Every Friday morning I read some books and sing some songs with a group of babies and toddlers at the local bookstore, Cover to Cover Here’s a picture of the children’s corner, looking exactly as crowded with bookish goodies as usual, although I don’t recognise the high wire act dog.
This week’s theme is How do you Feel? Or books about feelings and how to spot them in the facial expression, tone of voice and body language of others.
Funny Face by Nicola Smee. This bright board book uses extremely clear images of facial expressions. Each two page spread has a narrative image on one side and a close up of the hero’s facial expression on the other. So we can find out how you look when you’re happy, sad, angry, frightened or when a family of bears steals your ball.
Dogfish by Gillian Shields. When did you work out that if your Mum says “we’ll see” she really means “no”? The little boy in this story really, really, really wants a dog. But his Mum won’t let him, not even when he uses his hypnotising eyes. Thankfully there’s a talented goldfish on hand to sort out this emotional tangle.
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen. This is a pretty strange book if you think about it too hard. I mean, taking a baby through a snowstorm in it’s PJs seems wrong to me. But like most traditional stories it does have a good strong moral, in this case, don’t go looking for danger. I love the Helen Oxenbury illustrations, especially the sad bear at the end.
How Do You Feel? by Mandy Stanley. All the animals in this book have very strong feelings, the illustrations are great and the idea is brilliantly simple. The cat eating out of the dog’s bowl is pretty funny. I’ve seen this book on both sides of the Atlantic, in Britain the cat is feeling cheeky and in America, he’s feeling bold.
Llama Llama Mad at Mama by Anna Dewdney. Our red pajama wearing llama friend is back and this time he’s off to shop-o-rama. As with all toddlers, he starts off quite excited and gets steadily more bored and frustrated. It all ends with ice cream, but there has to be some negotiation first.
I’ll be singing “If you’re hapy and you know it”, “In a dark, dark room” and one I wrote called “Wear your boogie pants”. The poem will be the Jack Prelutsky one about being in a rotten mood, I can’t find it now, because the book’s in my son’s room, so I’ll update later.