Reading during our time in lockdown has been one of our biggest joys. Usually we would have weekly readers and library books coming home with Oli but, for obvious reasons, we’ve resorted to picking our own ‘readers’ for him. Thank goodness we have books in abundance.
Soph, not one to be left behind, ‘reads’ to us too and we laugh at her adaptations and wild imagination – is there anything better? We’ve enjoyed our books in the warm sunshine, in our teepee, cuddled in bed at night and comfy on the couch – besides the beautiful stories of courage, magical adventures, silliness and fun, what the kids have probably just enjoyed the most is the closeness, the interaction and the time together as a family more than anything. So, read and let them read!
We’ve rounded up five of our favourite books we’ve enjoyed lately, and here’s what we thought of them!
Nine Lives Newton – Alice McKinley We’re obviously huge dog lovers so both the kids were instantly drawn to this charming story about Newton, a dog who thinks he’s completely invincible – with nine lives – and can live life on the edge. I found both kids were eagerly trying to warn him on each page and the illustrations throughout are epic. Follow the story of Newton as he lives perilously, and while his feline friend (who really may have nine lives) tries to convince him otherwise for his own safety. A gorgeous tale!
The Enchanted Wood – Enid Blyton Right, so this is me reliving my childhood through my own children. I remember my parents reading these stories to me like it was yesterday! Before lockdown I managed to get my hands on the collection of three stories in this series and this is book one. Both Oli and Soph have absolutely loved being submerged in the magical world of the Enchanted Wood – the characters and the crazy adventures Joe, Beth and Frannie get up to in their visits there. The strange creatures and animals who inhibit the tree, the crazy lands at the top, the endearing way Enid Blyton can capture her readers attention so many decades later is testament enough! Would we recommend it? A hundred times yes. We can’t wait for book two!
Yoga for Giraffes – Carly Todd A proudly South African book that we really enjoyed – follow Sindile the giraffe as he watches a human yoga class taking place at a game lodge and decides he’d also rather like to practice it! There’s hilarity as Sindile names each yoga pose he decides to teach the other wild animals (Sindile Eating Leaves While Avoiding an Anthill and other silly names) and the animals all begin to relax, feeling peaceful and light! Written in rhyme this sweet story had both Oli and Soph practicing Sindile’s moves!
The Creature Choir – David Walliams & Tony Ross We absolutely love anything David Walliams, and this latest edition doesn’t disappoint. Illustrated by the remarkable Tony Ross, he brings David’s delightful characters to life in this tale about doing what makes you HAPPY (even if you may not be the best at it) – something so important to be teaching our children! We were rooting for dear Warble the walrus right from the start and it is one of those beautiful stories that just leaves you with a happy heart. Huge thumbs up from us!
Perfectly Normal – Tom Percival I chose this story with Oli in mind, for anyone who has truly followed our journey you’ll understand the importance of me building his self-esteem, especially now. This is just the most inspiring and uplifting tale about being different and having the courage to dance to your own tune, no matter what. A sucker for beautiful illustrations, this story tugged on our heartstrings but also left us feeling courageous. I’ll definitely be re-reading this book to Oli whenever he’s feeling anxious or needs a little pick-me-up. What a gem of a story!
If you’ve read anything incredible, please share, we’ll never have too many books!
* Some of the books were gifted to us by Jonathan Ball Publishers and Penguin Random House but all opinions are our own.