Another year has passed and our boy has another year’s worth of knowledge packed into his little brain. He’s a sponge when it comes to facts, and despite spending 99% of his life in our home town, his knowledge of geography has now officially bypassed mine. He reads widely and quickly (and makes his parents very proud in the process).
Here are his Top 10 favourite books for when he was 7.
1. Thing Explainer by Randall Munroe
Now this is a great book for an inquisitive 7-year-old that loves learning about how things work! It goes into intricate detail of machines, animals, processes… but using only 1,000 of the most commonly used words in the English language. My 7-year-old had learned so much about the world from this book, and I’ve had fun trying to work out what exactly is being described (the “strange animal” entry on the Tree of Life page had us stumped for a while).
The diagrams are beautiful – easy to read and extremely detailed. It’s a great book for children and adults alike.
Her love of books continues! We’ve had another wonderful year of reading, writing and sharing books together. Trips to the local library are still a weekly activity and every day must end with a book. It’s been fun exploring fiction and fantasy stories – her older brother was all about facts and the real world – so this is a welcome change.
In the last year she’s become quite the creative storyteller. She loves drawing pictures and writing words, then turning them into elaborate stories. Each night she relays her stories to her stuffed toys in bed, before finally drifting to sleep.
1. Olivia’s Secret Scribbles: Unicorn Parade by Meredith Costain
Now these books are delightful! They’re about a 7 year old girl called Olivia who loves inventing, exploring and hanging with her friends. They’re so Australian and so current that you could use these stories to explain my kids’ lives right now. They have easy-to-understand language, and are visually beautiful – with a bright accent colour for the illustrations and the stand out words.
In these stories the children are kind to each other, the teachers love teaching, and the parents share the parenting equally. It’s full of role models for us all!
Our little 3-year-old has grown so much in the year since I posted Top 10 books loved by my (other) 2 year old. She’s understanding much more complicated storylines, and has an amazing attention span when she’s curled up listening to her favourites books.
She’s started recognising words and sounding out letters (watching her older brother go through kindergarten last year has definitely helped her with that!) and I’m pretty sure she’ll be reading by herself before my next post next year. Her favourite books were hard to pick – there’s been so many in the last 12 months – but the below selection have really stood out.
1. Harry in a Hurry by Timothy Knapman
The 3-year-old still loves rabbits as much as she did when she was two, and I bought this book for her when I was away travelling with work. Harry the hare races around on his scooter so fast that he misses the destruction he’s leaving behind… until he crashes into a pond and is rescued by the super. slow. tortoise. Tom (who takes all afternoon just to blow his nose).
Just when I thought reading with my son snuggled in bed was never going to happen again, it returns! The world’s recent events have meant slower mornings for us. After a quick trip downstairs to put on Bluey for the 3-year-old, I slip back in bed to read. And lately, the 6-year-old – and his favourite chapter book – have been joining me.
And that’s because he can now read! Just over a year of school and he can read entire books by himself. Last year, I was reading the chapter books, and this year it’s all him.
1. The 117-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton
This time last year we were only just introduced to these books. A year on and we’ve read every one of the series twice – the first time with me reading a chapter aloud every night, the second time my 6-year-old reading them to himself before bed (and sometimes staying up way too late to get to The Last Chapter).
What difference a year makes! Last year the list was full of picture books and junior non-fiction. This year we’ve made a sudden change to a) chapter books that we read before bed over a number of weeks, sometimes months, or b) books my son reads himself. And it’s a whole new and exciting world!
It’s amazing what 6 months of school can do. Our boy who wasn’t interested in reading anything other than his own name is now reads absolutely everything. And I mean everything. From sign-posts and cereal boxes to TV captions and toothpaste tubes… if it has a word on it, my 5 year old will be right there sounding out each of the l-l-l-e-e-t-t-t-er-er-er-s… letters!
1. The 26-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton
Our little girl is two! It feels like it should be a lot older than that because 1) she certainly makes her presence known, and 2) we can’t imagine a life without her.
