Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Our favourite books for 2013

Although my posting has fallen by the wayside lately, our reading certainly hasn't and so I thought it was timely to write a quick top books list for 2013.

These are the books that Maximilian has adored and asked for, over and over and over, often by name; the books that he can "read" now because we have read them so many times; the books that look the most dog eared in our collections and, in some cases, even need replacing due to the tough love they've received this year!!

In no particular order:

A bit lost by Chris Haughton

I was very surprised that I haven't reviewed this book in detail yet, because it has been a favourite for almost this whole year. We bought it as a gift for Maximilian when he was born because we fell in love with the quirky illustrations on first sight. It is the story of a little owl who falls out of his nest, and his search for his mother, with the help of a strange and slightly manic squirrel. "A bit lost" taught Maximilan one of his very first words - uh oh - and by 15 months of age, he could recite parts of the story. Still a firm favourite (in fact we read this just tonight!), I can't recommend it highly enough (and will write a proper review asap)

Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker and Tom Lichtenheld

I have already reviewed this wonderful book, so let me just say again how much we love it and how gorgeous the artwork is. It is a long story, so it took quite a while to take off as a favourite, but we now pretty much know it off by heart and Maximilian knows all the names of various construction machinery thanks to this book. It also inspired his bulldozer birthday cake and he often requests this book by name. I also still credit this book as the book that taught Maximilian how to go to bed - and for that it will forever be a favourite of mine :-)

Green Eggs and Ham by Dr Seuss

The story of Sam-I-am is a much loved classic here in our house. For months, when asked "what book would you like tonight", Maximilian would reply "Sam, Sam, Sam". When we went to Sydney, packing light I only took three books and this was one of them. After staying an extra week, and reading this book every night and day for fourteen days, he still loves it enough to request it regularly. A true hit!

Teeth are not for biting by Elizabeth Verdick

Like most (all?) toddlers, Maximilian went through a biting stage (and received quite a nasty bite on his face from a daycare child earlier this year). Fortunately, his phase only lasted a couple of weeks, but it was long enough - and painful enough - that I bought this great little book as a way to talk to him about not biting. It is really simple, repetitive (teeth are not for biting; ouch! biting hurts), bright, colourful and has a great tips for parents section at the back which is very reassuring when your lovely toddler turns into an evil biting machine. Strangely, Maximilian took to this book really well, and it has become a favourite bedtime story in our house!

101 First Words: things that go

This little board book is another very strange favourite because it is really just a collection of 101 photographs of things that go accompanied by the word that describes them. It is really quite difficult to read this book as a bedtime story but, when your little dictator demands it's the only book for them, you find a way, believe me!! I actually hid this one once or twice when I was so thoroughly sick of trying to read it to Maximilian, but he was so downcast that I felt bad and got it out again!!!

Time to say bye-bye by Maryann Cocca-Leffler

By far the most popular library book we've borrowed this year (and reborrowed four times!!), this is a fabulous little story that Maximilian just loves. It follows a young toddler through her day, at the park, visiting Grandma, playing with toys, having dinner, bath and bedtime. At the end of each activity, it is acknowledged that the toddler doesn't want the activity to end and encourages her to "say bye-bye" before moving on to the next activity. Sounds simple, but anyone who has ever had anything to do with toddlers will be familiar with the tantrums that occur when it is time to stop doing something they are enjoying. This book has been loved by both Maximilian and me - he loves the story, especially following along with the character and saying the words, I love being able to use this technique to help avoid tantrums - win win, I say!

At 9 months of age now, Walther is still a little young to have grown attached to any particular books,  although he does enjoy chewing on "Green Eggs and Ham":

So this year, this list is really Maximilan's favourite books for 2013. I can't wait until 31/12/2014 where the list will include favourite books from both my boys ;-)

Until then, happy new year and happy reading everyone!

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