With Christmas around the corner I thought I’d put together a post with our ten favourite books from ‘The Tiny Human Library’. For us, bedtime stories are a cherished time in the day. As a speech and language therapist I always say to parents that instilling a love of books in our kids is probably one of the best gifts we can give them in life. Sharing books with our kids can set them up to become great storytellers and support vocabulary and literacy development. Above all else, story time is a lovely time to spend together at the end of the day.
So below I’ve compiled a list of the books we are really enjoying at the moment, with a particular emphasis on Irish authors. In terms of age range for our choices, Luke is now aged 3.5 yrs and Olly is 2 – that said many of these titles are suitable for older kids too!
1. The Doghouse (by Jan Thomas)
This clever book was recommended to me at a course I attended focusing on kid’s storytelling skills through work. As it happens it is now Olly’s absolute favourite book. The book is a simple story about a missing ball which has gone into the doghouse. It features a number of characters who are reluctant to go and get it out. It’s simple and predictable and always guarantee a laugh. This is a fantastic book for younger children who will soon pick up the story and enjoy retelling it themselves.
2. Not A Box (by Antoinette Portis)
This very clever little book is a favourite amongst speech and language therapists. An ingenious little book with very few words but lots of imagination. Even the quietest and most reluctant of children won’t be able to hold back in getting involved. Again Olly can tell me this story now with very little help. Both my boys love it and it’s great for encouraging kids to take the lead at story time!
3. What Do Grown Ups Do All Day? (by Virginie Morgand)
This book has a real retro 80’s feel to it. To be honest it’s like something I’d have loved as a child. This is a fabulous book for kid’s to learn all about different professions in quite a bit of detail. There is so much opportunity for expanding vocabulary with this book. From school to the construction site, a university to a concert hall – this book leaves no one out. The pictures are fantastic and the content presented in a really fun and engaging way. This book is Luke’s favourite from the list and we read two sections from it every night!
4. The President’s Glasses (by Peter Donnelly)
This book is an absolute feast for the eyes and I fell in love with it after seeing the illustrations alone! The story which makes its way through Dublin city is nothing short of brilliant. Follow the journey of a loyal pigeon through Dublin in search of the president. Kid’s and adults alike will absolute adore this story!
5. The President’s Cat (by Peter Donnelly)
The newest addition to our library is the follow up to the President’s Glasses. In fear that the country folk around Ireland would be left out, Peter Donnelly has created a book which travels around some of Ireland’s most iconic landmarks in search for the president’s cat. Again the illustrations in this book are phenomenal, and the story to match, fun and engaging.
6. A Dublin Fairytale (by Nicola Colton)
This gorgeous story is a modern Irish twist on some of the classic and familiar fairy tales we know so well. The illustrations in this book are again detailed and captivating, meaning the boys are always glued to this book when we read it! What I love about this story is the familiar Dublin landmarks the main character Fiona passes on her quest. From the spire, to the Ha’Penny bridge and even Trinity College. The story is magic in more ways than one, and regardless of if you’re a Dubliner or not, this book is an absolute keeper.
7. A Sailor Went to Sea Sea Sea (by Sarah Webb & Steve McCarthy)
If you want to bring your kid’s on a trip down memory lane this is the book for you. A collection of favourite rhymes from an Irish childhood, this book will undoubtedly remind you of parts of growing up you invariably forgot. What I love about this collection of rhymes is you can dip in and out and pick a few each night – it’s not the kind of book you need to read cover to cover. This book sometimes leaves my kids looking at me bemused when I burst into solo renditions of ‘Molly Malone’ and ‘I’ll Tell Me Ma’!
8. Pigín of Howth (by Kathleen Watkins)
This book is probably suited to older kids, but Luke is just starting to follow along with the story and enjoy it. Full disclosure I have a special place in my heart for Howth and so any story featuring a pig who lives there was always going to be a winner with me! This gorgeous storybook features three separate tales of Pigín’s adventures, again illustrated beautifully. Another favourite for us from the incredibly talented Irish author Kathleen Watkins. Pigín may just be the best pig we know!
9. Have You Filled a Bucket Today (by Carol McCloud)
If you haven’t heard about this book, I highly recommend it! This book is literally ‘A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids’. A little different from our other picks, this books introduces the concept of ‘Bucket Filling’. In summary the ideas in the book encourage positive behaviour by showing kids how rewarding it is to be kind, appreciative and to show love to others by ‘filling buckets’. The concept of filling invisible buckets is something that even younger kids can come to understand and has been a really useful way for me to explain the importance of kindness to my 3 year old!
10. Wild Whoopee (by Gillian Blowers)
We absolutely love this story from Gillian Blowers. The tale of a fun loving dog who helps Eddie and Daisy get off their devices and rediscover their love of the great outdoors! The illustrations in this book were done by Gillian and her young daughter and are a labour of love. Gillian self publishes her gorgeous rhyming books and is passionate about sharing the important messages which feature in her stories. Some other titles we love from Gillian include ‘The Russian Dolls’ ,’The Green Gum Roll’ and ‘Who Made The Sky Cry’. These unique rhyming books would make a gorgeous addition to any little one’s library and are available to buy from sharedscribbles.com
Photo credit: Slider Image: Michaela McDonnell (Little Things Photography)