One of my Facebook friends was talking about books and it got me thinking about Olliebob and how and what we read with him. We try to read witg Ollie as much as possible. Literally, Rose and I are willing to drop pretty much whatever we are doing if the little dumpling comes sidling over with a book clutched in his often grubby hands. Also to be brutally honest if he’s reading with one of us, the other can grab 5 minutes respite or get a vaguely useful task done e.g putting some washing on, dishwasher loaded, complete a level on Candy crush etc.
Along with the ad hoc reading we, as with the majority of parents in the world, read a book or two with Ollie as part of his bed time routine. We optimistically call it a routine but usually after the books and milk finish it devolves into a constantly changing combination of squid wrangling/terrorist negotiation/battle of wills/fervent prayer experimentation exercise. It often also involves one parent rocking and staring vacantly whilst the other tags in for their turn. This being said reading with Ollie feels a real treat and frankly some of his books are just great.
I think Pose is hoping that if we read enough with Ollie he will become a spontaneous dresser upper of his favourite characters and she can make him all sorts of costumes. I will admit that he does rather rock costumes and carries himself with a certain panache. Ollie has now seen two world book days so far, one as an elephant from the literary epic ‘That’s not my Elephant’ and one as a Dragon from ‘Zog’. Rosie assures me he enjoys the costumes, I am not utterly convinced but figure it can act as a form of payback for early morning wake up calls.
Ollie, Pose and I all have our favourites. It really shocks me the sheer quantity and quality of tiny person books out their, there are some really talented people who get that parents need some stimulation too. However, it is worth noting that some books slip through the quality assurance net and are so mind numbingly bad they make the back of a shampoo bottle look gripping and well written. Inevitably though, these books are inexplicably loved by Ollie and demanded regularly (Diggers I’m looking at you). Pose and I aren’t proud or moralistic however so these books mysteriously get ‘lost’ once in a while. Equally on the 100th read of any book it can lose some of it’s sheen, as an example Elmer has alternated between loveable hero and frustrating clown more than once in our house.
Ollie’s favourites are included in the list below (they are asterisked) but take them with a pinch of salt as being brutally honest he’s the Toddler equivalent of a Mills and Boon reader at times. Here are some of our favourites thus far:
- Elmer – This will vary but is currently well liked by all in the house. The Elephant is a favourite creature of Ollie so it gets some automatic bonus points. This enjoyment can change at a moment’s notice however.
- Gruffalo and Gruffalo’s child – You honestly can’t beat Julia Donaldson, we even went and bought the cookbook for it to play about with Olliebob.
- Zog the Dragon – I’m a bit dragon obsessed and one of Ollie’s earlier words was Dragon. This book is great and you can really string it out with some fun acting. Also Ollie dressed as a dragon for world book day this year…as did I.
- Oliver Who Wouldn’t Sleep – To be honest this is largely in verse and has the name Oliver so gets a 10/10 on that basis alone. Also, it’s a bit gallows humouresque when he won’t sleep and your reading about another Oliver who won’t.
- Oi Dog, Oi Frog and Oi Goat – Brilliant stuff from Kes Gray and Oi Frog has Pose’s favourite sound effect/line in possibly any book…’Plurp!’. Honestly they are just great. (Oi Duck-billed Platypus has been published since writting this which we are rather excited about)
- Quick Quack Quentin – Another great Kes Gray one which has a duck who’s lost his quack. I’m not convinced Ollie gets it to be honest, but Rosie and I crack ourselves up with our wonderful renditions of it…potentially you have to be sleep deprived to truly appreciate it.
- Castles – This was a present from Auntie Joe and Auntie Gemma and is just spot on. It has wonderful cut away illustrations and enough going on in it that a Toddler can stay engaged. Rosie has also learnt about castles which is a bonus! Along with a Dragon enthusiast I’m also a bit of a medieval history buff so this got my seal of approval even before Ollie began to enjoy it.
- A Bed of Your Own – Ollie is indifferent to this one but anything with gosh and golly peppered throughout it is a parental winner. You can really get your teeth into being a character with some fun vocab.
- Trucks* – Ollie is the only one who likes this. Neither Pose nor I understand this attachment. It’s only redeeming features is that the pages look similar and therefore if you distract Ollie enough you can skip several pages at once and not lose any of the ‘story’. This is currently safely stored down the back of the arm chair.
- Honorable mention also goes out to thr lovely book Bumblebear by Nadia Shireen, for having the wonderful phrase ‘What the jiggins!’ in it. Genuinely this makes Ollie, Pose and I chortle every time.
If anyone else has any recommendations let me know as we’re off to the shops this week to buy some more books. Any suggestions appreciated.