Once upon a time, when Kitty was just a teeny tiny little baby, or not so teeny tiny as the case may be, we ventured out to the library on a chilly winter morning in search of a story or two.
It’s hard to imagine now, looking across the lounge to the play kitchen, the boxes of Duplo, the train set in its basket and the bookcase overflowing with stories of all shapes and sizes, that once upon a time we had a coffee table, and ornaments. Once upon a time that bookcase held grown up books. Well sort of, at least one of the shelves was given over to housing my hardback collection of the Swallows & Amazons series but you know what I mean.
And the change from then to know all stems from that library visit, that gateway to a world of children’s stories far beyond the things I remembered from my own childhood, and the limited appeal of the “that’s not my …” Board books, and the story of Sniff Snuff Snap.
What better place to begin than with Lynley Dodd.
We brought it home, read it, read it again, and again and again and again. It was the first of the children’s books that I found I’d sort of accidentally memorised, the one I’ve recited a hundred times over my shoulder on long car journeys or rocking a sleepy little girl in my arms.
And it’s still awesome.
In the heart of the African plains lives a little warthog, tail up high, guarding his waterhole from all and sundry.
He chases them away, the weaver birds, the zebras, even the elephants, with a sniff snap snap, but to no avail;they all come back. And slowly the water goes down and down.
Poor little warthog, tired and hot, all they leave him is thick brown mud, and in the distance the looming thunderclouds and the promising first drops of rain.
Unlike many of our other Lynley Dodd favourites this isn’t all about the deliciousness of tongue twisting language, the focus is all on the repetition, the same key phrases used for each set of animals and that gives it both a familiarity and the rhythm that Kitty loved as a baby.
We bought it as soon as the original was due back at the library, along with the bookseller’s recommendation for something similar, a book by an author I’d never heard of before, but with some lovely looking illustrations, a book called Room on the Broom. And from that point there’s been no going back, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Last wek Vickie discovered a whole heap of classics with Usborne’s Illustrated Stories for Children and Jess joined us for the first time (yay! and welcome!) with a book I must look out for for Pip, Baby’s Day. And if you have a favourite, or just something fun your little or not so little ones have enjoyed reading lately please do join us. There really are no rules here, it doesn’t have to be a book you own or for a particular age group. I write about books for pre-schoolers because that’s what I have, some of them from our exploding bookcases and some from the library, but I’m always looking out for the next stage up, and anything that’s really good tends to transcend age groups anyway!
The linky is always open for the whole week so there’s plenty of time. And so, without further ado, it’s over to you to tell me what we should be reading!