In honour of World Book Day I thought I'd do a special post. I've just chosen a few of my favourite picture books for the under fives. There are so many brilliant ones and I'm hard-pressed to choose just five but I thought I ought to put a limit. Otherwise I'll be writing this all day!
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
I know this is everywhere and it's hard to escape it but there is a reason for that. The artwork is incredible and the book is brilliant. The life cycle of a caterpillar turning into a butterfly has to be one of the most incredible nature stories to share with children. This book manages to pack in counting and days of the week, not to mention food, as well. The little die-cut holes are perfect for small fingers wanting to explore. At the moment when we read this we tend to stop at the page with all the food and decide who out of everyone we know would like a pickle or an ice cream or a slice of cheese. It can take a while! I keep meaning to do some butterfly painting with Rosie to compliment this book. Painting half a butterfly and then folding the paper to reveal the other half is something I know she'll love!
We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury
Is there anything better than hearing a classroom of children chant this story? It seems to ingrain itself into everyone's consciousness by the age of five! I've got great plans for a reenactment of the story when we're next in Norfolk although Rosie might still be a little young. I just need to find some long grass, a muddy place, a shallow river, a snow storm, a wood and a bear!
Each Peach Pear Plum by Janet and Allan Ahlberg
This is such a lovely round up of classic fairy tales and nursery rhymes in one lovely rhyming story with gorgeous pictures. It's been read so much that we can now all chant it off by heart. And if you're feeling a bit gloomy and wintry is there anything better than looking at the lovely plum pie in the sun. Visions of English orchards and bygone days!
The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr
Who doesn't want to go to a cafe in their nightie and eat sausages and chips for tea? An exciting yet gently reassuring story that we read over and over. Part of it's charm is it's domesticity, I like seeing into other people's store cupboards! I would have put Mog the Forgetful Cat in here as well but I think Tiger wins.
Dogger by Shirley Hughes
The story of poor lost toy Dogger and his very worried owner Dave is one that every child can relate to. Although the text is quite long we always seem to get through it easily. It's a classic!
So there you have it. Probably a little bit too traditional and safe for some. What would you have chosen?