About three months ago I started enforcing (strongly encouraging) the boys to have an hour of reading before bed. I found playing before bed made them restless and they were needing so much time to calm down and relax. While we often use guided meditation and reading, an hour of reading before bed just made sense. Caspar is fine, he reads almost a book a day from his school library (he is currently reading crime and spy books). Otis is still very much a beginner reader and therefore likes for me to read to him. Often he only needs one book and he falls asleep but there are times when I spend the whole hour reading. I love seeing what books Otis picks out but it's also important to me that he is exposed to a good variety, books with social conscience and global awareness. It's also important that I enjoy the books too. Today I am sharing three new finds that meet my criteria and are perfect for bed time reading.
Bee by Britta Teckentrup, by the same author and illustrator as Tree which is as equally delightful. This is a short read and would hold the attention of a toddler or younger child. It is rhyming, it flows and is easy to read. It is beautifully illustrated and has a cut out 'peek-a-boo' hole on each page. It has a strong environmental message that will not be lost on young children.
"As the bees fly on through buds and burrs, A tiny miracle occurs. For every plant and flower you see, Was given life by one small bee."
I am so thankful that Anna recently emailed recommending The Blue Whale. The reviews are fantastic. While my local book store didn't have it in stock we found The Polar Bear by the same author, Jenni Desmond. Both are wonderful non-fiction picture books. It's a bit longer than most of our picture books but it is perfect for children 4 years and up. A younger child would love the illustrations and looking through the pages but might not sit through it all. The illustrations are stunning, hauntingly beautiful, and mesmerizing. The Polar Bear is listed in The New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Books of 2016.
The Polar Bear contains lots of information and facts about Polar Bears and has a strong climate change message. It is playful and engaging!
When I called my local book store to put this one on hold, the person who answered my call told me how much she loves this book, and she thought it should have won The Children's Book of the Year Awards 2016 (Australia), in which it received an Honours. One Step at a Time is written and illustrated by two South Australians. I can't find this book available internationally but it is available at my local bookshop here or Dymocks.
One Step at a Time is a heartwarming story about a young boy and his elephant. Based on the border of Thailand and Burma, the elephant steps on a landmine. The story covers the journey through the elephant's recovery. It is a sensitive subject written in the perfect tone for children. It is a story about love and friendship! I found the lino print illustrations charming and raw. Reviewers have called this book "groundbreaking".
Other than The Blue Whale, I have two books on my wishlist - Stellaluna and You Are Here: Around the World in 92 Minutes: Photographs from the International Space Station.
I'd love to hear what picture books you are enjoying right now!