Category: AtoZfavbooks

My fav books – here’s what I learned

My fav books

My fav books A to Z.

Last month I did the #AtoZfavbooks challenge: 26 letters, 26 days, 26 books. It was a fun exercise but, analyzing my fav books led to some interesting discoveries.

To rhyme of not to rhyme.

I love reading books that rhyme and yet the non-rhyming books I chose out-numbered them 18/8. Maybe these results are a little skewed as I deliberately didn’t fill the challenge with Dr Seuss or Julia Donaldson books but even so, I expected more of the children’s books to rhyme. However, even the non-rhyming books often used repetition or alliteration to add interest to the text.

Here’s some brilliant rhyming from “Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy” by Lynley Dodd.

Off with a yowl
a wail and a howl,
a scatter of paws
and a clatter of claws,
went Schnitzel Von Krumm
with a very low tum,
Bitzer Maloney
all skinny and bony,
Muffin McLay
like a bundle of hay,
Bottomley Potts
covered in spots,
Hercules Morse
as big as a horse
and Hairy Maclary
from Donaldson’s Dairy,
straight back home
to bed!

I haven’t experimented with rhyme in my books, so this is something I’m excited to try out soon.

Animals rule.

my fav books19 of the books featured animals or creatures such as dragons. Most of these were anthropomorphic ie the animals were given human traits. I would have expected more cars, trucks and trains, but maybe that said something about my choice rather than the actual balance of these in children’s books. After all, my grandson certainly has more than his fair share of “Bob the Builder” and “Thomas the Tank Engine” books.

Being a scientific sort of person, I had to put this theory to the test. A quick search on Amazon brought up these top 20 titles in the Baby and Toddler Education Section. (6 of these were by Julia Donaldson, so maybe I should have included more in my #AtoZfavbooks.)

Anyhow, “Dig Dig Digging” was the only motorized entry, 8 of the books featured children but 11 were indeed about animals, indicating this does seem the most popular theme for children’s picture books. Must take another look at the book I was working on about a cat ūüôā

Putting on the style.

Oh, how I wish I could draw.

Mog and the BabyI loved looking at the fantastic variety in styles from the talented illustrators who have worked on these books. From Beatrix Potters beautifully realistic “Peter Rabbit”, to the modern lines of “The Little Boy who lost his Name”, and Judith Kerr’s cuddly cat, “Mog”, all the books have gorgeous colours to attract little ones to explore their pages.

“Dear Zoo” and “Where’s Spot” are lift the flap books aimed at younger readers and “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” has those lovely holes ‘eaten’ through its pages. “The Jolly Postman” goes further and includes separate envelopes and postcards which are a lot of fun. Unfortunately, this kind of embellishment is not available through the ‘print on demand’ technology I use so it’s not something I could consider at the moment.

Computer generated magic.

better buckle up race carMy last realization was that, as far as I can tell, Better Buckle Up is the only book on the list with computer generated imagery (CGI).Ollie with plane

In designing the book, I wanted illustrations that looked like they could have been photographs taken of models, (along the lines of the early Thomas the Tank Engine animations) but I would have expected that in this digital age there would have been more books like this.

Again, I trawled through Amazon.

my fav booksSome Postman Pat books had covers with actual photographs taken from the television programmes, although they were filmed using stop-motion animation not CGI so that didn’t really count.

my fav books

Bob the Builder and Fireman Sam were also filmed originally in stop-motion but have since moved onto CGI but I couldn’t find book covers that used this.

So, it looks like Better Buckle Up is something of a rarity and, whilst my next book, “Things Evie Eats,” will be in a completely different style with actual drawings, I will be revisiting CGI very soon.

My fav books

To conclude, it seems my fav books are predominately non-rhyming stories about animals. How about you?

Let me know your favourites in the comments.

Happy reading.

Suzie x

 


Writing Bubble

Talk of the Town
Zog – #AtoZfavbooks challenge Day 26

ZogZog by Julia Donaldson…

… Day 26 May #AtoZfavbooks challenge.

It’s the last day of the #AtoZfavbooks challenge and the book for Day 26 is Zog, by Julia Donaldson.

Let’s face it, you could fill your shelves with books by Julia Donaldson and get a winner every time but let’s focus on Zog.

Zog is a young dragon at Dragon school who is learning how to breathe fire, roar and capture princesses. He’s very keen, but not always very successful. However, when Princess Pearl volunteers to go back to school with him, he finally gets the gold star he was trying for. But in a clever plot twist, this is not the end of the story. A knight comes to rescue Princess Pearl, who has been having a great time looking after the young dragons and she doesn’t want to go.

How will the story work out?¬†Julia Donaldson’s brilliant imagination comes up with a happy ending for everyone … even the knight’s horse.

