Vihaana, who is currently 18 months old, was introduced to the realm of books from the time she was a month old. Since then, books have been the greatest company for her and also for us parents in our journey of first time parenting. In this listicle, we share some of Vihaana’s favourites we have been reading the past few weeks for #kbcbookbingo2023.
- A yellow coloured book – One ted falls out of bed by Julia Donaldson, Anna Currey
The story revolves around Ted, the bear who falls out of bed one night. With all his might, he tries getting back into the bed but couldn’t. The story progresses as Ted meets the other characters in the room and plays with them but eventually starts missing his bed. They come together and help Ted build a stair with bricks. Ted manages to reach the top of the stairs when the bricks crash and chaos ensues in the room. Will Ted manage to get back in his bed and snuggle up with his little owner? Julia Donaldson takes the young readers on a counting adventure in this book. This is one of the books Vihaana wants to read on repeat mode.
- Leaf or flower on the cover – The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
There is something about Eric Carle’s illustrations that attract the little children like no other. The very hungry caterpillar is such a versatile classic which covers multiple topics like days of the week, counting, different foods, caterpillar’s beautiful transformation etc. Started with just turning the pages and poking fingers through the holes when she was few months old, we have read and re-read the book multiple times enough to identify and name all the elements in the book now.
- A book with siblings – First Words with Peppa Level 1 – Hide and Seek
Thanks to the amazing deal alerts on KBC, we grabbed our first Peppa book at a pocket-friendly price. In this book, Peppa and George take turns to play hide and seek and have fun with each other. Whenever we read the book, Vihaana treats her plush doll as her sibling and hides it under the table and later pretends to find it herself which is so cute to watch.
- A book that features mom – Mummy Cuddles by Melanie Joyce, Daniel Howarth
In this adorable book which is all about love and cuddles, little bunny takes us through the heartwarming moments she spends enjoying with Mommy bunny like a simple tickle in the tummy or Mommy bunny’s wide smile when little bunny brings her flowers. We love the cuddles that we share while reading this book which helps us bond more on an emotional level. On returning from walk with Daddy, Vihaana makes sure to bring me flowers which is heartmelting!
- A book that features dad – Daddy, I Love You by Stephanie Moss, Alison Edgson
Another great book which helps in emotional bonding of father and child. A baby bear reminisces about all the beautiful things he loves doing with daddy bear and also expresses that he loves it when his daddy tells him that he loves him. The rhyming narrative and colorful illustrations makes it a pleasant and calming read. Vihaana loves the part where the daddy bear helps the baby bear fetch the fruits from the tree as he can’t reach up high. She insists her dad to pick her up and help her reach the windchimes in our living room.
- A bedtime book – Counting kisses by Karen Katz
Counting kisses is one of our go-to bedtime books. This book takes us through the bedtime of a baby where loved ones in the family shower the baby with kisses from head to toe while counting down as the baby winds down to sleep. This book has been instrumental in helping Vihaana learn different parts of the body and numbers. She totally enjoys receiving the extra kisses during bedtime.
- Lift the flap book – Flap-a-doodle Moo! by Christie Hainsby, Scott Barker
Vihaana loves animals and hence most of our books have animals in some form. This lift the flap board book features multi-layer flaps with different textures and also introduces farm animals and their sounds. It cleverly introduces an increasing number of flaps with each page which helps the child in gradually enhancing their ability to lift flaps of increasing complexity. A perfect book for curious young toddlers which helps with fine motor skills.
- A cat book – Copy Cat by Mark Birchall
A lovely tale about the friendship between a Cat and a Dog. Cat always loves to copy whatever adventure Dog is off to. Annoyed by this behaviour, Dog shouts at Cat – ‘Copycat, copycat, copycat’! The next day when Dog goes dragon hunting, Cat isn’t there. Dog realizes that the Cat doesn’t follow her the next day or the day after that. She soon starts missing Cat and realizes her mistake. Dog then sets out to find what happened to Cat and thereon the book depicts some heartfelt moments Cat and Dog share in caring for each other. This book teaches a valuable lesson about the importance of sharing experiences and looking out for each other. Vihaana loves this book a lot as it features two of her favourite animals.
- A book by Debi Gliori – Bedtime Stories
In this book, Debi Gliori presents us with her own quirky versions of well-known tales such as – Little Red Hen, The Tortoise and the Hare, There was an Old Woman who swallowed a Fly. Although this book is meant for an older child to read and understand, Vihaana loves looking through the illustrations as we narrate the stories to her. Her favourite is the tale about the The Tortoise and the Hare.
- A book on first experiences – Goat goes to playgroup by Julia Donaldson and Nick Sharratt
We got this one as a preparatory book to introduce Vihaana to the concept of playgroup as we might need to put her in one in the near future. This book illustrates a group of animals going to playgroup and all the activities they do together. Goat, the main character is upto a lot of silly stuff which is sure to make the young ones giggle. Vihaana now understands what children do at playgroup/school and eagerly picks up a bag and roams around yelling ‘chool’ (school) and ‘bye bye’.
