My son, J, is three and we do lots of learning activities at home. Some people would say that home education begins at 4 or 5 but we have been home educating since J was little and reading was the first thing that we started when J was only a few weeks old. J goes through phases of loving to read and being less interested in it, but a visit to the library or a new book is always a great way to reignite his love of books. Having recently had Christmas and a visit to a new library we have lots of new books in the house which J is loving. I thought I’d take this opportunity to share his current favourite preschool books with you.
The Jolly Postman
The Jolly Postman is a true classic by Janet and Allan Ahlberg. If you aren’t familiar with this book, the story follows a postman as he delivers letters to well known fairy tale characters. The letters are all included in the book for your child to get out and read. My son was given this as a Christmas gift. I asked for it for him as I remember reading it and loving it as a child. J loves reading it; mostly because he loves to pull out the letters, unfold them and pop them back in the envelope (without actually reading them). He does like the story though and he is beginning to be familiar with some of the fairy tale characters. He knows bits from the stories of the Three Little Pigs, Goldilocks and Little Red Riding Hood. He is also fascinated with the illustrations and loves to asks questions about what he can see on the page. I love this book because it has longevity. He will be reading this one for years to come yet.
Billy’s Bucket by Kes Gray and Garry Parsons has became a firm favourite in our house in the last month. The main character, Billy, chooses to have a bucket as a present for his birthday.His parents think this is rather dull and try to encourage him to choose something else. Billy is determined and is very specific about which bucket he wants. When he gets his bucket home he tells his parents that there are marine animals living in his bucket. His parents are not very kind as they ask if they can borrow Billy’s bucket to do household tasks. Billy warns them not to, however, they do not listen! Technically, we aren’t actually reading this one. Instead we are watching it over and over on CBeebies Bedtime Stories. We both love this story though and after my mum watched it with us the other night she has decided that she will buy it for J because it is such a great story.
This Julia Donaldson book is bound to be a favourite story in many homes. Poor little monkey has lost his mummy. A friendly butterfly tries to help him find her but she is not very good at it and instead we meet lots of other animals along the way. My son knows this book off by heart and he reads it along with me. I think this is a great story for helping children to learn the features of different animals and J loves animals so it really appeals to him. The language in the story rhymes which helps children to learn sentence structure and patterns too so this is an added bonus.
J loves to visit the library and this is where we found this new found favourite, A Sleepy Cheetah by Mwenye Hadithi and Adrienne Kennaway. It has been read at least once a day since we borrowed it. Sleepy Cheetah is similar to a Just So story in that it tells you how the cheetah got her spots and why she runs so fast. It is one of a series so I am looking forward to finding some more when we eventually return it to the library. Again, I think that the animal theme really attracts J to this book. The illustrations are really lovely too.
Cub’s First Winter
Cub’s First Winter by Rebecca Elliott is one of J’s all time favourite bedtime stories. It is about a little fox cub who isn’t quite ready to go to sleep so his mummy takes him on a walk. It is a very calming and relaxing pre-bedtime read and at the end the fox cub snuggles up and goes to sleep, so if your child is prone to being sleep resistant it is a great book to make them sleepy. I love the language and the way that mummy fox explains the world. My son’s favourite word is ‘Why?” at the moment and I love to try to answer all of his questions and this book inspires me to think of creative responses to his pondering. This book not only has animals but also a steam train, so for J it has almost everything!
How Big is a Million?
We saw this at an Usborne book sale and had to buy it for J. He is loving numbers and counting at the moment so it is a perfect story for him. In How Big is a Million by Anna Milbourne and Serena Riglietti a little penguin goes on a hunt to find out what a million looks like. He finds 1, ten, a hundred and a thousand but he returns home to his mummy sad because he hasn’t found a million. However, mummy helps him out and shows him just what he is looking for. J loves the illustrations in this book. They are really cute and help to tell the story. He loves the penguin and his new friend the seal and he loves practising his counting to ten too. A lovely story.