Thank goodness for books!

If there was ever a time to read, read, read it is now! With the kids going on holiday early (and for a waaaay longer holiday than we had planned), let alone not being allowed out to play-parks, to have play-dates with friends or go watch movies or any kind of entertainment area in public really, we’re ‘hitting the books’ in the most important way possible. Oli’s teacher spoke to to all the parent’s in his class earlier this year and reiterated the most important part of learning for them at a young age was free play (power of imagination and all that) and yip, you guessed it, READING!

Thank heavens we’re huge book lovers and we don’t have a shortage of them. These are some of our favourites right now, and I’ll be sharing more interesting books as we read during this lockdown. I know parents are still working, even if at home, but reading with your kids is so crucial, even if it only takes twenty minutes out of your day, and I promise you, the kids will relish this time.

First up – Midnight at the Zoo by Faye Hanson – Join Max and Mia as they embark on a midnight adventure on a truly unforgettable adventure around the zoo after the get accidentally locked in! Soph shrieked with laughter in this one (I think she’d like to experience the zoo at midnight herself because she says she’s never seen flamingos flounce!) and they loved the alliteration throughout the book. The book is full of epic illustrations and definitely one that will forever be a favourite.

Counting Birds by Jody B.Strydom, illustrated by Theodore Key – The first in my childhood friend’s range of children’s books, this was the ideal book for Sophie’s age group – preschoolers learning to count. Again, Jody nails the rhyming verse which immediately draws my kids into a story, and along with beautiful illustrations, the book teaches you numbers 1 – 10  (shown in numbers ‘1’ and in details like one little dot on the bird’s tummy!). There’s also a sweet little ladybird that your kids can spot on each page adding to the fun! We can’t wait for the next installment to Jody’s repertoire.

The Way Back Home – Oliver Jeffers – We’ve always been huge Oliver Jeffers fans – since my own Oliver was in my tummy – and this one doesn’t disappoint. I chose this book with Oli in mind, as the story is an imaginative tale of friendship in a world where what makes us different isn’t nearly as important as what makes us the same. A very important message to convey to our kids, I believe. A stranded Earthling and Martian, marooned on the moon, must work together to figure out how each of them can get home by working together. The same illustrations we know and love, this book remains a hit.

The South African Alphabet by Alex Latimer –  The perfect book to  help teach our children the alphabet according to what WE know in South Africa. Filled with South Africanisms like ‘ Cc for Currie Cup’ and ‘Kk for Koeksister’  alongside quirky illustrations, this is the most fantastic ABC book that every South African child needs on their bookshelf!

The Littlest Dreamer, A Bedtime Journey by Suzanne Smith and Charlotte Cook – The ideal nap time or bedtime story , get ready for a journey with the littlest dreamer as you ride on a magical pony over a rainbow,  discover a sugarplum land, have a cupcake feast with the woodland animals and dance with a prince at a great jamboree, all before it’s time to close your eyes! This beautifully depicted book is so  soothing even I feel sleepy after reading it!

The Heart and the Bottle by Oliver Jeffers – Again, I know, but this author can do no wrong in our books! Ever wondered how you would explain grief to your children? This book will do it for you. It took some explaining with the kids but it’s an incredibly powerful,  heart-warming story that you can’t help but love.  Jeffers explores the nature of grief in this poignant picture-book, following the tale of a little girl who is filled with wonder at the world, and who shares that wonder with a beloved elder. When the elder disappears (passes away) the girl shuts her heart in a bottle, in order to protect it from the griefs of life in future. Follow the story to see how she decides to free her heart from the bottle while facing her grief. Incredible.

Right, so since we’re housebound for the next few weeks, I foresee a lot more reading being done, and I’ll have some more reviews up soon! Keep safe and keep the little ones reading!

* Some books were gifted to us by Penguin Random House and Jody B. Strydom but all opinions are our own.


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