Our favourite picture books
Here at Little Pandas Photography Kent, we love books! Reading to and with your child is such a lovely way to unwind and share a cuddle. Reading to them when they are young can give them a head start with their reading, and set them up for a lifetime love affair with books; giving them an important way to relax and escape that is portable and inexpensive.
All of my little pandas have enjoyed nothing more than curling up for a story, and they still love being read to now.
So we thought, in honour of WBD, we would compile a list of some of our favourites.
Some are classics, that most people will have heard of. Some are a little bit more obscure. But all have made us laugh, smile and even cry. Hopefully this list will remind you of some old favourites, and maybe find you some new ones to share with your own little pandas too!
Where’s my teddy? By Jez Alborough
This was Sasha’s (my biggest panda) absolute favourite book as a child! So much so that we can both still recite it pretty much word perfect.
It’s the story of a little boy who loses his teddy bear in the woods, and whilst looking for it, comes across a giant teddy instead. He thinks at first that his teddy, Eddy, has grown somehow. But then he hears the bear…
It’s a lovely story, told in rhyme. And it also has two follow up books; It’s the bear! And My friend bear. Which are also worth a look if you enjoy this one.
Who’s in the loo? By Jeanne Willis
This is the beginning of a bit of a theme for my children, particularly the youngest! Anything involving bodily fluids and functions is a winner here.
This charming book starts with the fantastic paragraph “Who’s in the loo, there’s a very long queue. Is it an elephant having a poo?”. And then goes through the book giving suggestions of various animals it could be, and reasons they could be taking so long.
Available as a paperback or as a board book, this is great fun for little ones.
Stickman. By Julia Donaldson
This is one of those classics I talked about! We love Julia Donaldson in this house, the rhyming text of all her books flows beautifully, and the illustrations by Axel Scheffler are a perfect fit. We had a hard time choosing one of her more popular books to be our favourite, there are just so many to choose from; The Gruffalo, The Smartest giant in town, Room on a broom. All firm favourites here.
But in the end my littlest chose Stickman, because he likes the range of emotions it produces. It’s funny, sad, surprising and happy. Definitely a book that will never leave.
Poo bum by Stephanie Blake
I’ll admit, up until two Christmases ago I had never heard of this book. My sister, who is a primary school teacher, bought it for my littlest as part of his present.
When we sat down to read it we didn’t really know what to expect. But it had us all roaring with laughter, and has become a firm favourite.
It is the story of a little rabbit who can say nothing except “Poo bum!” He says it to everything; being asked to brush his teeth, saying goodnight. I won’t spoil the story by saying what happens, but it is very funny and very cleverly written.
Oi frog by Kes Gray
Another gift from my sister that has become a favourite.
A frog is told to sit on a log by a cat, in a very impolite way! But the frog doesn’t want to sit on the log, and makes suggestions of where else he could sit. The cat explains to him that animals can only sit on things that rhyme with them. It’s a very interactive book, my children all tried to guess what each animal would sit on, or come up with their own.
There are also many other books in the series now; Oi dog, Oi cat, Oi goat, Oi duck billed platypus. All equally silly and engaging.
Pants. By Giles Andreae
See the theme continuing here?!
A lovely rhyming book that goes through lots of silly types of pants; Small pants, big pants, giant frilly pig pants. And so on.
It’s very interactive, and with illustrations by Nick Sharratt (best known for illustrating the Jacqueline Wilson books, including Tracy Beaker) it’s bright, colourful and funny. There is a follow up book called More pants too, and you can even listen to it as a song, sung by Lenny Henry, on YouTube Here!
That’s not my panda. By Fiona Watt
There are so many books in the Thats not my……. series, published by Usborne. But we had to choose my favourite, the panda of course!
Touchy feels, interactive, with all different textures and describing words to learn. These books are a great introduction to books for little ones. And as they get a bit bigger, you can have them spotting the little white mouse hiding on every page too!
The ugly five. By Julia Donaldson
Another Julia Donaldson book, but one of her newer ones this time.
This is a recent addition to our favourites list. My son learnt all about Africa at school last term, and rather than loving the more commonly known animals like giraffes and elephants, he came home talking about wildebeest and hyenas. So this seemed like the perfect book for him.
It’s about the so-called “ugly” animals on the African plains finding each other and realising they are just as good as the “big five”. A lovely story about how everyone has a place to belong, and can find their tribe, no matter what they look like or how other people perceive them.
I love you, little monster. By Giles Andreae
This book. I can’t read it to my children very often. It never fails to make me well up. The words in it resonate with me so much.
Every single time I read it to them I struggle to get the words out through the lump in my throat when it comes to these two pages in particular. It’s just the most beautiful book about the love between a parent (guardian) and a child. If you don’t give any other book on this list a read, read this one. I guarantee it will make you cry too. Please, tell me I’m not alone in this haha (use the comments section to make me feel better).
The dinosaur who pooped a planet. By Tom Fletcher and Dougie Poynter
Continuing on the bodily functions theme haha.
There are quite a few books in this series now, but this has to be our favourite! Tom Fletcher and Dougie Poynter are better known for writing music with Mcfly, so when Sasha (huge Mcfly fan) insisted that we buy these for the little ones I wasn’t holding out too much hope that it would be any good.
But it’s fantastic! The rhyming is clever, the story is funny. The illustrations are great. And the last page has us all giggling before we even get there, because we know what’s coming. Give it a go. You won’t be disappointed. You might be disgusted, but you’ll be laughing too.
And just in case you can’t wait to go to the library or the shops, here’s the rather lovely James McAvoy reading it on Cbebbies bedtime stories! You’re welcome.