Virat was introduced to books when he was 2 days old! Yes, that’s when he came home- a home which has books in every room. Even though he did not show much interest in books (except tearing the flaps) in the beginning, at 2.5 years now; you can easily call him a book lover! The journey from tearing flaps to books having a calming effect has been beautiful. Virat still prefers interactive books like lift-the-flap, push-pull books, but has been able to sit with me to read picture books lately.
So, here is Virat’s first book bingo entry featuring his current favourites.
- A yellow coloured book- Kahani Purani by Alankrita Amaya (T4Tales)
Kahani Purani is a book about Lord Ram’s life when he was exiled and his wife, Sita was kidnapped by Ravan. A perfect book to introduce mythology to little children in the most interactive way possible. The book is written in poetry kind of language so you can almost sing it. Virat loves the interactive element of this book whether its turning the wheel of the Ravan’s chariot and pushing Lord Ram’s arrow towards Ravan.
2. A book with leaf or flower on the cover – Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert
Planting a rainbow is a beautiful, colourful book that can be enjoyed by not just children but grownups as well. Virat learned colours pretty early, all thanks to this book. The book take you through the seasons and how a mother-daughter duo plant seeds, the journey of the seed to blooming into colourful flowers. There is so much that this book has to offer – colour recognition, names of different flowers, seasons, love for nature. I have noticed how Virat enjoys when I name each of the flowers. When we see flowers now, Virat tries to name them based on what he remembers from the book.
3. A book with siblings- Why I love my Sister by Harper Collins Children’s Books
Virat loves his sister immensely and this book helps us in naming the reasons why he loves her. She is his constant companion, his mischief partner, they share things. The reasons are depicted with really cute illustrations of children’s favourite animals. We have this book along with ‘Why I love my Brother’ by the same publication and we usually read them together.
4. A book featuring Mom- Mummy and Me by Katherina Manolessou
Mummy and me is a really cute book about a frog mummy, her tadpole and their day together. Mummy wakes her baby up, they get ready, spend the day outdoors, play games, do some activities back home. The illustrations in this book are very cute, helps introduce the first 3 numbers to babies as there is this 1-2-3 count to all the activities that they do during their day together.
5. A book featuring Dad- Best Daddy in all the World by Gill Lobel and Venessa Cabban
This is the most beautiful book that we have on Dads. There are many books on how kids idolise their mothers – “I have the best Mommy in the world”- but none I have come across which convey the same feeling about fathers. This is a beautiful book about a little bunny who forgets his Daddy’s request to stay around the burrow while playing and gets lost. He doesn’t realise it and falls asleep but when he wakes up, he panics. Then starts the search for Daddy- the one who is strongest, biggest, cuddliest etc. We love Venessa Cabban’s beautiful illustrations of the woods in her books.
6. A bedtime book- Goodnight Digger by Michelle Robinson and Nick East
This is a perfect bed time book for vehicle loving children, especially the ones who love diggers. Throughout the book, a little boy is wishing goodnight to all the vehicles i.e., bus, cars, tractors, train, boat etc and the ‘the best of all, say…. goodnight Digger’. This book came to us from secret Santa and Virat picked it up as soon as he saw it. He likes to sometimes get his vehicles along while reading this so he can wish them all goodnight!
7. Lift the flap book- Sparkle-Go-Seek Farm by Scholastic
This is the simplest farm animals book that can be introduced to the youngest children. It has only 4 farm animals and their sounds. Each animal has a shiny body part which is usually peeking out from under the flap hence, making it interesting for little hands. This can easily be the first lift the flap book for little ones as the flaps are big and sturdy.
This book can be ordered from Scholastic India via our kbc storefront as well. Scholastic India always has special offers on.
8. A cat book- Pooni, Pooni, where are you? By Manjula Padmanabhan
Does your child love cats as well as hide & seek? There is a high probability that the answer is yes. Minnie, the little girl in this story, has lost her cat, Pooni. She is upset and even afraid that the cat has left them. But Mummy assures her that Pooni must be around. Pooni is finally found when she is being naughty. All through the book, the children can spot the cat hiding. Virat has fun spotting the cat and telling Minnie that the cat is not lost.
9. A book by Debi Gliori- Little Owl’s First Day (Bloomsbury Children’s Books)
It was hard to choose one Debi Gliori book as we have so many of them and we love each one equally. Considering Virat was starting playschool in June, this one became our book bingo choice and we read this Debi Gliori book multiple times during the last month. Little Owl does not want to go to school. He wants to spend the day with Mamma and baby owl instead. Even at school, he keeps imagining what Mamma and baby owl must be up to until he makes a friend. Little Owl enjoys the rest of the day and his school. This book is perfect to read to children when they are starting school, especially those who have a sibling who is going to stay back. Even without a sibling, the baby owl, in the book, can easily be replaced with a favourite toy. For me, I replaced it with Didi Owl as Virat has an elder sister who still had her summer vacations on when his playschool started.
