Make-believe is ok. It’s a great way of building vocabulary and imaginations. As long as your children know it’s make-believe.
Top five on our shelf:
1. The Gruffalo – Julia Donaldson, Alex Scheffler
” A mouse took a stroll through the deep dark wood. A fox saw the mouse and the mouse looked good. “Where are you going to, little brown mouse? Come and have lunch in my underground house.” “It’s terribly kind of you, Fox, but no- I’m going to have lunch with a gruffalo.” “
Read it once or twice and your children will be reading along with you. Great repetitive chorus throughout the book.
2. Hunting for Dragons – Bruce Whatley
“I spend most weekends hunting for dragons.”
A wonderful imaginative book which begs to be read more than once to fully grasp the story hidden in the illustrations.
It’s a new book by Whatley. For more of his books check out “Josephine wants to dance” or “Baby Wombat”.
3. There’s a Hippopotamus on Our Roof Eating Cake – Hazel Edwards
“Our roof leaks. Drip! Drip! Drip! My daddy says there’s a hole in our roof. I know why there’s a hole. There’s a hippopotamus on our roof eating cake.”
First published in 1980, this is a real classic children’s book. Imagine having a hippo living on your roof that does everything you are not allowed to do? A quick, humorous read.
4. Where the Wild Things Are – Maurice Sendak
“The night Max wore his wolf suit and made mischief of one kind and another his mother called him “WILD THING!” and Max said “I’LL EAT YOU UP!” so he was sent to bed without eating anything.”
Glorious escapism into the world of the wild things who have terrible eyes and terrible claws.
❀❀❀ ❀❀❀ ❀❀❀ ❀❀❀ ❀❀❀ ❀❀❀
As for reading to your kids, here is a few tips from Mem Fox – Reading Aloud Maestro and Author Extraordinaire. If you ever get the opportunity to listen to Mem talk about reading to children take hold of it with both hands; go, listen, take notes and come home a better reader! You will never, never read aloud to your children again without making some sort of impact. Listen to Mem read some of her books here.
Mem Fox’s Ten Read Aloud Commandments
1. Spend at least ten wildly happy minutes every single day reading aloud.
2. Read at least three stories a day: it may be the same story three times. Children need to hear a thousand stories before they can begin to learn to read.
3. Read aloud with animation. Listen to your own voice and don’t be dull, or flat, or boring. Hang loose and be loud, have fun and laugh a lot.
4. Read with joy and enjoyment: real enjoyment for yourself and great joy for the listeners.
5. Read the stories that the kids love, over and over and over again, and always read in the same ‘tune’ for each book: i.e. with the same intonations on each page, each time.
6. Let children hear lots of language by talking to them constantly about the pictures, or anything else connected to the book; or sing any old song that you can remember; or say nursery rhymes in a bouncy way; or be noisy together doing clapping games.
7. Look for rhyme, rhythm or repetition in books for young children, and make sure the books are really short.
8. Play games with the things that you and the child can see on the page, such as letting kids finish rhymes, and finding the letters that start the child’s name and yours, remembering that it’s never work, it’s always a fabulous game.
9. Never ever teach reading, or get tense around books.
10. Please read aloud every day, mums and dads, because you just love being with your child, not because it’s the right thing to do.
Taken from here.