Baby Book Club – May

Being naughty, acting out, misbehaving, call it what you will, most toddlers and preschoolers will try it on at some point. At this stage in their lives, they’re starting to work out what they can get away with; what’s OK and what isn’t.
I hope you read my January blog on books about Emotions and have found my choices helpful for understanding and discussing emotions. Toddlers get frustrated so easily as they often don’t have the words to explain how they’re feeling, which can lead to anger and tantrums.
So this month’s Baby Book Club takes that further and looks at “Pushing the Boundaries”. Take some time to explore that behaviour, look at its consequences, discuss how to get over it and even have a little snigger at someone else being naughty.

The Naughty Sheep
by Stephen Cartwright and Heather Amery

The Naughty Sheep

This story is for young ones and is an absolute classic.
Woolly is a naughty sheep who escapes from her field to eat flowers. Follow her adventures and giggle about how naughty but still loveable Woolly is.

Poo Bum
by Stephanie Blake

Poo Bum

This one really appeals to my naughty side but you might want to check it out before introducing your toddler to it. “Once there was a little rabbit only could only say one thing
Poo Bum”
That really is mostly what the books about. Some toddlers and preschoolers will find this hilarious and understand how anarchic little rabbit is. Others may worry (my son would have) and not want rabbit to get into trouble. There’s also a pretty good chance your little one may start saying Poo Bum at every opportunity.
I think it’s a great one for exploring what’s appropriate and when.

Good Boy Fergus
by David Shannon

Good Boy Fergus

Fergus is adorable, you can tell his owner thinks so too. But if you think this book might be about a really well behaved dog, then think again. Fergus pushes those boundaries all through the book and gets away with so much! His owner still calls him a good boy and praises him. There’s not too many words so it’s a great one for toddlers. It also works for older children as you can talk about why Fergus might not be quite the good boy his owner thinks he is.
Parents, replace the dog in this book with your own child and you’ll realise how skilful this book is.

Where the Wild things Are
by Maurice Sendak

Where the Wild Things Are

Another absolute classic.
Max is having a bad day, he’s made mischief and his mum’s sent him to bed. He thinks he’ll be happy escaping to where all the wild things are. It’s fun for a while but Max misses his home and his mum and the love and safety there.
I love how grounding this book is. It’s a great way to talk about how misbehaving might feel fun for a while but there will always be a place to come back to.

Noodlehead
by Giles Andreae and Lalalimola

Noodlehead

Flippy and Floppy and having an argument. It escalates into a fabulous name calling shout-down. Luckily Floppy realises she’s not enjoying herself, so she offers Flippy a sweet and everything turns around.
The illustrations in this book are wonderfully motion filled and colourful.
It’s great to read a book where one person can see that their argument isn’t bringing them any joy so changes things. It’s a short story with very few words so would be great for both toddlers and preschoolers.

The Bad Seed
by Jory John and Pete Oswald

The Bad Seed

This is one for older children. It’s quite wordy and the concepts are for reception children at least. The bad seed has been labelled. Everyone says it’s bad, so it is. It turns out the seed had a bad experience and that’s what made it do bad things.
But what happens when the bad seed wants to change things and be happy again?
This book is great for discussing other people’s bad behaviour and why it might be happening.

I Am Not Sleepy And I Will Not Go To Bed
By Lauren Child

I am Not Sleepy

Lola is full of cheeky mischief, I love the way she subverts everything. I also love her brother Charlie’s imaginative and loving ways of trying to bring her back into line. He’s actually pretty good at it and we could learn some lessons from his strategies.
My oldest boy used to leave the room when Charlie and Lola were on TV, as he didn’t want them to get told off! I’m pretty sure most little ones will revel in this gentle story.

One for the adults

The Goldfinch
by Donna Tartt

This book has stayed with me since I read it 5 years ago. It’s about a young boy, Theo, who is caught up in an explosion at an art gallery that kills his mum. He steals a painting (The Goldfinch) in the confusion that follows. This painting becomes his touchstone in the turbulent years to come, when he makes all kinds of mistakes in his life. Even though he hurts people, gets addicted, steals and lies, Theo is a really loveable character and I wanted things to work out for him. It’s a long book, which is quite a commitment if you don’t have much time for yourself. However, it’s a really rewarding read so give it a go.

I hope you’re enjoying my Baby Book Club series. If you have any books you’d like to add to this list, please comment below.

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