Told in rhyme and featuring fantastic illustrations with lively colour and lots of detail, this book is bound to be a winner with you and your little ones.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my choices for the #AtoZfavbooks challenge. Look out for my round-up of the books and the things I learned along the way coming soon.

Happy reading.

Suzie x

P.S. Read this book? Let me know in the comments below.

P.P.S. Don’t forget to share your favourite book title starting with the letter Z¬†in the comments below or post them on facebook or twitter with the hashtag #AtoZfavbooks so I can find them.

You Can’t take an Elephant on a Bus – #AtoZfavbooks challenge – Day 25

You Can't take an elephant on a busYou can’t take an Elephant on a Bus by Patricia Cleveland-Peck¬†…

… Day 25 May #AtoZfavbooks challenge.

You can’t take an Elephant on a Bus. Well, of course you can’t. This book, chosen for the pen-ultimate of the #AtoZfavbooks challenge, explains why.

It then goes on to look at other modes of transport for different animals. We see centipedes on roller skates, pigs on skateboards and monkeys in shopping trolleys; all with appropriate, hilarious explanations of why this would not be a good idea.

I don’t know why, but I haven’t chosen many books written in rhyme. Children love the rhythm of the verse in this book and there is plenty to talk about in the funny illustrations. After several readings of this book, we started making up silly scenario’s of our own which was really fun and a great way to spark your child’s imagination.

Suzie x

P.S. Read this book? Let me know in the comments below.

P.P.S. Don’t forget to share your favourite book title starting with the letter Y¬†in the comments below or post them on facebook or twitter with the hashtag #AtoZfavbooks so I can find them.

 

Xavier Ox’s Xylophone Experiment – #AtoZfavbooks challenge – Day 24

Xavier Ox's Xylophone ExperimentXavier Ox’s Xylophone Experiment by¬†Barbara deRubertis¬†…

… Day 24 May #AtoZfavbooks challenge

OK, I admit it. I had no idea what book to choose for Day 24 of the #AtoZfavbooks challenge. We didn’t have one that started with X at home and I couldn’t find one on my visit to the library. Thank goodness for Google. And enter¬†Xavier Ox’s Xylophone Experiment by¬†Barbara deRubertis.

The book is part of the Animal Antics A to Z series published by Kane Press. (Hey, if I’d known that at the beginning of the challenge, I could have used all their titles and had an easy time ūüėČ ) Anyway, it has beautiful illustrations that I fell in love with immediately and is a fun story about¬†Xavier, an ox who loves music. When his enthusiastic drumming at school ends in the boxes he’s using as a drum kit exploding into pieces, and the xylophone he would like is too expensive for him to buy, his school friends experiment to build him a xylophone he won’t be able to break.

Does the xylophone experiment succeed? You’ll have to read it and find out.

As well as being a good read, this book has the added advantage of giving early readers practice in the letter X which can be quite hard to find. With titles like Kylie Kangaroo’s Karate Kickers  and Tessa Tiger’s Temper Tantrum other books in the series promise to be just as good.

So, here’s my new favourite book for X. Bet you can’t say the title ten times fast without getting your tongue in a twist.

Suzie x

P.S. Read this book? Let me know in the comments below.

P.P.S. Don’t forget to share your favourite book title starting with the letter X¬†in the comments below or post them on facebook or twitter with the hashtag #AtoZfavbooks so I can find them.

Where’s Spot? – #AtoZfavbooks challenge – Day 23

Where's SpotWhere’s Spot? by Eric Hill …

… Day 23 May #AtoZfavbooks challenge.

Where’s Spot? by Eric Hill was a firm favourite when my children were small. We even had a cuddly Spot dog. And I’m happy to report it’s still as popular with my grand-children too. Hence it has a well-earned place on day 23 of the May #AtoZfavbooks challenge.

The story is simple. It’s dinner time but Spot’s mummy can’t find him. Follow her as she searches the house, finding a crocodile under the bed, a hippo in the piano and a bear with a honey pot behind the door (don’t we all!)

Where’s Spot? is book to delight generations of children to come. ¬†Here’s the animated version for your delight.

I must look into finding a cuddly Spot for the grand-babies ūüôā

Suzie x

P.S. Read this book? Let me know in the comments below.

P.P.S. Don’t forget to share your favourite book title starting with the letter W¬†in the comments below or post them on facebook or twitter with the hashtag #AtoZfavbooks so I can find them.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar – #AtoZfavbooks May Challenge – Day 22

Very Hungry CaterpillarThe Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle…

… Day 22 May #AtoZfavbooks challenge.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. Who hasn’t read this classic children’s book? A no-brainer choice for Day 22 of the May #AtoZfavbooks challenge.

There are so many editions of this story. Books with pop-ups, books with finger puppets and bean-bag toys, books with touchy-feely bits along with the ‘eaten’ holes in the page. There have been games based on the book, it’s been used in a campaign to promote healthy eating and every year, on the first day of spring, we have a Very Hungry Caterpillar Day with folks dressing up to celebrate the book. Yes, it’s that well loved.

