I love going to the library. In fact I love getting out of the house with J, once in a while, to get some fresh air, to feel human once again. He is exceptionally well behaved whenever we are out, so I totally wouldn’t mind bringing him out more. I enjoy visiting our public libraries because it is free for Singaporeans (more about membership here), there’s aircon and educational! I had one afternoon to myself, brought J to the library along with me, here are 7 beautiful picture books that I borrowed:
1. Everything by Emma Dodd
If I had came across Emma Dodd’s books earlier, they would definitely make it to my list of 10 Recommended First Books. I chanced upon them while looking for another title and I picked the cover with one of C’s favourite animal: the Koala. We read this book on the night of C’s birthday, which was a very apt title to read. The illustrations are so adorable and the message is lovely: we love everything about our children. C began describing what was going on in the pictures which came as a pleasant surprise. She actually knows what’s going on! I will definitely be check out other titles in the same series the next time we visit the library! Chinese versions are available too.
2. A B See by Elizabeth Doyle
An atypical alphabet book that presents items starting with a particular alphabet in the shape of the alphabet. For little humans who are beginning to recognize and identity items, it’s quite fun to play “Where’s (insert item name)”. The illustrations are realistic, and a little embossed texture which C enjoyed touching and tracing along. Each alphabet is also introduced by a simple one-line text. There is also an index of all the items featured at the back of the book. It’s also suitable for slightly older children to build up on their vocabulary. What I like about this book is the convenient list of items that start with each alphabet for our learning through play activities. Good reference!
3. Little People, Big Dreams: Coco Chanel by Isabel Sanchez Vegara
Little People, Big Dreams is a series of books that features famous females from various fields who dare to dream and made it big. Among those featured are Coco Chanel, Frida Kahlo, Amelia Earheart, Maya Angelou, Agatha Christie, Marie Curie and Audrey Hepburn. I picked Chanel because we were doing Letter C. C for Coco, C for Chanel. The biographies are presented in a simple manner for little children. And more importantly, I love the beautiful message behind each of these biographies: dare to dream and it’s okay to be a little different.This is definitely a keeper!
4. Countablock by Christopher Franceschelli
We love Alphablock and wanted to check out the number version Countablock. This book is about numbers and transformation. 1 acorn to 1 oak tree, 50 popsicles to 50 popsicle sticks, all the way to 100! Each page shows a die cut number, which reveals what could possibly be on the next page. As fun and beautiful as Alphablock!
5. This Moose Belongs to Me by Oliver Jeffers
I wanted to browse through another tittle by Oliver Jeffers but it was out on loan so I borrowed this instead. It makes a beautiful conclusion to our Letter M as we spot the mosse on every page. The story brings out the differences between pets and wildlife in a witty manner with its hiliarous pets rules. We talked a little about our pet rabbit and the environment on each page. For older kids, there are some teaching ideas that can be used together with this book. We will definitely be revisiting book when the little humans are a little older.
6. Gaston by Kelly DiPucchio
I have a soft spot for all things France/Paris, and especially French children’s literature because they make one of the most beautiful children’s books. I came to know about Gaston and Paris-chien from Hudson and Seine’s Top 10 Books full of French Charm, and was elated to be able to check them out/see how C takes to them before I decide to purchase them or not. The story is about a bulldog (Gaston) who is mixed up with a poodle family and vice versa (Antoinette). I love Gaston and his never-say-die spirit. Gaston and Antoinette always had to try a little harder than the rest. This is a beautiful book with yet another beautiful message: embracing differences and to love being yourself. For parents and teachers who might like to explore the topic of adoption with little hunans, this book might be a good start with begin with. It also talks about how someone might be different from the members in the family but still part of the family nonetheless.
7. Paris-Chien: Adventures of an Ex-pat Dog by Jackie Clark Mancuso
Paris-chien talks about adapting to a new environment from the point of view of a Norwich Terrier called Hudson. He brings you about Paris and eventually picks up French because he has such a strong desire to make friends with other french dogs. The french words that appears in the book are all summarised and translated on the last page. It makes a good book as an introduction to French or for little humans who are settling in a new environment like school or new country.