Thursday, 13 October 2011

Favourite picture books

Both our boys love books and, as with all children, there are a few that become big hits, to be read and re-read, sometimes three or four times in a row. Here are a few of our current favourites:

Two books that wonderfully demonstrate the effectiveness of simple vocabulary combined with expressive illustrations are Banana by Ed Vere and Jez Alborough’s Hug. Who’d have thought that just one or two words could be so much fun?

Banana officially belongs to fils cadet (age 2), but it has them both in fits of laughter, and hopefully sneaks in a lesson about asking nicely and sharing, too…

Hug is the story of Bobo, the little chimpanzee looking for his mum. It gets a less uproarious response, but fils cadet has always loved joining in with “Mummy!” when Bobo finally finds her again.

Also encouraging sharing is Pip and Posy and the Super Scooter by Axel Scheffler of Gruffalo fame. Although it was originally fils aîné (age 4) who borrowed it from the library, this sweet story has been firmly adopted by his little brother. As usual from Scheffler, there’s a wealth of detail in the illustrations and the story seems to be pitched perfectly for the age group.

Two cat-related stories that are going down a storm with fils aîné are There Are Cats in This Book by Viviane Schwarz and Colin and the Snoozebox by Leigh Hodgkinson. Admittedly, he is particularly fond of cats, but I don’t think you’d need to be to enjoy either of these. There Are Cats… is superbly interactive and fils aîné loves to turn the pages, lift the flaps, blow on the page, talk to the cats… Colin, meanwhile is a homeless Siamese (implausible, maybe?) on the search for a nice quiet place in which to have a snooze. Unfortunately, the box he picks is rather less dull than he expected and it takes him all over the place. Again, it is inventively told and illustrated, and is as popular with us parents as with the boys.


  1. Welcome to the blogosphere, Rachel.

    Translating children's books must be both challenging and lots of fun...

  2. Thanks Alejandro. Yes, to both!