Little Bookclub: Love and friendshipPosted: 12/02/2014
You may not realise but it’s Valentine’s Day this week. Oh, what – you knew that already?!
OK, you’d probably have to be living under a rock to escape this particular date in the calendar. While I’m not really into the idea of doing lots of Valentine’s themed activities with ToddlerGirl – and at the risk of jumping on the bandwagon – I thought it would make a good theme for this month’s Little Bookclub. The titles we’ve been reading explore different aspects of love and friendship for toddlers.
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Pip and Posy: The Super Scooter
Part of the Pip and Posy series by Gruffalo illustrator Scheffler, this has been a firm favourite in our house for a long time now. Pip turns up at the park with a shiny new scooter. His friend, Posy, decides that she really likes the scooter and snatches it away from him to have a go herself. She falls off and hurts her knee, at which point Pip comes and takes care of her. This is a sweet story with a good message about respecting others’ property and the kindness of true friendship. ToddlerGirl returns to it time and again and, now she is a little bit older, it gives us some useful talking points.
This is a really lovely book about the love a parent has for their child. The text is simple and rhyming, talking about all the ways in which the parent polar bear will look after, support, guide and cherish the baby polar bear. The images are bold and beautiful, focusing on the polar bears and their snowy environment. In our edition, the pages are also embellished with silver foil, which adds a gorgeous sensory touch. Emma Dodd has written a few other titles in a similar vein; we have enjoyed the ones we’ve read, particularly ‘You’ featuring a cheeky little monkey. I think Forever may be my personal favourite, though. In my hormonal state, I tear up every time we read it together! ToddlerGirl obviously enjoys it too as we had to read it five times in a row the other day.
Sharing a Shell
Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks
So, we love love love Julia Donaldson books in this house and this one is no exception. A little crab is finds a shell to make his home in a rock pool. He is soon joined by two new friends, Brush and Blob – he provides them with a home and they help him defend it and keep it clean! An argument between the crab and Blob disrupts the domestic harmony until Brush brings them all back together again and they realise that, whatever niggles they may have with each other, life is so much fun ‘rollicking around the rockpool as three’. The story is entertaining and energetic and ToddlerGirl loves the rhyming text and colourful illustrations – with added sparkle on each page! Definitely another Donaldson hit.
Ah, the tricky concept of sharing! Anyone with a toddler will understand what a hard lesson this is to teach. This brilliant book is a good tool to help underline the message that sometimes we have to share our things with friends or siblings, as twins Frankie and Fifi find out when their beloved Funny Bunny becomes a casualty of their fighting. The humour in the story shines through the text and the images, which are bold and colourful, and stops it from being ‘preachy’. We have had this on loan from the library repeatedly over the last year and I really think it’s time I purchased our own copy as it never fails to grab ToddlerGirl’s attention.
I Love You
Giles Andrae and Emma Dodd
This is a really lovely book that takes us through all the things in a child’s daily life that bring happiness and love: parents, grandparents, friends, special toys, the natural world. The simple, rhyming text is paired with bold, bright images making it a very easy and engaging read. We have also read the I Love Daddy book in this series, which went down very well with ToddlerGirl, but I personally prefer this one for its uplifting message that we are surrounded by love and wonderful things. It makes a great wind down read.
A little bear wakes up after his hibernation in need of a hug. He sets off to find the perfect one, cuddling all sorts of unsuitable objects including rocks, trees, rabbits and sheep before he realises that the hug he was after was from his mum. This is such a sweet story, told with a good deal of humour in both the text and the illustrations. There is a bonus spread at the end picturing the sheep demonstrating all sorts of different hugs, which ToddlerGirl finds hilarious. We first tried this book when she was about eighteen months old and she didn’t really take to it then. She really enjoys it now, so it may be that it’s best suited to slightly older toddlers.
What books would you recommend on the theme of love and friendship for toddlers?
See the Little Bookclub page for more book selections and activities.