Our favourite books

Books have always been important to us. We’ve made a concerted effort to read to Misss NHM as much as possible. Mr NHM read the Gruffalo to Miss NHM on the day she was born.

When Miss NHM was very tiny I borrowed as many of the “That’s not my…” books from the library and purchased them from Nearly new sales and read them to Miss NHM. She also had a black and white book that a friend bought for her birth present which Miss NHM loved. Black and white books are supposed to be good for small babies.

I have always been a huge fan of our local library and going to the library when I was on maternity leave and after was a regular activity for us. They have a great selection of books of wonderful variety. Plus, you can order books online for the bargain price of 50p which is much better than paying full price for a book. I’m very conscious that we have a small house and as much as we love books, they sometimes turn into clutter!

It’s no secret that I absolutely adore Usborne books. When Miss NHM was six months old I bought the Apple Tree Farm box set from the Basingstoke NCT Nearly New sale (normally in March/April and October)) for £5 (total bargain!) and read them to Miss NHM every day. By 13 months old she could spot the usborne duck on most pages. I was amazed that she could do this as such a young age. The first page of each book in this box set is always the same and “Rusty” is still the name for all dogs for Miss NHM! Lol.

When Miss NHM was 15 months old I purchased another Usborne box set called the Phonics Readers from the Basingstoke Original Nearly New Sale (next one is this weekend!).

I also continued to read the Gruffalo to Miss NHM and have perfected the voices of the characters. Lol. When Miss NHM was 17 months I purchased “Monkey Puzzle” by the same team as the Gruffalo and this has also been a favourite book. Mr NHM has some favourites that he reads to Miss NHM such as Bear Snores on.

In Miss NHM’s bedroom she has a bookshelf with books that are hers and that she can “read”. She went through a stage of tearing the pages in her books which really irked me, but that stage didn’t last long and the books were repaired. I now often find her asleep in her bed surrounded by her books. She reads them our loud to herself and to her bedroom toys. It’s very important to me that she has access to her books in her room so she has control over what and when she reads.

When Miss NHM was 2 3/4 I persuaded her paternal Grandparents to get her the Very first Reading boxset from Usborne for Christmas (her only present from them). It was on special and priced at £30 for 50 small books. She absolutely LOVES this box set and is now “reading” the stories on her own. She memorises them so fast it amazes me. The books are very simple stories that progress in difficulty but range from classic stories to ones from around the world. Miss NHM’s favourites at the moment are “The Phoenix and the Dragon” a Chinese story and “Old Mother Hubbard”.

I recommend finding your local Usborne book lady and asking her to email or give you a copy of the promotional leaflets that are released every season. You can find some wonderful bargains on these leaflets.

The other evening I caught Miss NHM with her monitor in bed, with the light on, using it to read one of her books to her teddys. I was SO proud of her! Lol.

I’ve tried to read to Miss NHM every day for at least 30 minutes, I know this is a perk of not having a TV and of Miss NHM being an only child, but if I do anything for my daughter, I want her to have a love of reading. A love of reading opens up a world of education and possibilities.

Below is a list of other favourite books that we have, that you also might enjoy reading to your little ones. I encourage you to read to them as soon as they are born. You never know what they will absorb and where it might take them when they are older.

  • Hairy McClary books
  • Mother Goose’s Nursery Rhymes Boxset
  • Wow Said the Owl
  • The Gruffalo
  • Monkey Puzzle (same people as The Gruffalo)
  • The Hungry Caterpillar
  • Ten Wriggly Wiggly Caterpillars and Five Tiddly Widdly Tadpoles
  • Usborne Phonic’s Reader collection
  • Usborne Apple Tree Farm boxset
  • Wendy the Wide Lipped Frog
  • Usborne Very First Reading boxset – 50 books
  • Bear Snores on
  • Dogs don’t do ballet
  • Stories for 2 year olds/Stories for 3 year olds

What are your children’s favourite books?

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