Author Topic: Books for kids  (Read 2746 times)

FerriswheelBueller

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Books for kids
« on: June 09, 2020, 01:49:06 PM »
Continued from here

https://www.cookdandbombd.co.uk/forums/index.php/topic,80674.240.html

I know a few CaBbers have young kids and was wondering what books they are working their way through.

My mum is a children’s librarian so she’s always sending us books for Ferris Jr that she’s read at work and thought we’d like. We usually do 3 or 4 at bedtime, and a few throughout the day when we have time and he’s in the mood.

Currently on the roster

- I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen
- Dogs by Emily Gravett (she has a few dog themed ones and they’re all very nicely done)
- Frog and Toad anthology by Arnold Lobel (very interesting man)
- Elmer by David McKee
- Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion

Books that have died on their arse

- every Beatrix Potter we have tried, which I’m fine with because they’re shit
- one about a mopey giraffe
- one about a giraffe that can dance

The lesson I’ve learned is dogs are a winner, giraffes are a tough sell.

king_tubby

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Re: Books for kids
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2020, 02:16:08 PM »
Oi Frog! and the others in that series are great. I remember the dancing giraffe and yes, it was awful.

My sister kindly sent one over about a mole who gets shat on and goes round all the animals watching them shit until he finds out who did it. Thanks a bunch.

The Tiger Who Came to Tea, The Mog stories, Where the Wild Things Are, Meg and Mog, Funnybones - these are all classics that have stood the test of time.

bgmnts

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Re: Books for kids
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2020, 02:18:12 PM »
Meditations by Marcus Aurelius.

Re: Re: JK Rowling TERFing her legacy into the bin
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2020, 02:25:12 PM »
The problem for me was, if you've read reasonably widely as a child.  Some Tolkein, some Alan Garner, Ursula le Guin and so on, JK Rowling is like watching Disney when you're looking for Grimm.  It's a pale plastic plagiarism.

I'm not sure about this (beyond it being a little pompous). I was a bookish kid and would have been reading Tolkien and Adams and Pullman (and, weirdly, Saki) at the time I started getting into Potter, and I still got plenty of enjoyment out of them. They're easy and fairly compelling reading, and the world expands at the right pace to keep you interested (in contrast I gave up on Lord of the Rings at the Return of the King and never went back). That said, of the above, Rowling is comfortably the author I am least likely to return to.

Jerzy Bondov

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Re: Books for kids
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2020, 02:37:05 PM »
My son loves I Want My Hat Back and, though to a lesser extent, the other two hat books. We Found A Hat is really quite touching but I'm not sure he really gets it. The sequels have much smaller casts as well, so you don't get to do so many voices.

My favourite book for hamming it up and doing voices is The Troll by Julia Donaldson and David Roberts. It's got a troll, a spider, a rabbit, a mouse AND four different pirates. That book also has one of the funniest pages in picture books outside of I Want My Hat Back: "These are no use to me!". By the way, the Gruffalo should sound like Brian Blessed and the mouse definitely DOES NOT sound like James Corden. Way too breathy and nervous. I do an impression of David Tennant for the Highway Rat though, I like his take on it.

Where the Wild Things Are was my favourite picture book when I was little and I can't read it to my son without getting teary. Not sure he likes it very much though. The Tiger Who Came to Tea and Mog are unbeatable. Judith Kerr really understood cats. Mog's thought processes are so well observed. Getting on the roof because a tree shouts at her. Having a shit in a chair and hiding in the attic, "No one will ever find me here. I'll stay here for ever and ever and I'll never go downstairs again," and then a few pages later getting bored and jumping out of the window. And our favourite Mog thought since we had a baby, "This baby is everywhere. I'm getting out."

We've just got "You're Called What?!" which is by Kes Gray of Oi Frog fame. It's basically just a list of animals with funny names but it's a big hit in this house. It's only picture book I've found with a blobfish in it anyway.

Just coming up on the end of Italo Calvino's Le cosmicomiche as well

FerriswheelBueller

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Re: Books for kids
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2020, 03:18:56 PM »
These are all really useful recommendations, thanks! Ferris Jr is the first of the new generation on both sides of our family so we don’t have tons of old books to hand down to him.

Gus the Grumpy Dog is another winner, it’s about a dog that likes sausages and has one of those “one word in big text” double page spreads that are such crowdpleasers because you can do it in a silly voice.

Blinder Data

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Re: Books for kids
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2020, 03:44:07 PM »
I only remember a handful from my experiences with the niece and nephew but the highlights have been:

Room on the Broom - probs a standard and Julia Donaldson gets everywhere but you cannot argue with the craft. She's a genius.

WOW! Said the owl - nice book about a baby owl that likes colours.

Mixed - teaches kids about diversity/racism. Almost made me cry.