- A book that makes you giggle – Doing the Animal Bop by Jan Ormerod, Lindsey Gardiner
This book was love at first sight. When I first read the book to her while enacting the moves described in the book, Vihaana was all giggles galore. Soon we were waddling like penguins and stomping like rhinos. A fun, rhythmic and energetic book which encourages the little ones to groove along to the animal beat.
- A book on big emotions – Happy Hippo, Angry Duck by Sandra Boynton
Sandra Boynton is a very popular author among KBC kids. Although late to the Boynton tribe, we got this book recently as it was the most recommended one to introduce different emotions to a young toddler. And what’s more, it features animals, so it’s a win-win for us! This book takes us through different emotions depicted by different animals in a quirky manner and ends with a comforting re-assurance that friends are always there for us, no matter our mood.
- A book that was helpful in addressing an issue – Good Night Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, Clement Hurd
This book has been with us for the longest time and has helped us while weaning off nursing to sleep, making the transition on our little one a lot easier. During our bedtime routine, she was able to calm down as we picked up this book to read gradually instead of nursing. When we had first got this book, I was all skeptical as it looked very plain and bland. Boy, was I wrong! There is a reason this is an all time classic. The contrast colored pages and rhyming repetitive text is so inviting for the little ones. Vihaana adores this book so much that she wants to read it any time, any hour of the day. Cannot thank this book for all the comfort it has provided us.
- A book you love for the illustrations – Alphabet Phonics – Reading library for Children by Wonder House Books
These are perfect little books for young readers to get started with the concept of phonics. They are quite handy and easy for a toddler to hold and read. Each book focuses on a particular letter and emphasizes on the letter’s sound on different parts of different words. What makes this set of books more interesting is that, these mini palm size books feature super cute illustrations which are very captivating.
- A book by an Indian author – Row, Row, Row Your Boat illustrated by Kavita Arvind
We got this book based on a fellow KBC member’s suggestion about the Indian baby rhymes series as my daughter took interest in this rhyme. An Indianized take on the classic nursery rhyme Row, row, row your boat, this book features a dad and his daughter merrily rowing their boat along the picturesque Dal lake in Srinagar while singing the rhyme. It also sports an interactive element of finding a friendly fish which is hidden in each page of the book. This book has such a personal touch for us as Vihaana’s dad reads this book to her while narrating to her our experiences of riding a shikara on the serene waters of the Dal lake before she was born and she listens with so much intent.
- A book that has food in the title – Alphabet Ice Cream by Nick Sharrat and Sue Heap
A fun and exciting way to learn about alphabets. This book is quite large in size and features full page illustrations which are interesting to the young readers. For every alphabet, there are multiple illustrations of the objects that begin with the alphabet and Vihaana tries pointing and naming whatever she can. She knows that Nick anna loves yoghurt and Sue akka doesn’t like yoghurt😄 She learnt the words yum and yuk from this book.
- A book with a stuffed animal – I Love You, Blue Kangaroo by Emma Chichester Clark
This story features a little girl Lily who loves her stuffed animal, a Blue Kangaroo. Every night, Blue Kangaroo feels safe with Lily and comfortably falls asleep on her arms. But soon, Lily starts receiving a bunch of other stuffed animals from her relatives and takes interest in them. Blue Kangaroo starts feeling neglected and there just doesn’t seem to be any more space in Lily’s bed for him. And then one day, Lily sees her younger sibling playing with her Blue Kangaroo… This book reminds me so much of the Toy Story series. Vihaana loves reading this book and started taking interest in cuddling her plush doll to sleep.
- A book about day out with the family – We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Helen Oxenbury, Michael Rosen
This classic story is about a family of five who venture on a bear hunt. They come across different obstructing landscapes along the way like long wavy grass, thick oozy mud and more. When they finally manage to get to the cave where the bear is, they quickly decide to head back to where they came from and need to traverse back through all the obstacles again while the bear chases them throughout…! Rhyme and repetition is what makes this book very interesting. Vihaana learnt lot of things from this book like the words over/under, how river can be cold, mud can be oozy etc.
- A book that teaches an important lesson – Bruno Learns to Take Turns and Bruno Learns to Share by Ritu Pant
This book consists of two stories about Bruno, a naughty puppy and his friends with whom he plays and goes to school everyday. As the title goes, it teaches a very important lesson about learning to take turns and learning to share. This book has helped us immensely in teaching Vihaana that when she goes to the park to play, we need to wait when somebody else is on the swing and that it is okay to share her toys with her friends and play together.
