That’s Not My Babybear…

…her face is too sparkly clean without  chocolate and tomato sauce all over it!

Since Babybear was only a few months old we’ve been big fans of Usborne’s ‘That’s Not My…’ series of touchy feely board books, written by Fiona Watt and illustrated by Rachel Wells. These are fabulous books to share with younger tots with their bold pictures and different textures to feel.

There is such a vast collection of ‘That’s Not My…’ books now that, whatever your wee one’s current passion, there will be something that appeals. Babybear has a definite love of ‘That’s Not My Dinosaur…’  (a gift from her lovely Auntie) and we are now on advanced level reading of this book in which we name the dinosaur on each page – that’s not my Stegosaurus…!

However, my favourite has to be “That’s Not My Robot…”.  I even designed and had coasters made inspired by my favourite robot in the book – check them out:

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Get Crafty

Feeling creative? How about trying this craft activity inspired from the books, perfect for older toddlers. We’re yet to try this our but I’ll be sure to post some pictures when we do. Take your favourite book, in my case ‘That’s Not My Robot”, and get your wee one to draw some pictures of the characters or their own characters. They can then take a variety of different textures of material/paper/card/any other suitable stuff and cut and stick them on to a part of their picture so, with tin foil for example, they could have their very own “That’s Not My Robot…His Body Is Too Shiny”. The pictures could even be stuck together to form a homemade “That’s Not My…” book. Give it a go and post your creative endeavors below to inspire us all!

-Find “That’s Not My…” titles and a whole lot more in your local library or independent bookshop – if you can’t find what you’re looking for, just ask, they may be able to order it in for you.

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Exploring Classic Picture Books

Some recent treasures of picture books that I found in a local second hand shop got me thinking about the idea of the ‘classic’ picture book – what makes a book a ‘classic’? I would propose that answer to be: enduring popularity. Both in terms of across time, with generations of children enjoying the books, and on an individual basis as a ‘classic’ story would be one that you would not tire of going back to again and again. This popularity endures through the quality of both illustration and story, with ‘classics’ being appreciated by adults as well as children.

There are a few titles I’d like to share with you, these are some classic picture books that I’ve shared with Babybear this week and she has thoroughly enjoyed. Hopefully this gives you some inspiration to start your own exploration of classic picture books. For more ideas of books to share Junior Magazine’s ‘Top 100 Children’s Books‘ is stacked with classics that you and your wee one will love.

wherethewildthingsare

Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak (first published 1963)

This book is just beautiful -a celebration of imagination with illustration that is so wonderfully captivating and dreamlike. It is a simple story of a boy escaping into his imagination to a land where the wild things are; with snarling, growling creatures that make him king of the wild things but with him ultimately wishing to be home, where he is loved. I read this to Babybear, 14 months old, and she was enchanted throughout- I’ve noticed a growing preference from her for more ‘arty’ style drawings as opposed to more modern, bright, bold and busy images.

wheresspot

Where’s Spot? by Eric Hill (first published 1980)

I bought this for Babybear after I remembered it from my own childhood and she loves it just as much as I did. Spot the dog disappears at dinner time and a hide and seek adventure to find him ensues. The flaps to lift to try and find Spot delight Babybear on every page. This extra interaction with the lift-the-flaps easily allows for conversation with your wee one beyond the words on the page.

peepo

Peepo! by Janet and Allan Ahlberg (first published 1981)

This is a delightful book that journeys through a baby’s day, showing the everyday scenes of 1940s life, with holes in the pages to peek through -Peepo! The verse of the story has a flowing rhythm when read aloud and despite the decade that the illustrations depict there is still a freshness to them. Babybear loves pointing to details in the pictures for me to tell her what it is: ‘pram’, ‘bus’, ‘teddy’, ‘baby’…!

-Find these classic picture book titles and a whole lot more in your local library or independent bookshop – if you can’t find what you’re looking for, just ask, they may be able to order it in for you.

Babybear’s Favourite Books: ‘Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See?’

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For Babybear’s recommendation today, I’ve chosen: ‘Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See?’ written by Bill Martin Jr and illustrated by Eric Carle (yes, this book was the inspiration for my daughter’s moniker). This book was a gift to Babybear when she was born and, despite the small library of books she has now, it has remained a consistent favourite.

The story shows a succession of North American animals, with each animal describing the actions of the next:

‘Striped Skunk,

Striped Skunk,

What do you see?’

‘I see a mule deer

Running by me.’”

The distinctive illustrative style of Eric Carle errs on the side of realism in comparison to most cartoony and bright children’s picture books but Babybear seems to love them: perhaps the simplicity of a single animal with white backgrounds on each page or the fact that the artistic illustrations are such a contrast to her other books.  She will happily sit at peace, engrossed by the pictures, as I read the full story with her, not something that can be said for many books at the moment!

The repetitive phrasing on each page (‘Screech Owl, Screech Owl, what do you see?’; ‘Rattlesnake, Rattlesnake, what to you see?’) makes it a great book to read aloud as the rhythm of the words read in a lovely, poetic way. The repetition is also good for encouraging your wee one’s understanding of language.

-Find ‘Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See?’ by Bill Martin Jr and Eric Carle in your local library or independent bookshop – if you can’t find it, just ask, they may be able to order it in for you.

Babybear’s Favourite Books: ‘The Big Night-Night Book’ by Georgie Birkett

bignightnightbook

For Babybear’s first recommendation in, what will be, a series of favorites, it seems only right to select the current bedtime story of choice: The Big Night-Night Book.

The ‘story’ is a lovely rhyme in which the wee boy in the book says night-night to everything (teddy, cup, toothbrush, stars…) before snuggling down to sleep. There are some touchy-feely bits on every page and I love that in this book they enhance the bright and bold illustrations instead of being the main focus.

The illustrations in the book are familiar routines for wee ones, like getting their pyjamas on and having a glass of milk before bed. Babybear likes pointing out the cat on each page with cries of, “Dat! Dat!”. Personally, I like the page of the wee boy brushing his teeth, I have this vague hope that it might encourage Babybear to love getting her teeth brushed instead of trying to hide when its teeth brushing time!

  • -Find ‘The Big Night-Night Book’ by Georgie Birkett in your local library or independent bookshop – if you can’t find it, just ask, they may be able to order it in for you.

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