This week’s pick of four books that we love.
We find the same children’s books are often on ‘Top 10’ and ‘most read’ lists (Hungry Caterpillar, anyone?) And while there’s nothing wrong with a classic, we’re here to help you branch out a little. It is hugely beneficial to your child’s learning and understanding of the world if they read books by authors from different places, who have different cultures and experiences. Plus, as parents or carers, it can only be good for your own sanity to not have to read the same story over and over and over again…
That’s why we’re putting together a series of blog posts that champion some of our favourite books – if you like the sound of any of them, get in touch with us and we can arrange a story time event at your local community centre, school or library.
1) Rastamouse and the Double-Crossin’ Diva, by Michael De Souza & Genevieve Webster
Children will love the rhythm and pace of this story, about a stolen bus that is stopping a group of orphans from going to a big talent show. Can the mystery-solving Rastamouse and Da Easy Crew catch the culprit? Will the orphans get there in time to see ‘Toots and the Moustails’? (There’s more where that came from).
One of three Rastamouse books all about morality and music, the stories have since been made into an animated TV series – voiced by none other than Reggie Yates.
2) Peter’s Chair, by Ezra Jack Keats
The collage style of illustration in this book is really beautiful, as is the story of the coming of a baby sister, told from the perspective of an older brother. An everyday tale of growing up, acceptance and sharing, that countless children will relate to.
3) Rainforest, by Helen Cowcher
Written and illustrated by author and artist Helen Cowcher, the vivid colours and portraits of animals really bring this story to life. Younger children will enjoy pointing out their favourite creatures, while older ones will be introduced to deeper messages of the impact of climate change and deforestation. An important topic, presented carefully and elegantly.
4) Yasmin The Builder, by Saadia Faruqi and Hatem Aly
With three simple chapters, this book is a great stepping stone to help children’s comprehension of more complex story structures. Set at school, the story follows the character of Yasmin, as she struggles with inspiration and creativity during a ‘build a city’ classroom task. The book is brilliant at encouraging children to reflect on what they have just read, with questions and prompts at the end, as well as a step-by-step activity.
Book one out of twelve, the Yasmin books also teach children about Pakistani culture – this one includes a dictionary of Urdu words and some fun facts about the character and author’s country.
Have any books you think we should include in our recommendations? Share with us on Instagram @beardsand_books.