- Grown up’s favourite book in the house – Tubby’s First Book of Colours & Shapes by Pramod Negi
A simple book introducing colours and shapes with various day-to-day objects. It is one of those books which keeps Vihaana hooked for a long time all by herself and also she has learnt a lot of words from this book. During tantrums, she instantly calms down when we give her this book and starts identifying the different pictures in it.
- A hand-me down book you are attracted to – Monkey Puzzle by Julia Donaldson, Axel Scheffler
Axel Scheffler’s illustrations are like cherry on top of the cake that is Julia Donaldson’s storytelling. This one is about a little Monkey who is lost and is missing his Mum. A butterfly kindly agrees to help and they embark on a journey to find his Mum. Based on Monkey’s description, Butterfly takes him to different animals and ends up getting it wrong each time. When we finish reading this book, Vihaana turns to look at me and says Mummy (like she has just found me), which is so adorable.
- A book you tore – Zoom, Zoom, Baby! by Karen Katz
This is the first lift the flap book we got for Vihaana. Thanks to this book, she learnt about different animals and their sounds, different vehicles and their sounds by the time she turned one. The last page of this book features tiny hidden illustrations of all the vehicles and animals covered in the book and Vihaana loves identifying them one by one. We have torn the flaps and stuck them back umpteen number of times. This book is perfect for babies and toddlers alike and is a must have on every smallie’s bookshelf.
- A book you have carried to bed and slept with – The Fox and The Crow (Usborne First Reading) by Mairi Mackinnon, Rocio Martinez
When Vihaana developed interest in listening to stories, we started with one well known tale – The Fox and The Crow. We tweaked the story a bit and included our family as characters which made it very interesting to her. And then one day we got her this book and it was like she found a new treasure. Every night she would want us to read the book to her while narrating the story and made sure to have this book at her bedside.
- A book written in rhyme (not nursery rhymes) – Duck in the Truck by Jez Alborough
This is the story of a duck whose truck gets stuck in the muck. When just a one-liner description of the book is so rhyming, you could imagine how the inside pages would be. The Duck encounters a sheep in a jeep, a goat on a boat who are passing along and try to help him. Does the Duck manage to get his truck finally unstuck? This book works on the ‘ck’ sound and also has nice full page illustrations. Vihaana loves the rhyming flow of the book and insists to read it over and over again.
- A book your grandparent read to you – My First Library: Boxset of 10 Board books for Kids by Wonder House Books
This boxset includes 10 palm size sturdy board books covering basic introductory topics like fruits, vegetables, wild animals, colours etc and is an absolute must have. These books have helped in expanding Vihaana’s vocabulary exponentially. She loves reading these books with her grandparents and attempts naming whatever she has learnt from the books. The pictures are realistic and kids can identify and relate to day-to-day objects very well.
- A book that has food stains on it – Baby Touch: Playbook by LadyBird
This is a touch and feel book which aids in sensory exploration. We have had it since Vihaana was 4 months old and she still finds it very interesting. The pages have bright and vivid colours and also some interesting elements like flaps, various textures, mirror, hiding animals etc which are inviting for the child to touch and explore. A great book for tummy time activity as well.
- A book given to you so mom/dad could have tea in peace! – The Jungle Book (Campbell First Stories) by Miriam Bos
Vihaana adores this book. We parents are also so happy that we are able to introduce to her this iconic story that we all grew up with. This is an interactive push pull and slide board book. Vihaana fondly refers to Mowgli as ‘Mowni anna’ and loves the part where Mowgli’s dear friend bear fetches bananas for him.
- A book by Wonder House – Shapes (Let’s Talk Series) by Farzana Sarup
This book takes us through different shapes in detail with beautiful illustrations and rhyming descriptions of relatable day-to-day objects. We got this as a prize for winning one of the prompts on KBC. Vihaana knew the basic shapes and started naming all of them when we received the book. A few days in, she is able to relate and identify the shape of the objects that she comes across, like a plate is a circle and a book is a rectangle. This book also has a ‘Let’s Talk’ column at the end which encourages the kids to think and answer the questions posed.
- A book you gift often – Farm Hullaballoo! by Justine Smith
This is my go-to book to gift when I’m not sure if the child is already introduced to books or if he/she is into books. This is a sound book consisting of different farm animals and their sounds and also a bonus tractor sound which kids love. It’s a sturdy board book and the volume is also quite moderate so it doesn’t cause any annoyance. Vihaana started with just playing around with the buttons and listening to the animal sounds when she was a year old and now she’s able to identify and name different farm animals and match their respective sounds.
- A book you got from kbc recommendations – There’s a Dragon in your book by Tom Fletcher
A perfect interactive book for curious toddlers we got from KBC recommendation. This book involves a cutesy dragon trapped inside the book which the little reader needs to interactively engage with and help the dragon escape. Vihaana loves it when I read the book to her in a suspenseful tone about finding out what happens next with the dragon and also loves performing the interactive prompts like popping a water balloon, blowing the fire out and giving high-five to the dragon.
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