Tonight I had the responsibility of keeping a pair of 4-year-old twins occupied. We sang songs, played with lightsticks, and talked about whatever they felt like talking about.
One of my favourite things to do with my own kids is to read. So I brought along three of my all-time favourites to share with the twins, in the hopes that they would enjoy them as much as Athos and Porthos do.
It worked! We read them, talked about them, read them again, and would have read a third time except that supper was ready. There are few things more delightful than seeing young children connect with a good story. Here are the books:
- Hug by Jez Alborough – Bobo the monkey goes through the jungle and with the help of other animals, finally finds what he’s looking for. This is a truly remarkable book that uses just 3 words, yet communicates powerfully through a heartwarming storyline and expressive pictures. Works well for pre-bedtime reading and cuddles!
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle – A caterpillar is born, eats his way from Monday to Sunday, builds his cocoon and emerges a butterfly. The artwork is vibrant and colourful, and the story works on a surprising number of levels – the plot itself is engaging, and there are opportunities to teach about numbers, colours, days of the week, types of food, the life cycle of a butterfly, and even the importance of fibre and greens!
- The Little Mole Who Knew It Was None of His Business by Werner Holzwarth and Wolf Erlbruch – Originally in German, the book was subsequently translated into English, and what a superb addition to the world of children’s literature! In general I don’t mind spoilers for children’s books since the idea is to help parents make a decision whether or not to introduce it to their kids. But in this case, it is such a deliciously funny book that I shan’t rob anyone of the pleasure. Let’s just say that it’s a story about a mole who wakes up one morning to a dreadful event, sets about finding the perpetrator, and brings justice to bear. Now there IS a sub-plot of revenge, but in this case, the retaliation is so harmless (and funny) that I don’t think the kids will take it too much to heart.