Toddler Reading List – Water

Every Friday morning I read stories to toddlers at the local bookstore Cover to Cover It’s been raining a lot this week so I thought it would be fun to have Water as a theme, here’s what I’ll be reading.

Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion. This book is 50 years old and to some degree it is showing it’s age. Some parents might object to reading a book which features a coal chute, but I’m not so sure it matters. The story is fantastic; a small dog does not want to take a bath, so he runs away from home to get as dirty as possible, unfortunately when he comes back for dinner he is so dirty his family don’t recognise him, at least not until he begs them for a bath. I’m a big fan of the language in this book, not just the silly stuff like “he flip-flopped and he flop-flipped”, but there are some lovely changes of pace too. This is definitely a favourite in our house.

One Hot Summer Day by Nina Crews. A very simple book about a thunderstorm breaking a hot day in New York. The photo montage illustrations are very appealing and it’s short but sweet delivery makes it easy to read to the attention-span-deficient toddler.

Pirates, Ho! by Sarah L. Thomson and Stephen Gilpin. I wanted a story with a boat in it (but not Where the Wild Things Are) so I trawled the seven seas and the shelves at the book store and found this jolly tale of fearless brigands who scare one another silly telling ghost stories. I’m planning to have my audience shout “Ho!” at the appropriate points, which will hopefully detract from the ghostly scariness.

Hurray for Fish by Lucy Cousins. A number of people have told me how popular this book is with their toddler and I’m not suprised. It has great colours and brilliant rhymes and the ending is a real charmer.

The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson. Another great book by the author of The Gruffalo, this time it’s a snail who’s off on an adventure with an obliging whale. But the tables are turned when the whale gets beached and the tiny snail has to “save the whale”. This one is great to read aloud, with lots of opportunity for doing silly voices.

I’ll be singing Slippery Fish, Rain Rain Go Away and something called Splash, Splash, Bubble Bubble, Quack Quack which is the only song I’ve ever written in collaboration with Mr NattyKnitter (seriously, his skills know no bounds). The poem will be The River by Valerie Bloom.

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