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Posted by on in Staff reads

With a background in design I suppose it was inevitable that my passion for this kind of book would run amuck. I just can't get enough of them. What could be better than snuggling up with your children to get lost in an unfolding story, sometimes told solely through the art on the page?

So offering me the job of picking my favourite ten was virtually impossible. I have listed ten below (well twelve actually), but I could easily squash twenty into my top ten. Ten (or twelve) just isn't enough! Narrators of the world (Moms and Dads, Grans and Grandads) from here to eternity should be introduced to brilliant books, so if you've found one, don't be shy, shout about it from the rooftops, share the joy! Books are brilliant, deadly, full of excitement and fun and most importantly imagination and the little imaginators in our lives like nothing more than the hook of a good story or illustration, just like we do!

There are some obvious and some not so obvious ones listed below, but all are really brilliant, well I think so anyway. I have tried really hard to only make one offering from each author but this was the real toughie as these people are geniuses! Julia Donaldson who is so witty and engaging and rhyming!... Mo Willems who tickles the funny bone, even if you don't have one and of course Oliver Jeffers, yes who doesn't love to devour his books?

Although, on the serious side, picture books are a child's first introduction to reading and it's at this very important moment in time where we can instil a lifelong love of reading in our children. Children do 'judge a book by its cover', they initially interpret the story through its illustrations and so the pictures have huge importance. So an exploration of image as well as text is vital.

Its probably very selfish to say, but when I'm picking a picture book I always pick ones that entertain me too, then I really don't mind reading it over and over again, while I chuckle quietly to myself. So, with Christmas on the way, make sure you have added at least one book to the pressie bundle, otherwise the Elves will get you!!

And so without further ado and in no particular order.............

Veg Glue

Title: Vegetable Glue

Author: Susan Chandler

Illustrator: Elena Odriozola

Age: 3-6

We've been reading this book in our house for years! Vegetable Glue is an hilarious, quirky and quite absurd, fun for all the family type of book. It's light hearted, but with a moral- If you eat cake all the time and don't eat any vegetables, your body will fall apart! "When my right arm fell off, I knew what to do, I stuck it back on, with vegetable glue".

The beautifully illustrated little girl explains how she repeatedly sticks her body parts back on, her arm, her nose, even her head, with the giant vat of vegetable glue. Her amazingly fit and super active, veggie loving grandma bounds in to save the day with bags full of veggies to make more of this amazing Glue.

A super book for the veggie-dodgers in every family (and we all have them), full of whimsical fun and great entertainment, most especially when the little girls bum falls off! The story rhymes and jolly's a long, flowing easily from page to page. It's the perfect length for the little ones, who just love to guess which body part is next to hit the floor and which nose belongs to whom.

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The Velveteen Rabbit By Margery Williams

(Published in 1922)b2ap3_thumbnail_The_Velveteen_Rabbit.jpg

The Velveteen Rabbit is the story of a little boy’s most-loved toy. Given to him as a Christmas present, the stuffed rabbit did not immediately find a place in the boy’s heart, and battled against the more expensive and fancy toys to be noticed.However, once the little boy grew to love the rabbit, a friendship grew that would only end when a terrible tragedy struck… When the rabbit’s owner contracts Scarlet Fever, all of his toys have to be taken away and burnt to rid the house of the disease.

Looking back, I must have been quite a morbid child!  I loved the book so much my Great Aunt gave me my very own Velveteen Rabbit when I was 7.  He has a top hat, a waistcoat and 1990 embroidered on his paw. Just like the rabbit in the book, he is now a good bit scruffier but no less loved, especially now since my aunt has passed away.  I tried to pass on the tradition to my own nephew by giving him a copy of The Velveteen Rabbit a few Christmases ago – he was a bit small to appreciate it at the time but I hope that someday he will love the story just as much as I do!

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