So, on the off-chance that you haven’t come across this book (or that you just forgot), the story goes: after hatching from his egg, the ever-hungry caterpillar eats his way through increasing amounts of food until he builds himself a cocoon, emerging as a beautiful butterfly.

As well as teaching children the life-cycle of a butterfly, you get the opportunity to practice counting to five and even very young children enjoy the award-winning, bright illustrations.

I love listening to authors read their books, so here is Eric himself to tell the story. Take it away, Eric.

It’s not hard to see why this has been such a popular book. A must-have for every child’s bookshelf.

Suzie x

P.S. Read this book? (Of course, you have) Let me know in the comments below.

P.P.S. Don’t forget to share your favourite book title starting with the letter V¬†in the comments below or post them on facebook or twitter with the hashtag #AtoZfavbooks so I can find them.

 

Talk of the Town
The Ugly Duckling = #AtoZfavbooks May challenge – Day 21

The Ugly DucklingThe Ugly Duckling by Ian Beck …

… Day 21 May #AtoZfavbooks challenge.

A retelling of the classic story, The Ugly Duckling, is the book for Day 21 of the #AtoZfavbooks challenge.

“Once upon a time there was a mother duck who had seven little ducklings. Six of them were soft and fluffy and yellow. The seventh duckling was different …”

My grandchildren love this story. We have a family of little ducklings on my pond at the moment, which has prompted much discussion about which one is the ‘ugly’ one that will grow ¬†into a swan.

ducks

Ian Beck’s version has beautiful, gentle illustrations and just enough text for small children.

Suzie x

P.S. Read this book? Let me know in the comments below.

P.P.S. Don’t forget to share your favourite book title starting with the letter U¬†in the comments below or post them on facebook or twitter with the hashtag #AtoZfavbooks so I can find them.

Things Evie Eats – #AtoZfavbooks challenge – Day 20

Things Evie EatsThings Evie Eats …

… Day 20 May #AtoZfavbooks challenge.

Day 20 of the #AtoZfavbooks challenge features Things Evie Eats. (It’s not cheating to pick your own book, is it?)

I’m sure you all know a fussy eater. Well, Things Evie Eats is the story of a little girl with very definite ideas on the things she wants to eat.

When Evie decides she only wants to eat flowers, her big (-ish) brother comes to the rescue and keeps everyone happy.

I’ve had so much fun with food whilst writing this book which is¬†due to be published¬†in paperback and ebook¬†on 20th July 2016. Sign up for the newsletter to catch the recipes for your own fussy eaters.

Pancakes

Suzie x

P.S. Don’t forget to share your favourite book title starting with the letter T¬†in the comments below or post them on facebook or twitter with the hashtag #AtoZfavbooks so I can find them.

 

Sun Kisses Moon Hugs – #AtoZfavbooks May Challenge – Day 19

sun kisses moon hugsSun Kisses Moon Hugs by Susan Schaefer Bernardo ¬†…

… Day 19 May #AtoZfavbooks challenge.

Sun Kisses Moon Hugs is a very special book for Day 19 of the #AtoZfavbooks challenge. Written by Susan Schaefer Bernardo it has a simple but powerful message: love lasts forever.

“No matter how far apart we are,

I’ll always find ways to tell you I love you.” ¬†

Apart from being just right for cuddles before bedtime, Sun Kisses Moon Hugs is also ideal for supporting children going through  separation anxiety, divorce, loss, illness or other traumatic situations. It has a gentle story and lovely illustrations. This is a book you and your child will want to read over and over.

Suzie x

P.S. Read this book? Let me know in the comments below.

P.P.S. Don’t forget to share your favourite book title starting with the letter S¬†in the comments below or post them on facebook or twitter with the hashtag #AtoZfavbooks so I can find them.

The Rhino who swallowed a Storm – #AtoZfavbooks May Challenge – Day 18

Rhino who Swallowed a StormThe Rhino who swallowed a Storm by LeVar Burton and Susan Schaefer Bernardo¬†…

… Day 18 May #AtoZfavbooks challenge.

The Rhino who Swallowed a Storm is the tale of a mouse who is frightened by a thunderstorm. To comfort her, her father reads her the story of a rhinoceros, who after having everything she loves swept away, goes on a journey of healing.

This book was the 2015 IPPY Gold Medal winner for best children’s picture book and also the recipient of the Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Award. It’s author, LeVar Burton, is an actor and was the host of the children’s series, Reading Rainbow.

Suzie x

P.S. Read this book? Let me know in the comments below.

P.P.S. Don’t forget to share your favourite book title starting with the letter R¬†in the comments below or post them on facebook or twitter with the hashtag #AtoZfavbooks so I can find them.