A year ago I listed her top ten books and I’m thrilled that her obsession with books has continued. She’s an active little thing, and reading seems to be the only way we can keep her still. When I sit on the lounge she snuggles in so closely, and hangs off every word.
1. Peppa Goes Ice Skating by Ladybird
Ahhhh, Peppa Pig. Where do I start?
Don’t get me wrong, it’s no wonder it’s a popular TV show. Easy storylines. Short, 5-minute episodes. But since the introduction of brilliant, modern shows like Bluey, I’m starting to get sick of the whole ‘Daddy Pig is hopeless’ and ‘girls-do-this-and-boys-do-that’ attitudes that seem to plague every Pig episode.
My daughter, of course, thinks Peppa is amazing. And you don’t argue with a 2-year old.
Peppa Goes Ice Skating is one of her favourite books and it’s actually quite enjoyable to read. My daughter likes to check that Miss Rabbit is handing out the right skates for Daddy, Mummy, Peppa and George, and enjoys running her fingers over the loopy trail Peppa has left in the in the ice.
Another year of reading has passed and my little baby is now a tall and confident boy ready to start school next year. The biggest shift in the last twelve months has been in how my son likes to read: we used to repeat his favourites a hundred times until he knew the words by heart, but this year it’s been more about learning. He’ll read a book to get the facts, then want to move onto something else.
But of course, there’ll always be his favourites. And I’ve listed our top-ten from the last year below. For previous years lists, click here.
1. Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can you? by Dr. Seuss
When my 4-year-old was a baby, a local newspaper ran a promotion where you could get a Dr. Seuss book each week and collect them all in a box set. My uncle, who has always showered my children with gifts, collected the whole set and gave them to my son. We’ve read every book numerous times, and I’ve loved the tongue-twisting stories just as much as my son has loved listening to them.
I now have a second little one year old, and thankfully she’s mad about books too (read my previous ‘top ten’ posts here). She absolutely adores storytime, especially first thing in the morning in bed with me, or in the evening before dinner curled up on the lounge under a blanket.
This girl knows what she wants, and as I run through the list of book options she’ll shout, ‘No!’, ‘No!’, ‘No!’ until I get to the right one. Then with a smile and a ‘Yep!’ she’ll snuggle in close to me and hang off my every word.
1. Baby Touch Playbook by Ladybird
This book has everything to catch and keep a baby’s attention: Bright colours, different textures, holes, lift-the-flaps, and mirrors.
My 1-year-old chats away to the animals and laughs at the rabbit hiding behind the bush. She peers into the mirror and names all the people she can see – Mummy and ‘Bubby’ and if we’re lucky, ‘Brother’ is in there too.
Last year I posted the top ten books loved by my 2 year old, and the year before that the top ten books loved by my 1 year old. To keep up with the tradition, here are the books that are making the ‘read night after night’ list for my now 3 year old not-so-little boy.
1. Mega Rescuers by Christiane Gunzi
Every morning, before anyone else is out of bed, I’ll hear crashing and banging coming from our son’s room. He appears in the hall carrying a pile of six or more Mega books, all published in the 1990s and given to us by a friend whose boys were no longer interested in them. He drops one or two with an almighty bang on the wooden floors. Then once he’s got them all back in his arms again he’ll clamber up onto the bed, point to Mega Rescuers and say ‘I want you to read that one.’
A year ago today I posted this blog post about the books my one-year-old loved. I thought it’s good timing to take you through the books he now loves today.
1. Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site by Sherri Duskey and Tom Lichtenheld
This is by far the favourite. The construction site machinery have done their work for the day and all go to bed one by one. They all have different bedtime routines (the cement mixer ‘takes a bath, gets shiny bright’, the bulldozer ‘curls into his soft dirt bed, and dreams of busy days ahead’). For the child who can’t get enough of diggers and dump trucks, this is the book for them.