Bam! Just like that, the summer holidays are upon us. Six loooong weeks of paddling pools or rainy days on rotation. Story time crops up more often in the summer nine-to-five, so which picture books are at the top of your list?
Dear Audio Book (as your kids see you),
Yours is a common ailment. Luckily, We All Need Words are obsessed with kids’ books and they’ve rustled up this picture-book prescription just for you. The dosage? Again. And again.
TO ANSWER LITTLE ONES' BIG QUESTIONS:
The Lost Thing
The Lost Thing“So you want to hear a story?” It’s just an ordinary day in suburbia when the little boy finds the lost thing. Where did it come from? Where will it go? What does it mean to belong? What’s happiness, anyway? This story mixes the surreal and the everyday to ask - not answer - some of life’s big questions. The answers are up to you… by Shaun Tan
The Iron Giant by Ted Hughes, illustrated by Laura Carlin
“Where did he come from? Nobody knows.” This is a new version of Ted Hughes’ classic with brilliant illustrations. It tackles belonging (again), fear, war and, eventually, peace. Good to give Dr Who fans their first taste of science fiction.
TO REMEMDY FEARS:
Little Mouse’s Big Book of Fears by Emily Gravett
Whatever your children are afraid of, Little Mouse can top it. Sciaphobia (fear of shadows), ablutophobia (fear of bathing) and even panophobia (fear of everything), he’s one fretful, scaredy-mouse. Part story, part therapy (“everyone is scared of something”) and part diary for kids to write, doodle and record the things that scare them.
The Owl Who Was Afraid Of The Dark by Jill Tomlinson
“I don’t want to be a night bird…I want to be a day bird.” Plop is a little owl who hates the dark. Over seven chapters he learns that the dark is exciting, (you can’t have fireworks without it), wonderful, beautiful and kind. An oldie (it was first published in 1968), but a goodie. Especially for kids who insist you leave the light on.
TO BREAK THE HABITS OF A LITTLE LIFETIME:
The Boy Who Hated Toothbrushes by Zehra Hicks
First off, we should point out that we know this author and we wrote the biog on her website… Billy will do anything to get out of cleaning his teeth. Until the horrified tooth fairy sends him a toothsparkler and things get interesting (and his teeth get cleaner). Good for adding a bit of magic to the daily toothbrush tussle.
The World Champion of Staying Awake by Sean Taylor, illustrated by Jimmy Liao
Stella’s toys are wiiiiiide awake. So she invents adventures to cure their insomnia (and fingers crossed, insomnia everywhere). A story where kids step into their parents’ shoes – you never know, it might prompt some empathy.
TO BRING BRECHT TO BABIES:
Brecht demolished that fourth wall, and these books have a go too. Ok, we exaggerate. But these stories play with the idea of what a book is.
Limelight Larry by Leigh Hodgkinson
Meet Larry, a peacock with more attitude than most. He wants to be the star of these empty pages, but other animals keep appearing to spoil his fun. A cautionary tale for any prima donnas in the making…
There Are No Cats In This Book by Viviane Schwarz
Tiny, Moonpie and André are three cats who are desperate to get out of this book to see the world. They push, they jump and they ask for your help. Perfect with its sister book, There Are Cats in This Book (they’re very friendly and they want to play).
TO GET UP TO SPEED WITH WHERE BOOKS ARE GOING NEXT:
If your kids are kissing goodbye to a good old-fashioned book in favour of the computer, fear not. Here’s a book that’s an app, and one that most definitely isn’t.
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore by Moonbot Studios
An app that lets you play the piano, flick pages, change the colour of the sky, read books-within-books and screams: PLEASE TOUCH to small hands… Created by a designer who used to work at Pixar, this ‘book’ will get kids used to the idea of interactive tales in a jiffy.
It’s A Book! by Lane Smith
It doesn’t scroll. It doesn’t have a plug. It doesn’t need a password. IT’S A BOOK, silly. A media-savvy donkey questions an old-school monkey about the relic that is the book. (We have a sneaky feeling that this book is actually best for parents who are surgically attached to their Blackberry.)
We All Need Words run the Words For Life weekend workshop at The School of Life and children’s books crop up in one of their lessons. Join them next term, in October or December. Click here for further details.