In our house, Father Christmas is running a little behind schedule and he (well, let’s be honest, she) is growing anxious. If your shopping isn’t yet complete either, here are some slightly mischievous books that have been a hit with my toddler in recent months…
Poo in the Zoo was a book we grabbed from the library in the two seconds we have to look at a book between toddler demands. It’s a lot of fun (the book, not the demands). So much so that we’ve bought it as a gift for some of our favourite people who’ve enjoyed it just as much. It’s about poo – of course they’re going to love it. There’s a whole collection on display – complete with illustrations – in a book that’s guaranteed to get a giggle out of any self-respecting toddler.
This one’s a cracker too – an inspired choice by my sister. It starts with a cat informing a frog of his place in the world, and goes on to list where other animals should sit too.
You won’t be surprised to learn that cats reserve a very comfortable seat for themselves, but ‘frogs sit on logs’, ‘gophers sit on sofas’ and other rhyming regulations follow – together with brilliant illustrations.
Buy or borrow this one and read it (preferably straight) after Oi Frog. Frog, it seems, has picked up a trick or two from the cat, and decides to inform a dog of his rules. Without giving too much away, frog works out a way of ensuring he gets a much better place to rest than a log… Reading this book allows you to say ‘smelly pants’ quite a few times (I like to add a chorus or two for extra laughs).
Burglar Bill steals pretty much anything he can get his hands on – tins of beans, toothbrushes, even abandoned chests. Then one night he accidentally takes possession of something that changes his life forever – bringing him into contact with someone who is more than his match. This is a funny and sweet story for you and your toddler to enjoy together.
I loved Mr Men books when I was a child, but I can see now that some of them are a bit thin and threaten to send a tired mummy to sleep as she reads. This one is a noble exception as it allows you to end the day with a good old tickle. I have fond memories of my older brothers reading it to me and the anticipation building, because we all knew the last page would see Mr Tickle’s arm reach into the room…
This is another two parter, which can be read alone or together. Do you know it? Duncan gets a big surprise when he finds a stack of letters from his crayons. And they’re not happy. Some are overused and exhausted. Others feel very neglected. Reading each letter is a great excuse to use lots of silly voices.
Part 2 – Duncan gets a stack of postcards from more unhappy crayons: ones he’s left all over the world although some of them have a very shaky knowledge of geography.
Enjoy – only ten bedtime story sessions left until Christmas!