I bought my daughter's first book when I was 5 months pregnant. Since then, we have added many books to her collection, putting the library to shame!
It's never too early to read to your babies, they can learn valuable language skills just by hearing your voice. For younger babies, books high in vibrancy and colour are great for visual stimulation. The benefits of reading are astounding and encouraging book appreciation at such a young age is important to develop your child's love for learning.
If you are expecting a new bub, need a present for a little one or are just plain bored with your child's current book collection, I have compiled a list of some great books for children under 5.
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The Tiger Who Came to Tea By Judith Kerr
First published almost 50 years ago it still holds its popularity. It is a wonderful story about a Tiger who joins Sophie and her mum for tea. He ends up eating and drinking everything in the house leaving Sophie and her mum without any food for supper. I must admit, the story may be seen as slightly old fashioned but its soft tone and calming portrayal of the family itself overrides this entirely. My 20 month old loves it!
Giraffes Can't Dance By Giles Andreae & Guy Parker-Rees
Monkeys doing the cha-cha-cha and waltzing warthogs are just some of the excitement this book has to offer. With its colourful illustrations and rhythmic text, this story has a beautiful message waiting for your little one at the end. The title pretty much sums up the plot but it's the way the book sets out its message that makes it one of our favourites.
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The Very Hungry Caterpillar By Eric Carle
I'm sure many of you have heard of this book! You have either grown up reading it or already have a copy at home. This awesome book provides an abundance of learning for our little ones. It contains beautiful colours, illustrations and a collage type quality (holes in the page to signify where the caterpillar has eaten) This book has provided inspiration for many other similar books and learning tools to be produced. Guaranteed your kids will learn about "The Hungry Caterpillar" once they reach primary school as it's a wonderful tool to educate them about the life stages of a caterpillar. A must have for all families!
I Want My Hat Back By Jon Klassen
This book can be a growing companion for your child as its great for kids of all ages. Its about a bear who has lost his hat and he goes around politely asking his friends if they have seen his hat. Story line is very simple, humorous and allows the readers to be "in on the joke." Its an engaging story and may even provide your child with an appreciation for hats.
Too Many Pears! By Jackie French
If you like short stories and big text with plenty of alliteration, this book is a must for your little ones book collection. It's about Pamela the cow who loves pears! She will eat baked pears, stewed pears and even chocolate dipped pears. Your child will definitely have an appreciation for pears after reading this story that's for sure!
We're Going on a Bear Hunt By Michael Rosen
This award winning book is extremely well-known. I have heard renditions of it sung on Playschool and on other child educational programs. It's about a family having to tackle obstacles whilst going on a bear hunt. It offers plenty of repetition and has an element of panic at the end of the book which is great to build up excitement. It's a wonderful book and can be used as a tool for song and dance!
Shorty & Clem By Michael Slack
Image Credit - HarperCollins Publishers
I first came across this book whilst at the library with my daughter. She took a liking to it so we borrowed it and she absolutely loved the story line! Compared to the books above, it's a relatively new book on the market having only been published in April 2017. This book is full of surprises and really does pack a punch in the excitement category.
Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! By Mo Willems
Judging by the large dent on the cover, my daughter has so much fun with this book. It's about a bus driver who has to leave for awhile and entrusts you "the reader" to look after the bus. Along comes a pigeon who is adamant about driving the bus! It's up to you to stop him. It's a great tool to teach your kids the importance of listening to instructions and using the word "No." definitely one of the top 5 books in our household.
Your First Word Will Be Dada By Jimmy Fallon
When my daughter was 8 months old, I bought this book for her dad for Fathers Day. Low and behold, her first word was Daddy. What a wonderful and simple book for children as young as 6 months, and yes, the author is the host of The Tonight Show!
There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Mozzie By P.Crumble
Part of a 5 series box set, this book is probably our favourite of the lot. Full of Aussie slang and iconic animals this book is one for the imaginative child. The illustrations are bright, colourful and full of expression. "I don't know why she swallowed a Mozzie......She's gotta be Aussie!" I'm sure many of us can relate :)
Brian the Smelly Bear By Mark Chamber
This is a great short story with rhythmic undertones and fantastic illustrations. It's about a smelly bear who "pongs out the woods" and annoys his friends with his stench! If you like this book you should try the sequel called "Brian the Smelly Bear Smells Something Smelly." Great series of books for curious little minds.
Moo Moo Mooing By Ben Whitehouse & Melanie Joyce
Easiest way to describe this book is loud, noisy and exciting. For some reason after I read this book I feel like I have had the radio up on full blast! All the mooing, bleating, crunching and oinking will expose your children to various sounds of the farm. It's also a great book to allow your kids to join in on the animal sounds. Illustrations are colourful, storyline is simple, and the animal sounds are enough to make you wonder whether you are actually on a farm.
So there you have it, that's my pick for some great reads for our little ones. With all the selection of books out there feel free to share in the comments which books your little ones adore.