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Your book ideas and comments

Send us your comments on the books on the website that you have enjoyed, send in your comments, ideas and photos about activities linked to the books.

Jemma writes about reading with more than one child

Jemma has three children, Elodie (7), Finlay (4) and Orla (2)

 ‘We do struggle with this. Orla is at the stage where she just wants to turn the pages constantly, annoying the other two. We find we need to have more time for bedtime reading as they all want to pick a story each! Having a slot of reading time with each child individually helps, so they know they get some ‘one-on-one’ time.

Reading a story with vivid pictures, but perhaps more suited to older children often works, the younger children will ‘listen’ for the pictures, they may tail off and go and do something else but then the older one stays for the story.

It generally seems to be about the book as well, so the best ones that keep them all engaged,

and our age group favourites are Dear Zoo, Each Peach Pear Plum, Peace at Last, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt  and So Much. Interestingly all our children have loved these stories equally and all had ‘a time’ for them. This is without us promoting them also.

For example, each of them have had us read Dear Zoo 10 times a day between the ages of 9 months and a year! A firm favourite for all of them is so much and We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, all 3 of them will happily listen to that, even Elodie. Max at Night is also popular. Finlay (4) absolutely loves Alfie books, we read these a lot. I didn’t realise there was a video with Alfie Gets in First . I’ll show him that.

Jemma is interested in the new lovemubooks novels section.

Elodie (7) is an avid reader and reads books so quickly. I’m always on the lookout for new ones at the library or to buy but sometimes books that are suitable for her reading level are not always suitable in content. (They often have lots about boyfriends!)

Elodie has read Charlotte’s Web which she adored; she loved discovering what animal the characters were. She did find it sad though, I think it was the first book that really ‘moved her’, so that was interesting to see. She also became a vegetarian for a couple of days!

She read Mango and Bambang the not a pig in one sitting in an afternoon, I was a bit worried that she hadn’t read it properly but she recounted the whole story and loved it.

There are loads of books on your site that we like and some great ideas for new reads that we haven’t read on your new picture books list. [ This is such a great list for buying books as gifts for friend’s children!

It’s a lovely and very helpful website. Well done!’

 Tamiko wrote this:

‘I have just clicked onto LMB and LOVE it already! I have been reading The Hungry Caterpillar, The Gruffalo, Dear Zoo and other stories for the last 6 months to my son and I adore all your ideas on how to expand and develop the stories. Thank you for creating this website.’

We asked her how she was getting on with sharing books with her little boy Vincent who is now nearly one:

She has told us his favourite books are Dear Zoo and Spot’s First Easter (for pulling the flaps), The Very Hungry Caterpillar (for poking his fingers in the holes), Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy as he enjoys the rhymes, 100 First Animals for the variety and colour of the animals.

Tamiko continues:
‘We share Each Peach Pear Plum, Dear Zoo, Very Hungry Caterpillar, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, Gruffalo, Peace at Last, Room on the Broom (the last is our favourite bedtime story). We often share books straight after breakfast for about 40 minutes on a good day! I have tried the lovemybooks ideas of singing along to the Bear Hunt song, and also saying lines from the book when having a bath for example (splash, splosh, splash splosh!)

I look forward to doing more Hungry Caterpillar games once he is a bit older. And all the other interaction and games of course! ‘

Thanks Tamiko! We look forward to hearing more about your reading together

untitledRecommendations from Rose, a grandmother
I’d like to recommend the Little Red Train series by Benedict Blathwayt. Each page is full of realistic but also whimsical detail, humorous and informative, with townscapes, country scenes and seascapes, exploring universal themes such as the tortoise and hare type of race (between trains), generous acts, cheating, rescue etc. I’ve just bought two: Race to the Finish and To the Rescue. Two others are: Runaway Train and Busy Day.  I notice that you include one book by him in the dinosaur section.
These were suggested by the bookshop in Muswell Hill  when I mentioned that both my grandsons Leo and Luke love the detail of the Richard Scarry books, but I don’t like having to ‘translate’ from the American, both the language and cultural references.  The Scarry books are full of humorous representations of urban busyness and different forms of travel, and have lots of recurring people/animals to find on each page. I’ve given a few to both Leo and Luke  (aged 3 and 2 and a half) for example, The Busiest People Ever and Cars and Trucks and Things that Go). But at the bookshop the assistant recommended the Little Red Train books as being similar in having lots of detail and having the theme of people helping, rescuing etc. I’ve used Race to the Finish  and both really liked it – I’m saving the Busy Day for later.
Another author I like is Alex T Smith: He’s a young author and very popular, apparently.

