great way to introduce textures too. At 5 months, Vedu would try to flip its pages while lying down and sometimes snooze with the book on her head.
2. Teletubbies: A rainy Day (1-3 years): Growing up, my younger sister used to watch the teletubbies show on TV a lot and the “eh-oh!” of these weird round creatures is etched in my memory. Saw this book at a book store and got it for Vedu. She loves it, as we sing the Teletubbies theme song with it and at each page she gets to say “eh-oh!” Fun read.
3. Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell (0-2 years): This legendary, highly recommended flip flap board book needs no introduction. We started reading it when Vedu was barely 5 months old with animated sounds and wild expressions (acting silly is part of the deal of being a parent!). She loved it and now we go to each page where she imitates the sound of each animal and we discuss its legs, hands, eyes, etc.
4. Little Red Riding Hood First Stories (0-2 years): This book is part of the push and pull series by Campbell publications. Though it is minimal on written content and you need to know the story to be able to bring out the magic of push and pull books. Highly engaging, specially the big bad wolf running at the end. Now we seem to be a bit over this book, but I’m sure once Vedu starts reading on her own, we can revisit this one.
5. Peppa Pig, George’s noisy vehicle book (1-3 years): This one is a sound book that makes sounds of different vehicles as the story of Peppa and George going out with their parents unfolds. I must admit that I am not a fan of sound books (noise books!) considering the number of toys that one has to deal with, but would still recommend for the higher levels of engagement and entertainment that it provides.
6. Ocean Yoga book (1-5 years): Had we not won this book at the KBC contest, we may not have got a book on yoga for kids for another 2 years. But glad we got introduced. This book has great illustrations, textured pages and engaging narration of how Zen and Maya go for an outing into the ocean. Each page ties in nicely with a recommended yoga pose for kids with instructions for parents to supervise. At 15 months, Vedu was already imitating me as I did my yoga practice at home and this book helped in making a fun reading cum yoga session. It is still very much part of our reading sessions, specially in the evenings during these lockdown times.
7. Brown Bear Brown Bear what do you see, Bill Martin Jr. (0-3 years): Another highly recommended book that lived up to all its praises. Amazing illustrations and content. She gets excited on the turn of each page with all the funky animals in their myriad colors. One of the must haves in our bedtime reading suites. Now we have graduated to identifying colors and sounds.
8. Ammachi’s Glasses by Priya Kuriyan (1-4years): Don’t know if anyone else feels it but after a while, all early books are around animals, or that’s what happened with us and these animals were taking over the house! So we decided to bring in some human stories and Ammachi’s Glasses was the perfect book. It doesn’t have any written content but the illustrations depict a funny story of an old granny loosing her glasses and then doing doing funny things like washing the cat and putting on dryline instead of clothes, that cracked us adults too. Slowly Vedu started to understand the hilarious situation too and laugh. Also, you can bring in more layers in your narration as the child grows.
9. Merry the Elephant’s Paper Plane by Karishma Mahbubani (1.5-4 years) : Very entertaining book about Merry the elephant who makes a paper plane at school but then looses it and then finally finds it back. This book helped us in starting to identify emotions like getting sad, getting happy, being brave, being friends with other kids. Being from an Indian author and illustrator, the child is able to relate and visualize easily.
10.Emperor’s New Clothes, Lady bird level 1 (1.5- 4 years) : Warning, you may regret reading this story to a toddler as my 20 months old was super impressed by the emperor, so much so that she wanted to roam around the house like the emperor in the book (!!!). Till date when we get her ready to take a shower the parade till the bathroom is like the emperor 🙂 . Anyhow, recommend the book for its engagement quotient.
As a parent, I am very cautious about reading some of the classics, have filtered out a lot of them as they I find them to be highly gender biased. Waiting for prince charming is just so passe’!! Will do another post on gender neutral content for kids.
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