If you’re new to my blog, one thing that’s a goal of mine is to raise bookworms. Yup, I still read to Kai every night and have done since he was about two months old. Last month, we celebrated National Book Week with my annual giveaway on Instagram and Facebook to gift one mama and her little one with a hamper of books worth over R1000. Kai was lucky to receive the same hamper just before the giveaway and we’re finally sharing our first book review. Here are three brand new books to read to your toddler now.
3 New Kids Books to Read Now
Brilliant Body – Naray Yoon
About: This is a fun, interactive book that helps little ones understand parts of their bodies, their functions and some fun facts about them. Its illustrations are bright and colourful, with each page having flaps or cut-outs for your kid to keep his or her hands busy. It’s more than a basic ‘first 50 body parts’ type of book and has lots of body facts that I didn’t know about. Kai’s favourite is that ‘every day, enough wind comes out of your bottom to fill a balloon’. Yeah.
Fave parts: Kai loves books he can play with. So the flaps, wheels and fold-out pages are definitely his favourite bits of the book. This is also the book that introduced the word and definition of ‘skeleton’ to him. He was fascinated by the whole idea and kept repeating the word over and over the first few days. As a mom, I love seeing diversity and inclusivity in books. So my favourite thing was seeing kids of different races, hair textures and abilities (there’s a child in a wheelchair portrayed in here too). I love reading books to him that portray a more normal world.
Rating: 4/5 – It’s a great book for a toddler who’s ready to know more about the body. I’ve noticed that because it’s so interactive and not story-driven, it’s best for me to read it to Kai during the day. It’s a bit too stimulating for bedtime.
Dilly the Donkey – Elli Woollard & Steven Lenton
Age: 0+ (but explores the theme of rejection)
About: Dilly is a hard-working donkey who loves carting the neighbourhood’s kids to school. Her owner, deciding she’s too old and useless, replaces her with a new fancy-looking horse. Some thieves plot to steal the new horse to make money and Dilly figures out their plan.
Fave parts: It’s a storybook so it lends itself nicely to different voices and accents which Kai loves. The different characters are drawn beautifully and clearly for kids who may not completely understand the words yet. So, they can follow the story visually. Again, the characters (from the bad guys to the good ones) are of all races with the chief of police being a Black woman. I do love the thought put into such representation.
Rating: 4/5 – The moral of the story is sweet and thought-provoking. It encourages bravery, wisdom and seeing value beyond beauty. It may be a bit difficult for younger kids to understand why Dilly’s owner mistreated her. I’d advise to read it first and assess the content for your child.
We’re Going to the Dentist – Marion Cocklico
About: Another play and learn book, this one follows Teddy’s first trip to the dentist. His older sister, Nancy, helps to show him what to do, how to prepare and what he should expect when he gets there. It’s full of tips for parents such as going with two or more of your children to the same appointment so the oldest or most confident child is a role model for the others.
Fave parts: How the roles have been flipped from how we usually see these professions represented: the dentist’s assistant is a man, while the dentist is a woman. And she’s Black. Yup, I’m here for all of this representation! The family that goes to see the dentist also seem mixed, so triple points for that. This book also has flaps and mini booklets inside, so again Kai loves that.
Rating: 3.5/5 – It’s a sweet way of preparing your children for a trip to the dreaded dentist and interest in taking care of their teeth. Maybe because it’s short and not a story, I found that it loses its appeal after the third time reading it. It’s more of a topical book, but can be used again for when your younger kids reach this age.
Let me know what you think of this review, and also weigh in below if you’d prefer blog post or video reviews 😉
While you’re here, have a read of my other blog posts on reading to your child: