Today we crossed the first thing off our Summer Bucket List. We caught the bus into town and LM joined the library. As well as that I allowed her to pick 7 books (we could have up to 20 each!) one for each night of the week. Each week I’ll be sharing our thoughts on the books in a post of it’s own. As we haven’t read any of the books yet, I decided to kick off Little Miss’ summer of stories with ten of our favourite children’s books. Five chosen by Little Miss and five chosen by myself. First up, LM’s favourite stories;
We’re All Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen & Helen Oxenbury
This was one of my childhood favourites and I insisted on bringing it home from nursery every week which is probably why I bought it for LM’s first Christmas. I read it to her a lot when she was younger but then it was forgotten as we collected newer books. However, it’s suddenly become the absolute must read, both at our house and at Nanny’s house. This is due to it being one they recite at school. This is the only book she is eager to attempt (or pretend) to read back to me. It’s a great children’s book due to the fact it’s so repetitive and so memorable. I can pretty much read it with my eyes shut now!
Funnybones by Allan Ahlberg & Andre Amstutz
If you haven’t read a book by Allan Ahlberg you haven’t lived. I think 80% of the books I remember from my childhood are written by Allan Ahlberg and I’m so glad LM has taken a liking to most of them, including the Funnybones series. I think The Black Cat one is a favourite (we have 3 all together) because it’s a hide and seek story and LM loves hide and seek. We’re also both cat people. I get such pleasure reading Funnybones books and I’m always on the look out for them in charity sops because they really are a fun read. Come on, you all remember “In a dark dark town, there was a dark dark street…”
Disney’s Wonderful World of Reading Peter Pan
Little Miss has more Disney’s Wonderful World of Reading books than I care to admit.. I have been collecting them for the past 3 years and thankfully they never cost more than £1 at a time. But her absolute favourite is Peter Pan (obviously). It’s a lot longer than the bedtime stories I like to pick to read but when it’s her turn to choose 90% of the time it’s one from the Wonderful World of Reading series. It is basically the story if of Peter Pan which is probably why she loves it so much. Some of the Wonderful World of Reading books are other Disney stories, those are definitely the ones I personally enjoy more.
Angelina and the Princess by Katherine Holabird
Like my sister and I before, Little Miss is a huge fan of Angelina Ballerina. We have a lot of the old school books like the one above, which happens to be her favourite.. because you know.. princess. I personally find them a joy to read so when Little Miss picks one out you get no complaints from me. She actually calls her “Ballerina Mouse” which is adorable. I think they’re such a huge hit because Little Miss loves everything mouse related. They really are lovely stories.
You Can’t Eat a Princess! by Gillian Rogerson and Sarah McIntyre
On the subject of princesses, her final favourite is much more modern. It’s clever, colourful and silly.. and not only is it about a princess but it has aliens and outer space. I bought it on a whim because I liked the illustrations and I thought for a one year old (it was another I bought for her first Christmas) it would be eye catching but over the last few years it’s become a firm favourite. It’s definitely one I wouldn’t hesitate to buy as a gift for another child.
And now onto my five favourite bedtime stories;
Each Peach Pear Plum Janet and Allan Ahlberg
Another Allan Ahlberg book, and this time it’s my absolute favourite. Each Peach Pear Plum was my childhood, at least my very early childhood. I had it read to me so many times that even as an adult I could recite the majority of the story. It was one of the first ever books I bought Little Miss, when she was only weeks old. It’s probably because it includes fairytale and nursery rhyme characters but I also love how it just all connects together. Plus the illustrations are so pretty and pastel. I’ve got rid of a lot of LM’s cardboard books now but I’ve kept this for when she learns to read and she can read it to me.
Puddle Lane Stage 4 by Sheila McCullagh
I recently came by a stack of Puddle Lane books for 25p each in a second hand book store. Puddle Lane was an absolute favourite of mine as a child, and I put my love of fantasy purely down to how much I adored the series as a child. Stage 4 is all about the story of how the Iron Boy and Sandalwood Girl come to life when the clock strikes 13 and their adventures to become a real girl and boy. At the moment we only have “On the Way to the Blue Mountains” but I have the rest of my eBay watch list. LM seems really invested in the stories too although she much prefers the ones about the Wideawake mice.
Belle and Boo and the Birthday Surprise by Mandy Sutcliffe
The only book in my favourites not from my own childhood is this one. I love Belle and Boo merchandise and LM was lucky enough to receive this for her third birthday. It is a really sweet story (that had me choked up, which hasn’t happened since I first read “Guess How Much I Love You?” another favourite) and beautifully illustrated. It has all the necessary elements that make it a good book for bedtimes. It makes you feel so fuzzy and warm once you finish. I cannot recommend the Belle and Boo books enough, we actually have three now and I have the Christmas one put away for LM’s book advent calendar.
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
This book was everyone’s childhood, right? At least everyone my age’s childhood. Which is why I had to make sure it was part of LM’s too. I went through a phase where this is all I wanted read to me, then my sister went through the same phase a few years later. There is just something about the story that makes it so memorable which is why when I saw it at a car boot for 50p I snapped it up. It’s an absolute classic, probably because as children we all wanted to sail away to the land of the Wild Things when we were sent to bed without any supper!
Five Minutes’ Peace by Jill Murphy
Jilly Murphy is another one of those authors that wrote a lot of books I loved as child. In particular the ones about the Large Family. I used to love A Piece of Cake the most when I was little, but now as a mother Five Minutes’ Peace definitely rings true more. I picked up the whole series for £1 a book in Home Bargains and I’m so glad LM loved them as much as I did. We’ve read them a few times over the past year and I just love Five Minutes’ Peace more every time I read it. Probably because it rings true with my life these days!