Sunday, 13 January 2008

What are your favourite books for kids?

Most of us find we return to the same books time and time again when it comes to reading to our children. We have our own favourites - often remembered from our own childhood- and kids quickly decide which stories they want to hear over and over. Where the Wild Things Are is one that fits this bill for me, and many others. Apart from the glorious illustrations, I love the way it celebrates adventure and imagination in children, but still provides that sense of place and warmth at the end of the story.

Many writers and childhood experts says this repetition is very important for development - the familiarity helps children with language and comprehension as well as helping them feel empowered by a familiar story.

Below, writer Clare Kennedy provides her top five favourite books and reviews Doodledum Dancing:

Clare's top five:
1./ Topping the list, the classic: Where the Wild Things are by Maurice Sendak

2./ The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

3./ The Potato People by Pamela Allen

4./ Doodledum Dancing by Pamela Allen

5./ Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson

(Also, anything by Jeannie Baker).

"My two-year-old constantly requests these favourites, and my 6 and 8-year-old still enjoy listening.''

Book Review: Doodledum Dancing by Meredith Costain and Pamela Allen

By Clare Kennedy

"Poetry for children doesn’t sell,'' said my local bookseller. But this book of fun rhymes, brought to life by Pamela Allen’s trademark characters that look real enough to poke and tickle, deserves to thrive against the odds.

Dogs, dancing and dinosaurs all feature in this collection; Costain tackles the topics that will engage her target audience. ‘Loose tooth’ is a favorite for my six-year old; that ‘snaggly tooth’ captures a watershed moment.

Humor is a strong element, too.’ Our new puppy’ is a funny poem about a new pet, that doubles as a tongue-twister, while ‘Snuggle Bug’ lends itself to ‘wild and wiggly’ tickles.

There are nonsense rhymes such as ‘A taipan in my frypan’ and seasonal ones, such as ‘Wintry Weather’, providing perfect inspiration for stamping in puddles. ‘The Pirate Song’ lends itself to rowdy singing and ‘The Merri Creek’ suggests a bike ride. You can actually hear the beat of a bicycle chain in motion. Clickety clack.

Many of these rhymes lend themselves to song; just make up your own tune.

This is a book to dip into when you want to have some fun with young kids, especially 3-8 year olds. And it’s a lovely way to introduce kids to poetry, without “the spinach” (doing the right thing) factor. It was short listed in the CBCA Awards in the Early Childhood category. Highly recommended.



ISBN 0-670-02822-3

Does your family have a list of favourites? Please let us know in the comments section below


F Leahy said...

I have not seen "Doodledum Dancing", but will seek it out having read Clare Kennedy's book review. My kids love the rhythm and repetition of poetry - although they are not so keen on my singing, particularly when I start making up tunes. "The Moon in the Man" by Elizabeth Honey is another fun poetry book for kids.

Anonymous said...

My kids are currently enjoying Magic Beach and Commotion in the Ocean - both get requested most bedtimes and I enjoy reading them at the moment because they have a nice summery theme.

Anonymous said...

Anything about the great Hairy Maclary from Donaldson's dairy is big at the moment