I am not a fan of bedtime. The child going to bed, yes, perfectly happy with that (what parent isn’t?) but it’s an ordeal at the moment. No matter what kind of routine we try to put in place, it’s a bit of a non-runner. Basically my two year old has skipped childhood and gone straight to the teenage years. Refuses to sleep until late at night, is a GRUMP in the mornings and doesn’t want to listen to a word I say. I’ve not yet gone seeking a refund from the midwives in CUMH just yet but I’ve been close. However, the one bit I do like of the whole farcical routine is curling up with bedtime stories and reading together. It’s a nice time for the two of us and once I’ve got the books that I can’t stand out of the way (I’m talking to you Stickman!), it can be nice and relaxing. So, what have we been reading lately? A mesh of old and new books on the shelves, some I’ve spoken about before, but this is what the two and a half year old is loving right now (and I’m not tearing my hair out reading).
This book was my introduction to the works of Chris Houghton, a very talented illustrator who writes such lovely stories. Though it shares the plot of Julia Donaldson’s Monkey Puzzle, to me it seemed much more appealing – and the little man seems to agree, since he rejected that one and keeps re-reading this one over and over and over. Baby Owl falls out of tree. Goes on quest to find his Mammy, with a squirrel who it’s safe to say hasn’t a clue what he’s looking for. Definitely one of my favourite bedtime stories for him to pick! This book also contains a quote to live by (well, one I seem to be living by at the moment).
Michael Rosen – We’re Going On A Bear Hunt.
This one is a classic – originally published in 1993 and a part of millions of childhoods since. A family trip to go hunt for a bear, through lots of different environments all with fun sounds – and a bit of a surprise when they find what they’re looking for. A great one for getting into, though it can make E a bit more excitable than I’d like for bedtime!
Chris Houghton – Shh, We Have A Plan.
Another Chris Houghton one joining our bedtime stories shelf, recommended to me by Suzy – four friends following a gorgeous bird and trying to capture him but not having much luck – the toddler gets very into the chase! Again, fab illustrations and a lovely quote in the back!
Eric Carle – The Very Hungry Caterpillar
I’ve written about this one before – it’s a big deal in our house. The book I refer to as “The Caterpillar who is clearly doing the 5:2 diet” is very popular here. He now knows all the different foods, and cheers at the end when the caterpillar (spoiler alert) becomes a butterfly. Big hit here, and despite it being a constant bedtime favourite, it’s not getting on our nerves just yet. Score!
E is animal mad. MAD. Madagascar is up there on his favourite films list, and he loves nothing more than flicking through this book and pointing out all of the animals, making the noises and deciding whether or not it’s a suitable pet. Personally I feel some more probing questions from the Zoo would definitely have helped matters. Also, cut down on some serious postage costs. But the toddler disagrees and loves the whole ordeal, so we’ll assume that An Post made a pretty penny on the Zoo’s behalf to entertain two year olds. Great short book (we have the board book lift-the-flap version).
Sam McBratney – Guess How Much I Love You.
I loved this story even before I ever was pregnant or had a baby. Big Nutbrown Hare and Little Nutbrown Hare, in competition for who loves who the most. It’s sweet, it’s sleep inducing, and it leaves you on the note which has been quoted for years by many parents “I Love You Right Up To The Moon And Back”. Can’t ask for much lovelier a way of getting your little one to sleep.
Julia Donaldson – The Gruffalo.
“A mouse took a stroll through the deep dark wood. A fox saw the mouse and the mouse looked good…” I can say it verbatim at this stage, but it’s definitely my favourite out of Julia Donaldson’s books. We got it in a set last Christmas from Santa and it’s a regular guest on the bedtime book list. It’s a classic for a reason – the colours, the repetition, the underdog winning out – it’s got it all. A wise investment on Santa’s part.
Chris Houghton – Oh No George!
George is a very naughty dog – or rather, he gets into an awful lot of scrapes. He seems to have a lot in common with my little man in that regard. He tries SO hard to be good though – it just doesn’t go very well. A great colourful read for toddlers with lots to point out in the pictures and a feel-good factor again from the pen of Chris Houghton.
So, those are the front-runners on our bedtime stories shelf at the moment – we’re always looking for new additions so please do leave any suggestions below in the comments! What are your favourite kids books (and which ones do you try to hide at the back of the bookshelf for fear of ANOTHER reading?). I want to hear from you!
(I was not sent any of these books for review purposes, however as a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk, I may get a few pingins if you decide to purchase any of these after my glowing reviews by clicking on the links in the name. No pressure, promise.)
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