10. A book on first experiences- Little World: At the Airport
The Little World series of books is engaging in every sense for a toddler. This book has been our constant companion on all our travels ever since we received it. I always read this book with Virat before our travel to remind him what he will see at the airport and then once we are seated at the gates, he likes sitting with this book to check all that he has seen. It is fascinating to watch the little ones recall the entire process we go through at the airport with the help of this book. Virat loves pushing and pulling the tabs in this book. Every toddler who is going to be on a plane soon should definitely have this book!
11. A book that makes you giggle- Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! By Mo Willems
My older one loves Mo Willems books and is often in enacting them as she finds them the most hilarious books. So, I thought of introducing Virat to Mo Willems as a part of our book bingo entry and there is no better first Mo Willems book to choose than this one. I am glad to write that I did not go wrong here. Virat thoroughly enjoyed the book. Whenever we read this book, I am the pigeon and the children are the ones responsible for not letting me drive the bus and we all almost roll in laughter. Reading this book with voice modulations is great but enacting it was even more fun both for the reader as well as the toddler.
12. A book on big emotions- The Koala Who Could by Rachel Bright
The Koala who could is a beautiful book about how a Koala who was afraid of leaving his safe place finally overcomes his fear. It has helped me give positivity to both my children and convey to them that getting out of their comfort zone is important. Till we try something, we don’t know if we can do it. Now, whenever I hear ‘I can’t do this’, all I need to say is ‘is that the Koala?’. Rachel Bright captures children’s issues so perfectly in her books. Every child should definitely have atleast one Rachel Bright book in their bookshelf, and this one can definitely be the top choice.
13. A book that was helpful in addressing an issue- Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney
Llama Llama books have found a special place in Virat’s heart from the very beginning. So, when we had to start playschool I started reading a lot of books with him which were about starting school. But there was this constant worry I had about him being away from me. This book came to our rescue.
‘Mamma is always near even when she is not right here’
is the line from the book I repeated multiple times before dropping him at the school. Then about 10 days after starting school, he repeated this line on this own before he went off and I thanked Anna Dewdney immensely in my heart! I also use this book and quote the line
‘don’t be a tizzy, sometimes mamma is a little busy’
when there are constant call outs for mamma and the expectation is ‘abhi aao (come immediately)’. Now, a book that helps you address two issues and has a character that your toddler loves, is definitely special, isn’t it?
14. A book you we love for the illustrations- Hike by Pete Oswald
My son calls this book his ‘baba book’ (Baba means father). This is one of his favourite books, the one he picks most often. A wordless book with such a beautiful story and so many emotions. Virat loves the illustrations so much and enjoys spotting familiar things like everyday chores of waking up, dressing up, bedtime routine; birds and animals, the car etc.
15. A book by an Indian author- Gajapati Kulapati Gurrburrrrooom! By Ashok Rajagopalan
Gajapati Kulapati is hilarious series of books. For the unversed, Gajapati Kulapati is a huge but friendly elephant. This one is about Gajapati Kulapati’s tummy troubles and is one of the most hilarious of the series. We love all the tickling we do when reading this book.
Virat is a fussy eater. New things on the plate are not very welcome. This book featuring Charlie and Lola helps me make food, especially the veggies, more fun and interesting for him. The fact that it has siblings is even better because his sister pitches in to make this as interesting and funny as possible for him. This book has been helping us in making Virat at least taste everything on his plate.
17. A book with a stuffed animal- The Everywhere Bear by Julia Donaldson by Rebecca Cobb
Everywhere Bear by one of our favourite author-illustrator combination is a book full of heart. It has adventure and also teaches responsibility. It’s a story of a class stuffed animal (bear) that the children take turns to take home every weekend. Since the bear gets to go everywhere, it is named Everywhere Bear. One such weekend, the Everywhere Bear gets lost and then is carried around to different places. Does it get found? This is a heart-warming story with beautiful illustrations.
18. A book about day out with family- Pancakes in Pajamas by Frank Asch
What do you want to do on a Saturday? If you do not have any plans, would you like to like to join us for a Pancakes in Pajamas Day Parade? Here is a bear family, that decides to have the best Saturday possible. They spend the whole day in their pajamas and eat only pancakes. They go to the park, restaurant and go cycling all around town. What do other people in the town do after seeing them?
