Crikey, how are we in February already? I don’t know about you, but I’m only just getting back into a routine. I’m finally over the Christmas rush, my university course has finished and I’m back on track. With that in mind, here is our first ‘What we’ve been reading’ of the year. I’ve decided to change things up a bit with this series by including what I’ve been reading as well.
So I’ll break this post into two parts, first talking about the books I’ve been reading with the boys and then I’ll talk about what I’ve been reading.
Say Hello to the Snowy Animals by Ian Wybrow and Ed Eaves
This is such a lovely book and one that normally gets plucked from the bookcase during the winter months. The story follows a husky pup through the snowy wilderness, where he says hello to his different friends and in response they make their sound back to the husky pup. In our copy of the book, the animals are raised and have a felt like texture, which also gives the book a sensory element. This is such a charming book to read to the boys and we have fun making the animal noises throughout the story. The language is so simple as well, which is perfect for children beginning to read. Now Bear is getting older, we are tracing the words with our fingers as we read, so that he can begin to associate the words I read aloud with the words on the page. We are huge fans of this book and it comes highly recommended from us.
Goodnight Digger by Michelle Robinson and Nick East
This is a story of a little boy that has a vivid imagination. He creates a little world where his toys have little adventures as he tidies them away before bed. I absolutely adore the illustrations in this book. They are relatively simple and soft, which is perfect for a bedtime book, yet they are quite colourful which keep even our energetic youngest engaged. We actually created signs for the first page and incorporated them into our bedtime routine. So now I signal that it’s time to tidy up before bed by saying “It’s time for bed, turn down the light, let’s tidy up and say goodnight’ while signing. It works incredibly well and even our one year old helps tidy up before bathtime now. Another highly recommended book from us.
Thomas the Tank engine 70th Anniversary Classic Library by The Rev. W. Awdry
My Mum bought this for Bear as a Christmas present and we now work through the books each night before bed. They are somewhat a keepsake, so we always keep these books out of reach of Monkey and make sure Bear knows that he has to be extra careful with them. The books in this collection are replicas of the originals, so the text and illustrations are slightly dated, but personally I think it adds a little charm to them. There is the odd bit of text you may want to alter depending on how much your child absorbs or is sensitive to, for example after some children were naughty in one of the books, their father gave them a ‘wallop’, which is obviously a rather outdated parenting technique. To be honest – for us at least – it was interesting to see how times have changed and actually opened up conversations with Bear. The books are quite small and the illustrations aren’t very bold and bright, but each book is broken down into four stories, so even if your little one hasn’t got the longest of attention spans, I wouldn’t rule these out. We are huge fans of classics, such as Beatrix Potter, Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl, so these stories just add to our classics collection. Personally I think this collection is a lovely addition to any bookcase.
What I’ve been reading – Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
This is a book I have been trying to read since I first had Monkey, but every time I sat down to read it something came up. This year however, I’ve decided to read every evening before bed and that way I can’t be distracted.
It is difficult to sum up Wuthering Heights in one paragraph, but I’ll try my best. When Mr. Lockwood finds himself the new tenant of The Grange, he pays a visit to his landlord Mr. Heathcliff at Wuthering Heights, where he becomes stranded and is forced to stay the night. During the night he experiences a paranormal event, which sparks his interest in the story behind his new abode, the landlord that owns it, the history of The Grange, Wuthering Heights and the families that used to live in them. This leads him to hearing all about the Linton’s, the Earnshaw’s, Heathcliff and the history binding them all.
Personally I found this a slightly difficulty book to get into, but after the first couple of chapters I was hooked. In truth, the characters have lots of undesirable traits, but I found that in a way I pitied them because of the situation they had been raised in and things they had experienced throughout life had made them that way. I found myself drawn into the story and that I felt a wide range of emotions throughout different parts, towards different characters. I must admit I didn’t really understand what Joseph was saying half the time, but I think that is partly the point. The way the story is told as a narrative by Nelly and Mr. Lockwood, is also very intriguing and personally I think it adds an extra layer to the story, which possibly is why the range of emotions I felt throughout the story are so vast. I personally found the characters and viewpoint that Emily Bronte uses to tell her story interesting and I’ve really enjoyed reading it.