We've been reading to Little Planet and incorporating stories into her bedtime routine ever since she was a newborn. In the past, we simply read her the stories we liked ourselves. But as she got older she began to express her own distinct preferences.
Today, she is a 21 month old toddler who actually demands that we read to her certain books before she goes to bed. In fact, now that her vocabulary has exploded and she is talking in sentences, she often tries to "read" the stories herself, drowning us out as she describes all the images she sees on each page. "Oh, mummy bird eating the worm, yuck!" or "Mouse in the clock... hickory dickory dock, mouse ran up the clock" or "Tiger! Ding dong! Oh come in, come in!" Needless to say, storytime is loads of fun now she can talk about the things she sees.
Here are her favourite books:
The Tiger Who Came To Tea by Judith Kerr
A little girl named Sophie is having tea with her mother in their kitchen when suddenly the doorbell rings. Who can it be? It's a big, stripy tiger who joins them in the kitchen for tea and eats and drinks them out of house and home - even draining the water from the taps so that Sophie cannot have her bath.
Elephant Dance - A Journey to India by Theresa Heine and Sheila Moxley
Ravi's Grandfather visits him from India and soon Ravi is captivated by Grandfather's stories about India, where the sun is like a ferocious tiger, the wind is like a wild horse and monsoon rains cascade like waterfalls. Ravi is so entranced by the stories he is told that at night he dreams of an elephant dancing to a tune he has composed himself on a flute.
Goldilocks by Stephen Tucker and Nick Sharratt
This classic fairytale is written in a witty contemporary verse and with bold, colourful illustrations. It was the first story we ever bought for and read to Little Planet when she literally was a newborn and she still loves it today.
Moon Rabbit by Natalie Russell
White Rabbit loves living in the city because there are so many things to see and do. But alone after dark, she looks up at the moon and begins to wonder whether there is another little rabbit out there, just like her. Then one night White Rabbit meets Brown Rabbit in the park. They become great friends for the night in the park, but after a while White Rabbit wishes she could return to the bright lights of the city.
Full, Full, Full of Love by Trish Cooke and Paul Howard
Every Sunday, Jay Jay and his mummy and daddy, uncles and aunties, cousins and friends all come for Sunday dinner at Grannie's. Not only do they eat delicious food but Jay Jay gets lots of hugs and kisses and snuggles and cuddles and love from Grannie! Little Planet loves saying the words for all the different foods they eat, but mostly she loves saying "snuggles", "cuddles" and "kisses" - just before her own bedtime...