19. A book that taught an important lesson- Mine by Emily Gravett
A bear and a hare are friends. They share everything, or do they? The book shows us how sharing is rewarding. When one of the two friends becomes mean, he bears the consequence. Perfect first book to teach how sharing is the right thing to do.
20. Grown up’s favourite book in the house- No Matter What by Deby Gliori
Debi Gliori books are so special to us. Each of them is so special. No Matter What is a book closest to my heart. The book shows the how despite everything, a parent will always love their child and will always be there for them. The paperback version has a mention of death, we have the board book and it does not mention death. Virat loves the illustrations and the message in the book.
21. A hand-me down book you are attached to – Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
Most of Virat’s books are hand-me downs from his sister. But this one, he is very attached to. He picks this book up EVERY night. He loves the colourful illustrations, spotting things. So much so, that he flips through this one himself if I am reading with Ishani. Good Night Moon is definitely one of the must have bedtime books for children.
22. A book you tore – Chuglubugloo by Alankrita Amaya (t4Tales)
T4Tales are beautifully illustrated books perfect for little ones. Written in Hinglish and Hindi, they are perfect reads. Chugloobugloo is the most engaging of all the T4Tales books – engaging to the extent that Virat tore some of the flaps from the book. I love the huge pop-up sunflower on one of the pages. We enjoy playing hide and seek in this book. What is cutest is that throughout the book, you keep guessing who Chuglubugloo is.
23. A book you have carried to bed and slept with- How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers
I am not sure what it is about this book that Virat had picked it up when he was a baby and spent many naps with this one by his side. The story of a boy who wants a star for a friend and the extent to which he goes to get a star for himself. The boy’s emotions and determination are so well depicted in this series by Oliver Jeffers.
24. A book written in rhyme- Monkey Puzzle by Julia Donaldson and Alex Scheffler
Monkey Puzzle is definitely the first Julia Donaldson book that should be introduced to children. It is cute, it has many animals and it has Mom! It shows how special a Mom is to a child and it shows how we should always try to help – like the butterfly who helps the little monkey. And very interestingly, it can be read as a follow up to Hungry Caterpillar to show how butterfly’s babies do not look like butterflies as all. Julia Donaldson’s books are absolutely perfect for little ones.
25. A book that your grandparent read to you- Krishna (Gods and Goddesses)- A cut out Board Book by Om Books International
Krishna is a cut-out board book by Om Books. This was the first book that Virat started associating with himself. This is a cute short book (with just one or two sentences on each page) which introduces children about the Hindu God, Krishna. There are many other books in this series about various topics.
26. A book with food stains on it- Where’s Spot? By Eric Hill
“It’s dinner time, where could Spot be?” changes to “It’s breakfast/Lunch/Dinner time, where could Virat be?” This is usually followed by an innocent ‘here’ or a ‘peekaboo’ by my little man. We usually read this book right before a meal and it does end up on the dining table at times hence some stains are obvious. Virat loves this lift-the-flap boo and spotting all the animals hiding at various places in the house.
27. A book given to you so mom/dad could have tea in peace!– Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Eric Carle
Brown Bear, Brown Bear is one of the most special books in Virat’s library. This was the first book he read aloud to us. A lift-the -flap book with the signature Eric Carle colourful illustrations! It helps little ones recognise animals as well as colours. The repetitive text is absolutely perfect for little ones. Virat has spent hours with this book by himself. I have seen the other paperback version of this book as well, but the lift-the-flap version is definitely more engaging.
28. A Wonder House book- My First Library (a box set of 10 books)
My First Library is a perfect set of small board books that include everything that we need to introduce our little ones too – alphabet, numbers, colours, shapes, transport, birds, wild animals, farm animals, fruits, vegetables. Perfect for small hands to hold. We carry 2 or 3 books from this set wherever we go.
29. A book you gift often- A Dinosaur ate Dad’s Hair by Trent Roberts (Scholastic)
A really hilarious book about how a Dad who does not have any hair makes up stories about how he lost his hair. He makes up stories about a dinosaur having eaten his hair, making a blanket from his hair and a rope, but when he does tell the truth about how he lost his hair, would his children believe it or find it even more hilarious?
This book can be ordered from Scholastic India via our kbc storefront as well. Scholastic India always has special offers on.
30. A book you got from KBC recommendations – The Jungle Book (Cambell First Stories)
Push-pull books are the most engaging books for toddlers. The Jungle Book was the first push-pull book that I bought for Virat based on KBC recommendations. He enjoyed it so much that I then bought more of such books for him. A sweet and short book introducing kids to Mowgli’s story- this is a must have for toddlers.
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