A Home Full of Books

Quick guide to books for adults and kids

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I never was much of a bookworm when I was little, and it seems such a pity that it’s only now – when I’m all grown up and have 3 kids of my own – that I’m really starting appreciate the beauty and power of words on paper. I only wish I had the luxury of more time to curl up read through my ever expanding book list.

The types and genre of books and literature are as varied as the shades of the sun, and because of my current station in life (being a stay-at-home parent and all), my interests largely lie in the Parenting (10 years and under) and Kid Lit departments. I confess to being a hoarder of books and whyever not, since there are so many that are just so good? In the following paragraphs, I will share from my experience the very books that have impacted my own life, or have become the childrens’ enduring favourites. These are things that have worked for us, and others that are useful, or simply nice to have on hand!

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Books for Parents

  1. Raising Great Kids by Henry Cloud and John Townsend *
    The very first parenting book I read, and by far the one that has impacted me the most. By the authors of the original Boundaries series of books, this book begins with the premise that the goal of parenting is to develop the child’s character. It deftly tackles the 6 character traits that parents need to  cultivate in their children that will anchor them in adult life. Not so much a practical how-to guide, but written to the address the parent’s understanding of what it means to raise kids that will ultimately become responsible, moral and competent adults.
  2. The Effective Father by Gordon MacDonald *
    This is an old work that has gone out of print, but is still a true classic nonetheless. As the title suggests, the book is addresses the fathers and takes a realistic look at the crucial role of the father and husband. It has a firm but compassionate tone, full of valuable insight and nuggets of wisdom. Worth reading over and over again. After some hunting, I managed to find a second hand copy for a friend here.
  3. Supernanny
    Remember her? This is another book I received in the early days of my parenting journey and it was useful in providing very practical ideas for creating routines for kids and concrete ways for dealing with behavioural issues as they happen. Some good ideas and sensible advice.
  4. The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease
    Every parent knows how important it is to raise a strong reader, but we sometimes have a big battle to fight with TVs, Gameboys and other electronic forms of entertainment. How then can we ensure our kids grow up with a love of reading? In this book, Trelease gives a convincing argument for reading  to our kids, drawing us to see the benefits and rewards of doing so. The book also gives ideas about how to read aloud, and literature suggestions.
  5. Honey for a Child’s Heart by Gladys Hunt
    If you are already convinced that good books feed the soul but are wondering how to go about selecting them, then this handy guide will point you in the right direction. Containing an annotated list of titles for boys and girls aged 0 to 12, this book will guide you to choose the best that are available on the market, both classic and new.

* contains explicit Christian content.

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Books for Kids

For the road:

  1.  The Usborne Big Book of Things to Spot
    I have found this to be really handy to have in the car or when waiting at the post office or doctor’s. It combines 4 volumes in the series: Town, Animals, Long Ago, and Farm. Every spread is a different scene and provides the perfect springboard for learning new vocabulary, counting and spotting skills. Perfect for the toddler/preschool age, but my 7 year old still enjoys it now and then!
  2. Usborne Puzzle Adventures
    Better suited for the slightly older crowd because this requires reading and has a large number of titles in the series to choose from.
  3. Eye Find: A Picture Puzzle Book
    Help to solve the picture puzzles using the 3 searching tools provided. The little ones will have a blast uncovering little treasure among the pages of this little book.
  4. The Usborne Book of Drawing, Doodling and Colouring
    Those of your kids who show artistic inclinations and even the ones who don’t will find enough space in this book to explore their creativity. Pages and pages of inspiration and creativity jumpstarts for anyone who can hold a pencil.

For early readers and audio books:

  1. Nora Gaydos “Now I’m Reading” Series
    This popular series of books follows the phonics approach to teaching reading. Each progressive level contains a set of 10 mini books in a handy slipcase cover and is full of lively illustrations and sometimes hilarious stories to capture your young readers’ interest. The incremental text makes it easy for beginner readers to quickly build their confidence in decoding words.
  2. Explode the Code Phonics Workbooks
    Long popular among the homeschooling crowd, Explode the Code is a series of workbooks in systematic and progressive phonic instruction that help to reinforce children’s reading and writing. Repeated practice on the same letters/sounds via different activities ensures thorough review without seeming repetitious.
  3. My First Nursery Stories (with audio CD) by Tony Ross
    Every child needs to grow up listening to the old classics like The Gingerbread Man, Red Riding Hood and Jack and the Beanstalk. All these stories and more have been re-told in a child-friendly way with quirky illustrations. Perfect for bed-time read-alouds or pop the CD into the player and let it do the rest.
  4. Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling (book, audio CD)
    This collection of tall tales for children harks back to a golden age of storytelling. Kids and adults alike will be charmed by the sophisticated yet whimsical language and story lines, sometimes with the most unusual outcomes. To be enjoyed over and over.
  5. A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson
    It’s never too soon to introduce a young child to poetry. The play on language and rhyme will enrich any child’s imagination. This timeless collection of poems contains the kinds of sights, sounds and emotions that every child will find familiar and comforting. Best for sharing together and read-alouds.

Learning aids:

  1. Eric Carle Animal Lacing Cards
    Let the young ones practice the motor skills on these gorgeous thick cards will Eric Carle’s familiar ad vibrant artwork.
  2. My Favourite Things ABC Flash Cards
    Made on thick sturdy cards for little hands, this set of cards not only has the alphabet on it, but also contains endearing artwork of that celebrates the whimsical joys of childhood. Beautiful enough to hang on your walls.
  3. Magnetic Pattern Blocks: Transport
    Kids will enjoy putting these shapes together to form different kinds of vehicles, while picking up important math concepts like symmetry, patterns, problem solving and more!
  4. The Usborne Map of the World Jigsaw Puzzle
    Introduce early geography skills to your kids with this 250 piece jigsaw puzzle.
  5. Easy Grip Pads and Playset
    Kids in the younger set will enjoy stacking and arranging these colourful pegs. Great for working on fine motor skills, durable and inexpensive.
  6. The Mathstart Series by Stuart J Murphy
    Who knew that leaning Math could be this fun? Illustrating each math concept using storytelling, this series of little books is ideal for helping kids apply their understanding of math to real world situations. Colourful and engaging, perfect for preschool to around grade 2.

I hope I’ve given you enough to explore. Remember, worldwide shipping from the Book Depository is free, no matter what you buy or how much!

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