Every so often a children’s book comes along the delights both children and grown ups. It has a lovely story to tell, but is also educational and fun. This is the top 5 list.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
The Very Hungry Caterpillar is the story of a caterpillar by Eric Carlewho starts off by being an egg which hatches in to a tiny caterpillar. He then eats lots of food on each day of the week and then grows bigger, turns in to a cocoon and eventually turns in to a butterfly. The metamorphosis teaches children about the life cycle of a caterpillar and the days of the week. The story is simple and as children grow they can read it to themselves. It is a gentle tale with a lovely ending.
Each, Peach, Pear, Plum
This book was written by Allan Ahlberg and illustrated by his late wife Janet Ahlberg and it is a lovely rhyming book. The pictures are fantastic too, with lovely details in a pastel colour. On each page you have to try to find a nursery rhyme character and the children can have great fun spotting them all in the picture. The characters eventually all get together at the end for a slice of plum pie – yum!
The team of Julia Donaldson with her lovely rhyming stories and Axel Scheffler with his beautiful illustrations is amazing. The story is about a clever mouse, who to avoid being eaten makes up a story about a scary Gruffalo who he says will be with him soon. The other animals are scared but when the mouse really does meet the Gruffalo the mouse is frightened but is clever enough to scare off the nasty monster. The book is delightful tale of how cleverness can beat strength and despite the fact that it is a bout a monster, it makes a great bedtime story. It is also lovely to read as there are lots of opportunity for expression.
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt
This is the tale of a family that pass through interesting areas to get to a bears cave. They are looking for a bear but when they find him they get scared and run back again. It is a lovely story because the words make wonderful sounds and everyone can do the actions and imagine what it might really be like to hunt for bears. Michael Rosen has written it in a clever way which means that it is not scary but fun and the illustrations by Helen Oxenbury really bring it all alive.
Guess How Much I Love You
This is a book which many parents like to read to their children to illustrate how much they care for them. It is especially good for those who are from broken homes or not living with their parents because the two characters in the story are not a parent and child but just an older and a younger character, one who looks after the other. Sam McBratney has written a lovely story and the illustrations by Anita Jeram are charming and fun.