As children, we paid daily visits to the land of fairy tales and princesses, of superheroes and flying cars. And now, even if we are all grown up, a part of us still longs to go back there, where there was only happiness and joy and none of the burdens we, as adults, carry.
Life, in this rare instance, gives us a second chance -in the form of our children – those naughty, cuddly bundles of joy. Bedtime (or any other time) is a time to snuggle in with them and connect with them by reading aloud to them,helping them journey to those magical lands. Here are some of the transport you can use in no particular order, which, in yours truly’s opinion are ageless and are sure to stay with your little one as he grows up!
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
This is a timeless classic stealing hearts from over 50 years. The story and the illustrations are captivating. The hard cover has holes through which the caterpillar manoeuvres on his quest for food – it will have your little one not only mentally journeying through the book, but little fingers will physically explore the terrains!
The caterpillar stays hungry for a long time, so does the reader and the listener for more!
- Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, Illustrated by Clement Hurd
This book is probably the most famous bedtime story book. First released in 1947, this book features a bunny saying goodnight to a number of things, living and inanimate. Through this book, a similar ritual can be introduced to the child which will open up a new world for her. In fact, the author wrote this book based on the vivid and warm memories of how her sister and she always wished her toys goodnight. A beautiful book indeed.
- Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
A small boy has been naughty the whole day so he does not get supper. He goes to his room and wonders where the wild things are. He is then transported to a land of wild beasts who make him a King. But then he longs for home and comes back, and finds a hot supper waiting for him. This is the kind of book that can make your child’s imagination “wild”, in a good way!
- Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr., illustrated by Eric Carle
Eric Carle’s illustrations are loud, messy and mesmerising. Following a rhythm, this book questions different characters, a bear, a duck, a horse, a teacher, some children. This is an educational book on many levels with vivid colours and characters, but mainly, in not allowing characteristics to be boxed. A blue horse, a purple cat, who would have thought! Let your child know anything is possible
- Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney
This is the story of Little Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown Hare trying to express how much they love each other. This is a book which will make you a bit fuzzy with love when you reach the end.
- We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury
Set out on an adventure with your child into the woods, jump across puddles; waddle in mud and find your way through snow storms on your quest for finding a bear. Even on a rainy day, a virtual adventure can fulfil your child’s longing for the outdoors. It’s a delightful book!
- Who Sank the Boat by Pamella Allen
Five animal friends set out on a boat ride, but the boat sinks! Now who sunk the boat? A mystery that you and your child will unravel as you read on… a page-turner indeed. And let me tell you, you will be surprised to know who sank the boat!
This book is very innovative in terms of introducing the concept of sizes and shapes and again driving home the simple fact that anything is possible.
- Festival of Colors by Kabir Sehgal and Surishtha Sehgal, illustrated by Vashti Harrison
It is important to imbibe in little children the culture that form their roots, and what better way that to start than to introduce them to “Holi”. This beautiful book iscolourful and vibrant. It will help your child understand colours, celebration and the sense of “family”.
- Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! By Mo Willems
This is a recent book compared to others in the list, but its ingenuity is awesome, hence included here. This book has a bus driver who has to leave, urging the reader not to let the pigeon drive the bus. The pigeon wants to and so comes up with many excuses to persuade the reader to let it drive. It is a fun book and your little one will have to try hard not to give in!
- Malgudi Days by K. Narayan
We all grew up with this one. It is unspoiled and timeless. The beauty of it is in its simplicity. Though your toddler might not be able to grasp the immense meaning behind the stories right now, but continue reading it to him/her. And visit your own childhood memories while you are at it!