Of course there's often a big difference between what you enjoy and what your kids enjoy. Most parents detest Peppa Pig with every fibre of their being but the little ones can't get enough.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2020, 04:00:23 PM by Blinder Data »

thenoise

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Re: Books for kids
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2020, 03:53:26 PM »
Disclaimer: baby is not yet one so basically I'm reading these to myself.  He enjoys the pictures and the little flaps/music (etc), though.

There's an owl in my towel
Somebody's Hiding (Julia Donaldson).  Nice illustrations, flaps to lift, and an accompanying song.  Winners.

The Four Seasons
Carnival of the Animals (Fiona Watt) - lovely illustrations, poetic words and recording of classical music via a lovely little tinny speaker.

I was relieved to discover that my Mum has kept all my Puddle Lane books.  They seem pretty nice so far (only reread the first couple, he loves Timothy Catchamouse), but I'm concerned about encountering some dated attitudes or other later on.  1985 was a long time ago.

king_tubby

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Re: Books for kids
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2020, 04:27:29 PM »
Hmmm, I find Donaldson very hit and miss, mainly due to the quantity she punts out. The well known ones are well known for a reason!

Pants by Nick Sharrattt we liked a lot.

FerriswheelBueller

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Re: Books for kids
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2020, 05:05:34 PM »
Donaldson did the Hairy McClary series right? They’re very good - there’s a whole expanded universe!

Lynley Dodds is another one who churns ‘em out, I was surprised she did the “my cat hides in boxes” book, which is slow burn

king_tubby

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Re: Books for kids
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2020, 08:07:57 PM »
No, Hairy Maclary wasn't Donaldson. Didn't like that one either.

Tonight we read:

the mole poo head one (bah)
The Treasure of Pirate Frank  (hooray!)
Bug and Bear (pretty rubbish, not the famous one)

Chollis

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Re: Books for kids
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2020, 08:15:32 PM »
highly recommend Beryl's Box

Jerzy Bondov

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Re: Books for kids
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2020, 09:43:10 PM »
Lynley Dodd wrote Hairy Maclary. Some are better than others but I love the way she draws motion, the dogs always look so alive and boisterous.

Re: Books for kids
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2020, 10:27:22 PM »

Re: Books for kids
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2020, 10:47:29 PM »


My favourite book for hamming it up and doing voices is The Troll by Julia Donaldson and David Roberts. It's got a troll, a spider, a rabbit, a mouse AND four different pirates. That book also has one of the funniest pages in picture books outside of I Want My Hat Back: "These are no use to me!". By the way, the Gruffalo should sound like Brian Blessed and the mouse definitely DOES NOT sound like James Corden. Way too breathy and nervous. I do an impression of David Tennant for the Highway Rat though, I like his take on it.

Where the Wild Things Are was my favourite picture book when I was little and I can't read it to my son without getting teary. Not sure he likes it very much though.

I completely agree with you and so does my daughter. I can never decide whether or not to do the troll in a cockney or brummie accent. 

I felt exactly the same reading WTWTA - my daughter enjoyed it and then 15 minutes after I went downstairs shouted that she was scared of the wild things.

I bought Anatole by Eve Titus for my son when I was younger, as it was a favourite of mine. Not much interest.

Oliver Jeffers books are great. Stuck is my favourite.

Re: Books for kids
« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2020, 10:49:33 PM »
Some more here...

https://www.cookdandbombd.co.uk/forums/index.php/topic,63201.0.html

It would appear that I repeat myself.

I meant to get that Animals book you recommended. Too late now. Sob

Twit 2

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Re: Books for kids
« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2020, 11:35:40 PM »
YOU CHOOSE

Re: Books for kids
« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2020, 11:38:16 PM »
I was relieved to discover that my Mum has kept all my Puddle Lane books.  They seem pretty nice so far (only reread the first couple, he loves Timothy Catchamouse), but I'm concerned about encountering some dated attitudes or other later on.  1985 was a long time ago.

I bloody loved these. Not sure if it was a specific set of editions that we had, but they had the story text on one page (for the adult to read out), and then a facing page with the lovely illustrations, and a simple sentence in large print summarising that bit of the story (e.g. 'Tim climbed up the tree') so that the child gets to read aloud, too, which was a really nice idea.

Don't remember anything dodgy (although my brother maintains that Mr. Gotobed was most likely a nonce). The one with the dragon egg was ace.

Pretty much everyone I know with young kids says they're unanimously besotted with Peppa Pig. I do some work with kids' book publishing, and apparently the volume of orders for Peppa picture books since lockdown has been insane. I've never actually read any of them (and I don't have kids) so can't vouch for them myself, but seems like lots of kids can't get enough of them.

Re: Books for kids
« Reply #18 on: June 09, 2020, 11:53:28 PM »
A couple more that I used to love:

The Church Mice books by Graham Oakley, about a gang of slightly anarchic mice living in an old church and their exasperated cat friend.  Gentle dry humour and wonderful detailed illustrations that can be pored over for ages (attention span allowing, obviously), seeing what all the mice are doing.