It would be good to include on the site a section on local recommended bookshops. Mine would be: Children’s Bookshop, Fortis Green Road, Muswell Hill.

Thanks Rose for some great suggestions for books and for the website. Please write again about reading with your grandsons. We’d love to hear from you.

My daughter (aged two) engages most with role play activities around the books on the website. She has loved the ideas from the site such as packing a bag to ‘go on a bear hunt’ in the garden and ending up in bed under the covers, and is often now doing this on her own.  I overheard her saying” oh no! ‘I’ve got shoes on my mud like going on a bear hunt, squelch squerch!” See all the lovemybooks ideas for We’re Going on a Bearhunt.

She also had lots of fun with Dear Zoo activities, putting toy zoo animals into presents ‘from the zoo’ and sending them back. I recently gave her something to play with while I was tidying up and she promptly gave it back saying “send it back!” so I have decided not to play this one too close to Christmas to avoid awkward present giving situations!

She also gets very excited about having tiger tea parties (The Tiger Who Came to Tea) laying out all the food on a tray, wondering who is at the door and using a tiger puppet to eat all the sandwiches and buns and drink all the tea in the teapot. We then go round the kitchen so the tiger can eat all the food in the cupboards and drink all the water in the taps. We have even put on our coats to go to a pretend cafe, ordering food, paying the bill and then going to the shops to buy an extra large tin of tiger food!

Learning from these ideas in love my books has helped us to come up with our own activities. We read Peace at Last, going into different rooms in the house, listening to sounds like the clock ticking, the refrigerator and a dripping tap, saying “oh no! I can’t stand this!”

Hi Emma – it’s really good that you’re enjoying role play with your daughter.
Role play –  playing out the story of a book – helps to develop imagination, play and language, a deeper understanding of stories AND builds interest and enjoyment of books.

LOVE MY BOOKS – Sarah Baker
We started reading to our baby when I was about 7 months pregnant. Partly as a bonding exercise (I’d read a piece on how babies can recognise their mum and dad’s voices) and partly because we’d already been given some lovely books and I wanted to revisit some of my childhood favourites.

Now he’s five months and we’ve been reading to Freddie ever since. It’s his dad’s turn at night for the last story of the day, usually a quiet one as part of his bedtime routine, but once morning comes around, it’s my turn and that’s when the activities start.

One of our favourites is Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar. It’s bright, the pictures are wonderful and the little holes are brilliant for tiny fingers to poke through and help turn the pages or pretend to be a caterpillar. At five months, Freddie is more of a listener than a reader, but in time we’ll get a little more interactive and try some of the brilliant suggestions on the Love My Books website.

As a writer for children and a voracious reader, I’m keen to encourage Freddie’s early love of books (whether listening to them or biting them) and the Love My Books website is a brilliant resource of both fun and educational activities to support that. They also have lots of book suggestions, some of which we didn’t know, so we’ve already ordered more. I foresee very happy times ahead (and not just for me!)

I look forward to working through the age group books and activities with Love My Books and our very own hungry caterpillar.

Read more of Freddie’s story

My little boy adores buses and trains. He absolutely loves Naughty Bus and Oi! Get Off My Train. He also loves a push, pull slide book called Busy railway (published by Campbell) and Wave the flag and Blow the Whistle (Ronda Armitage illustrated by Andrew Gordon.

Thanks for this feedback Toyin, great to see how much your little boy enjoys this topic!