Mother (Almost Never) Knows Best: Terrific Toddler Books

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Terrific Toddler Books

I used to be a reader. I would even go as far as to say that I was a voracious reader. I would devour novel after novel, never limiting myself to a single genre. I would delight in the historical courting dilemmas of Austen and the Brontë sisters, immerse myself in the dark, crime-filled streets of Rankin's Edinburgh and delve into the sobering real life accounts of Oliver Sacks.

Then I had children.

Having spent the first two weeks of maternity leave, unencumbered by the usual desire of pregnant ladies to nest, I consumed tome after tome. Upon the arrival of my newborn, the books were cast aside. In the fug of sleep deprivation, I lacked the focus and energy, turning, instead to vacuous television programs readily available. The books were left to collect dust and act as coasters for empty glasses, guzzled down in the peak of overnight feeds.

Whilst the absence of novels went on for some time I started to revel in the writing and morals in some of the children's books that I was now narrating to my daughter: a lover of a story.

These are my current top 3:

1. The Worst Princess by Anna Kemp
Despite the fact that my daughter is a self taught devotee of all things pink, girly, glittery and Disney, the tale of The Worst Princess turns the usual princess-waiting-to-be-rescued tale on its head. It's a feminist's dream, beautifully illustrated and hilarious to boot! (I find reading the heroine with a strong Scottish accent adds a little something extra -my husband wholeheartedly disagrees!)


The Worst Princess - by Anna Kemp & Sara Ogilvie

2. The Odd Dog Out by Rob Biddulph
This is a classic tale of being your own person, beautifully summarised by the final line of "Blaze a trail, be who you are"... Need I say more? I love Rob Biddulph and his "Grrrr" story about how winning isn't everything very nearly made my top 3. Fred and Boris the bears are frequently referenced in our house when the inevitable toddler meltdown ensues following any form of activity which could loosely be interpreted as competitive.
Odd Dog Out by Rob Biddulph

3. The Shrew That Flew by Julia Copus
This tale is one of three stories featuring Harry the Hog and his best friend Candy Striped Lil 
and whilst my 3 year old daughter would definitely favour "The Hog, the Shrew and the Hullabaloo" where Harry fears a noise in the dark only to discover that it is his nocturnal friends going about their day, I love the Shrew That Flew. It is all about trying, failing, picking yourself up and trying again. The repetitive uttering of "Never say never!" serves as a mantra for all!
The Shrew that Flew by Julia Copus and Eunyoung Seo


If you are looking for books for your toddlers this Christmas look no further! Husband, if you read this I think we have learned that I need an adult book....


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