Mini Reviewer, Theo, will tell you that being two is extremely exciting but sometimes very unfair! There's a whole world out there to be explored - puddles to jump in, furniture to climb on and so many places to run or, even better, to scoot! Unfortunately, all too often, there is someone there to say "Don't do that," "Get down from there" or "Slow down... Wait... STOP!" At these times Theo's frustration overwhelms him. There is a lot of foot stamping, shouting and the grumpiest look you have ever seen!
As mum to this fiercely independent bundle of stompy energy, I truly appreciate our calm and cuddly times together. I particularly love sitting down with him before his nap and sharing a book, just the two of us. He always picks one himself from his bookshelf and he certainly has his favourites. Here are just a few of them:
1. Guess How Much I Love You - Sam McBratney and Anita JeramAn adorable, gentle and calming story that is beautifully illustrated. As a parent, reading about the tender relationship between Big and Little Nutbrown Hare makes me more than a little emotional! It is wonderfully written and captures how the characters struggle to express just how much they love each other. We often read it just before a nap or at bedtime and we enjoy doing the actions together. Definitely a modern children's classic and a must for every little bookshelf.
2. Superhero Dad - Timothy Knapman and Joe Berger
A fantastic book celebrating the special relationship between a little boy and his "super" dad. This has quickly become one of our favourite stories and is adored by a certain superhero loving little boy. Filled with humour and excitement, it brilliantly captures the awe little boys have for their dads. The bold comic book-esque illustrations compliment the text perfectly. It would make a great gift for any super dads out there and, of course, their super children.
3. Hippo Has a Hat - Julia Donaldson and Nick Sharratt
This is probably the most well read book on Theo's bookshelf. Written by the mighty Julia Donaldson and with illustrations by the brilliant Nick Sharratt, it is the perfect book for young children. Donaldson's funny rhymes and Sharratt's bright and bold pictures make for a winning combination. The vocabulary is extremely simple and easy to repeat so it is great for developing language skills. It won't be long before your little one is joining in with you!
If you enjoy Hippo Has a Hat, then we also recommend Goat Goes to Playgroup, Chocolate Moose for Greedy Goose and One Mole Digging a Hole.
4. Pip and Posy: The Super Scooter - Axel Scheffler
If you ask Izzie, who her favourite illustrator is, I guarantee her answer will be Axel Scheffler. She has very good taste! Not only did he illustrate The Gruffalo, Stickman and Tiddler all written by Julia Donaldson. He has also written and illustrated a number of other books including the "Pip and Posy" series. We were introduced to these books when Izzie was about two years old and they have been read over and over again ever since.
All the stories feature the duo in everyday situations for toddlers. In this story Posy takes Pip's scooter without asking. Pip is cross but when Posy falls off the scooter he still comes to help her because he sees she is sad. Posy apologises to Pip and thanks him for helping her. They have a big hug. This series is great to help discuss feelings and kindness, as well as demonstrating right from wrong. Theo loves the friends so much, he had a Pip and Posy birthday party!
5. 123 - A Walk In The Countryside - Rosalind Beardshaw
Join the main characters for a walk in the countryside in this delightful board book. With so many things to spot and count along the way, this is the perfect way to introduce numbers to little ones. All three of my children have been captivated by the beautiful illustrations. They really set this book aside from any other counting books we've read. As numbers up to 20 are included, and because you really do have to look carefully for some of the things in the pictures, the book is interesting enough for slightly older children too. Izzie was so excited when we tried to count the 100 stars near the end of the of the story. It is also a great book for learning new vocabulary, Theo has now mastered "acorns, pine cones, stepping stones and blackberries"! We would all highly recommend it.
Have you read any of these books or do you have any recommendations to add? We'd love to hear from you.
Disclaimer: We were lucky enough to win copies of Super Hero Dad, 123 - A Walk In The Countryside and Guess How Much I Love You through Toppsta. Toppsta run a lot of regular book giveaways. It is also a great website for reading reviews of books for children of all ages.
As always, all opinions are my own unless stated otherwise.