The What-a-Mess books by Frank Muir - could be worth a try if dogs have been a hit so far - about a scruffy cartoon Afghan hound puppy. Apparently it was made into an animated series too but I never saw it.

Re: Books for kids
« Reply #19 on: June 10, 2020, 12:00:48 AM »
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. Genuinely mind-expanding.

FerriswheelBueller

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Re: Books for kids
« Reply #21 on: June 10, 2020, 01:42:23 AM »
Never thought I'd say it, but I'm really grateful for this thread. We still have to read to my 8-year-old stepson at night because he won't read by himself, and basically Captain Underpants is the winner. But it's shite. I'd rather read him Goosebumps, honestly, but that's apparently fallen out of favor for being "a bit much" for kids that age, and the Roald Dahl staples are apparently just "boring". 'sake. I was reading Hitchhiker's Guide and Discworld by myself around that age, so my gauge is well off as far as modern-day America goes. Things have changed, I suppose. They barely encourage kids to even read in schools here - the lockdown syllabus has basically been multiple-choice maths questions on a website.

I'll definitely give some of these recommendations a try, because I can't bring myself to read out the words "Professor Poopypants" again.

king_tubby

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Re: Books for kids
« Reply #22 on: June 10, 2020, 08:32:12 AM »
YOU CHOOSE

Yes! We love this one.

famethrowa

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Re: Books for kids
« Reply #23 on: June 10, 2020, 01:06:49 PM »
The Dr Seuss stable has gone over very well with our lad (7). His absolute favourite for a few years is "Misti Goes Sailing" which is a knock-off of some European kitten character from the 70's.

David Walliams has not been a success. I hate that shit anyway, "the horriblest bogey bandit etc etc"

Worst story was one from school, something about a monkey (chimp?) who came from Africa to go in the animal olympics, ran the marathon half way and got bit by a stray dog, limped across the finish line after everyone had gone home. Absolute deso.

Re: Books for kids
« Reply #24 on: June 10, 2020, 08:16:34 PM »
My kids loved Not Now Bernard, which features amazingly brutal uncaring parenting.

And they roar at The Book With No Pictures by BJ Novak.

We Are In A Book by Mo Willems is the best book for kids which is based on existential terror.

Triangle by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen is good too.

Jerzy Bondov

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Re: Books for kids
« Reply #25 on: June 10, 2020, 08:26:49 PM »
Oh yeah Triangle, that’s a big hit. “Go away you ___! Leave my door!” gets used a lot here.

Inspector Norse

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Re: Books for kids
« Reply #26 on: June 10, 2020, 08:28:53 PM »
We Are In A Book by Mo Willems is the best book for kids which is based on existential terror.

Haven’t got that one but Willems has been popular with ours: Knuffle Bunny is fun and stylish, and Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus is a blast, though for some reason I always feel compelled to voice the pigeon as a gruff Cockney wideboy and the bus driver as a bland American radio Troy McLure type.

Pingers

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Re: Books for kids
« Reply #27 on: June 10, 2020, 08:59:14 PM »
Nice Work Little Wolf by Hilda Offen is great, because it's essentially about slave rebellion. Little Wolf falls into the trotters of the odious pig family, who are bone idle and make him do everything, the lazy pink bastards. But Little Wolf is still growing, and pretty soon he is not little anymore and visits sweet justice on the oppressive porkers, then he reunites with his mum and they live in the pigs' house. It's excellent.

Twit 2

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Re: Books for kids
« Reply #28 on: June 11, 2020, 07:16:21 AM »
MR GUM

thenoise

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Re: Books for kids
« Reply #29 on: June 11, 2020, 08:13:25 AM »
I bloody loved these. Not sure if it was a specific set of editions that we had, but they had the story text on one page (for the adult to read out), and then a facing page with the lovely illustrations, and a simple sentence in large print summarising that bit of the story (e.g. 'Tim climbed up the tree') so that the child gets to read aloud, too, which was a really nice idea.

Don't remember anything dodgy (although my brother maintains that Mr. Gotobed was most likely a nonce). The one with the dragon egg was ace.

Pretty much everyone I know with young kids says they're unanimously besotted with Peppa Pig. I do some work with kids' book publishing, and apparently the volume of orders for Peppa picture books since lockdown has been insane. I've never actually read any of them (and I don't have kids) so can't vouch for them myself, but seems like lots of kids can't get enough of them.

The early ones have a parent and child page opposite each other (it's a reading programme so they get harder as you go through the series).  I wonder whether token ethnic characters 'Hari and Gita' might be a bit stereotyped?  Probably fine.  Gotobed might be a nonce but he sleeps all the time, harmless.

I noticed that the same author wrote 'Tim and the Hidden People', which is perfect if you want to introduce your four year old to all that terrifying 1970s hauntology folk horror type stuff.  These fog-shrouded gloomy covers really stood out on my primary school library shelf among all the goofy brightly coloured 80s/90s funny children books, I absolutely loved them.  Pity they seem to sell for top dollar now.

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