If you don't enjoy reading books to your children, you're reading the wrong books.
Updated: Nov 6, 2019
A friend of mine confessed recently that she simply doesn't enjoy reading to her children.
Now. She knows me quite well, so she was fully prepared when I reacted like this -
She went on to say that if she had to recite 'Goodnight Dora' to her five year old one more time, she would have to start self-medicating.
Well, I have something to say about that. Listen closely ya'll....
Nobody in the history of all that is good and holy has EVER enjoyed reading a Dora the Explorer book to their child. Like ever.
So we had a little chat and I had a little think and BAM! BLOG POST!
On books that are FUN to read out loud to your child. But you have to do some of the work. You can't go and borrow the below books from the library and then slip into a comatose state when you read them to your kid.
When Rodney loses it - YOU have to lose it!
When The Highway Rat gets all ratty and rude, stick a feather in your pirate's hat and make that squirrel squirm his way right back along that highway.....
So. With the above in mind, I give you a little list which I like to call....
Books that will save my friend from rehab
(With no bums, no farts, no celebrities. Bless their cotton socks, but I ain't promoting them here).
Let's start with my personal nomination for the actual, legit funniest book EVER...you guessed it, it's....
Rodney Loses It
Author: Michael Gerard Bauer
Illustrator: Chrissie Krebs
This book RHYMES and is FUNNY and CLEVER (as someone who tries to write books that rhyme and are funny and clever, I can assure you, the feat ain't easy).
Plus the darling illustrations of dear old Rodney are priceless.
Is it any wonder it won the 'CBCA Early Childhood Book of the Year' in 2018?
Speaking of sublime rhyme, next up we have three of the bestest rhythmical rhyming picture books a world-weary mumma or papa could hope for...
Author and Illustrator (aka - super human genius): Nicki Greenberg
I gushed over this book so much on Insta that the author sent me itty bitty Bitsy's for our wall!!
I even used this as an example one night when one of my daughters asked me to read a god-awful 'rhyming' book she'd borrowed from the library. The conversation went something like, 'Darling THIS book is good (holding up Bitsy) and THIS book from the library is cr....not so good.'
All of the Factors of Why I Love Tractors
Author: Davina Bell
Illustrator: Jenny Lovlie
I like kinda sorta KNOW this author. She knows MY name. And she sorta LIKES some of my work. And look at the stuff she is capable of. Actual ridiculous rhyming. Dr Suess type stuff. And if you're a parent of a kid who always wants to read the same type of book about the same type of topic (Dora the Explorer for instance?!) then you'll lovingly sympathise with the mum in this book.
The Elephant in the Room
Author: James Thorp
Illustrator: Angus Mackinnon
I think these peeps are from the UK - no time to research, but I have blogged about this book in the past and I think this duo have another book out there somewhere which I'm yet to find. Illustrations are seriously cool and the giant's voice is fun as.
Then let's be honest, anything written by Julia Donaldson is going to be a hoot to read aloud. My favourite, obviously, is 'The Highway Rat.' The rhythm is modelled off 'The Highwayman' by Alfred Noyes (which of course I was first introduced to through Anne of Green Gables. I mean, this nerdish book thing I've got going on has been decades in the making).
Then there's Aaron Blabey - you all know him. We have all manner of things that he's written, including four various titles of the 'Pig the Pug' books - but I'm pretty sure he has written at least another 978 'Pig' stories. And why wouldn't he? That horse ain't dead yet!
And to finish up, there are these gems which I'm hastily throwing together here but all of which I love long time...
Plus there are oh so many more out there in our big bookish world.
Look, I get that 'reading' and 'books' aren't everyone's thing, but all the more reason to make it fun for both you and your child. I mean, running isn't my thing. If someone asked me to 'run' for 'fun', I'd probably get a stitch just thinking about it. But place some golden retrievers along the track and an ice cream at the finish line, and you've got yourself a contender.
So get out there and get yourself some damn fine picture books to enjoy with your child. It will save you a fortune in rehab...