6 of my favourite children’s books

We’ve come to the “Book Review” part of the blog challenge. Last night I realised it was a bit late for me to start reading a book to review (i.e. an actual fiction/non-fiction book written for adults). More so because I was falling asleep by like 7.30pm and that my brain could not get past the cover page.

So, instead, I’m going to share with you six of my favourite children’s books, as voted by Jacob who knows all the words.

1. There’s a House Inside My Mummy
Author: Giles Andreae
Illustrator: Vanessa Cabban
There's a House Inside My Mummy - Giles Andreae

When I first found out I was expecting again, I was really keen to get some books to explain the concept of a new baby to Jacob (who was just under 2 years old at the time). This book came highly recommended and it was really easy to read and used very simple comparisons, and I found it really helped Jacob relate to my pregnancy and to the baby in my tummy. There’s one page I found a bit unnecessary though (about Mummy’s door being rather “tight” – errr….) but other than that, a great book!

2. Peppa’s Car Ride
By Ladybird (doesn’t say the author’s names)
Peppa's Car Ride : Peppa Pig Series - Ladybird

I had to put a Peppa Pig one in, right? (Jacob is obsessed with Peppa Pig) I initially bought one for my nephew and then I found one in an op shop so I bought it for Jacob too. It actually has moving wheels which makes it all the more fun! Jacob loves reading the book and has put Peppa Pig stickers all over it as a sign of his approval. I also love that because the car was taken to Granddad Dog’s garage to be mended, Jacob now uses that word. If he breaks a toy, he says “Mummy, this toy needed to be mended.” Cuteee!

3. Toilet Time for Boys
By Dr Janet Hall
Toilet Time : A Training Kit for Boys - Dr Janet Hall

Okay, I had to add a toilet training book into the mix too! For the record, Jacob’s still not successfully toilet trained at the moment – we tried before Jared was born but he didn’t really take to the idea, or like he didn’t want it to be an ongoing thing (he told me “No more toilet, mum. Nappies please.”). But we do enjoy reading this book however – Jacob loves the whole idea of sitting on the toilet and it just presents the idea of toilet training in a simple and encouraging way. I only have the book but not the full activity pack, so I can’t comment on that, but fortunately we got a Huggies pull-ups pack which included a potty training resource and wall chart that has Lightning McQueen on it (and Jacob is absolutely SOLD! He loves Lightning McQueen) so we will start on that in due time!

4. I Love Mealtime
Author: Joy Berry
Illustrator: Dana Regan

My mum bought this book for Jacob, as well as another Joy Berry book called “I Love Bedtime”. He likes this one better – I’m not sure why, maybe because the main character is a boy and there’s a dog in it too? It’s also sorta ironic because he isn’t a fan of mealtime in real life haha! But this book is nice and clear – it explains why we have certain eating practices/etiquette and why (i.e. if you eat too many sweets, you get a tummy ache). I’m not sure that it has had any effect on Jacob’s table manners, but one can only hope!

5. Sunshine and Snowballs
Author: Margaret Wise Brown
Illustrator: Charlotte Cooke
19593965

I absolutely love this book! I’m not sure what it is but there was a certain emotion it evokes – the illustrations are just beautiful too. You might realise by now that I love books with rhymes/poetry because it just has a lovely ring to it (and I love to hear Jacob say the last word of each sentence).

The book starts out with “Summer, summer, in the sun” and it’s funny because there is a little girl at our church called Summer, and Jacob instantly thought the girl in the book was called Summer. It’s so hard to explain the concept of seasons to a little child! And he says that the boy in the book is Jared because Jared has a winter hat like the one the boy wears. So yes, it’s about Summer and Jared playing at different times of the year. I love that this book has helped Jacob make the connection with natural elements – he’ll talk to me about rain and thunderstorms, and the other day we had a foggy morning and he was so excited to experience the “grey, silent” fog. Definitely a favourite!

6. Pull-out “Jonah and the Big Fish”
Author: Josh Edwards
Illustrator: Chris Embleton-Hall

I love these pull-out books – some other stories in this series include David and Goliath, Noah’s Ark and the Christmas Story. Jacob loves David and Goliath the most because Goliath is huge and roars (Oh wait, no, that’s mummy roaring) but he also loves all the others too. I highly recommend these books because they’re interactive, easy to read and fun – and to prove that, here’s a video of Jacob actually reading this book with me (this was a good 4 months ago)!

Happy reading! 🙂

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One becomes two.

I’ve probably picked the worst time ever to start a blog.

I can hear the sound of white noise playing in my toddler Jacob’s room, while I am rocking my almost-4 week old Jared to the tunes of Ludovico Einaudi’s amazing piano and string arrangements, which always seems to send him into peaceful slumber.

I can still taste the chocolate in my mouth that I convinced myself that I needed in order to stay awake, and I can smell the yoghurty hint of milk stains on my top. Hubby and I wanted to watch TV tonight, but the baby was fussing and frankly we’re too tired to start up a new series. In fact, tired has become part of my personality.

But amidst the daze of sleep deprivation, I feel a burning sense of inspiration. I’m embarking on a new journey going from one kid to two, and like it or not, I have to keep on paddling to keep this ship afloat.

~~~

I always knew I wanted to have at least two children. I’m an only child and while I did grow up with plenty to keep me occupied, there was always this longing for a sibling – in particular, a big brother. Someone who would rough up this self-proclaimed tomboy and to have someone to fight with for all the right reasons, but ultimately one who watched out for me in a love-hate fashion.

The day before Jared was born, I had the ultimate blues with regards to Jacob. He was my baby – my one and only, my pride and joy. He was the one who built me up but also broke me down. And he knew he held first place in my eyes, but now he was about to be dethroned.

We had tried our best to prepare Jacob for D-day – we read some amazing books about babies, talked about baby names and picked baby clothes together. He would talk to my tummy and tell the baby “I love you” in the sweetest way he could.

My waters broke the night before I had Jared, hence Jacob was whisked away in the morning to spend the day with his cousins. My last kiss I gave him tasted bittersweet – the next time I would see him, I would be introducing him to his new brother.

I spent a bit of that day cooking and cleaning, and the rest of it crying my eyes out. What if I hadn’t prepared him enough and it left him feeling sad and lonely? What if I couldn’t cope with the demands of both kids and I wasn’t able to give Jacob the love he deserved? Was my heart big enough for two?

love

And then, they met.

My little boy was overjoyed to meet the “baby in mummy’s tummy” – the expression on his fact just says it all, doesn’t it?

So far, it’s obviously not been all fun and games, but every day has a hint of joy in it. I look forward to many new adventures as a family of four (or five, if you want to count our dastardly dog), and look forward to sharing them here as well.