I’ve heard it said that children should be read to for at least 10 minutes every day. When Son #1 was 18 months old he wouldn’t stay still for a 30 second nappy change, let alone a 10 minute story. I became convinced he would end up unemployed and unemployable in later life because of it. Ah, the anxieties of the first time mum…
Eventually his attention span increased and the bedtime story became permanently cemented into the going-to-bed routine.
Son #1 now has his very own bookcase in his bedroom. These books listed here have been his favourite books from about ages 2-4. I hope they give you inspiration for your own construction-mad preschooler!
This is PERFECT for construction nuts. It was recommended to us by a lovely sales assistant in Tasmania when Son #1 was not quite 2 years old. With wonderful rhythmic writing, NZ writer, Sally Sutton, takes kids through ‘how to build a road’ from levelling out the earth to spreading out the sticky tar, putting up the signs and even planting trees.
Son #1 (now 4) is still obsessed with it and Son #2 (nearly 2) has started running away with it to read in secret.
Build em ‘up; smash ’em down. Roadworks was such a raging success, we had to have the sequel – Demolition. Same great rhythm and rhyme, the workmen are back to knock down a skyscraper, sort the metal and concrete so it can be recycled, and build a playground in its place. Perfect!
The only problem is Son #1 now wants to know why there isn’t a book in the series called Construction. Maybe we should make a request:-)
Airplanes, trains, farm animals, adventure and imminent danger. What’s not to love? They take a little longer to read and they don’t rhyme, but the Myro the Microlight series has been much loved in our house.
The first book, Myro Arrives in Australia, sees Myro shipped over from his native London to get to know his new pilot and the other bush aircraft at a farm north of Sydney.
Son #1 loves the books for the aircraft and trains. Son #2 loves picking out the native Australian and farm animals.
My boys are permanently hungry, they writhe and wriggle around in the most unlikely of places and will eat too much of the wrong food and end up with a stomach ache if left to their own devices. It’s no wonder that Son #1 has memorised the words to this one and reads it to me these days!
The Very Hungry Caterpillar has been around for decades. Kids love the pictures of all their favourite foods (and some healthy ones!), the repetition of the story which they can easily remember and join in with and the magical transformation from caterpillar to butterfly.
For several years now Son #1 has requested a Mr Men book about 70% of the time for his bedtime story. We cycle through them, taking one out of the box each night and stacking them up until they’re all finished. Then we slot them back in the box and start again.
The great thing about Mr Men books is you can pick up individual ones for about $2.00 each on special. They’re small, easy to pack, easy to skip plenty of words (or whole pages… not that I would ever do that if I’m impatient at bedtime…) and endlessly entertaining because some of the storylines are rather archaic. They were first published in the UK in 1971.
An Australian kids’ classic. Edward wants to be the most popular animal at the zoo and spends too much time listening to what other people think. He sneaks into the enclosures of other animals and variously pretends to be a seal, a lion and a few other animal favourites before deciding to go back to his own enclosure, only to discover he’s gained a lady emu friend.
Wonderful rhyming, hilarious antics, great illustrations and a great storyline for kids to learn from.
It has all the competitiveness boys love – I love you ‘this much’! Well I love you ‘THIS MUCH’! – with gorgeous illustrations and a snuggly, warm and sleepy ending.
Son #1 calls this ‘The Little Nutbrown Hare book’ and went through a brief period of obsession with it. He’ll only consent to reading it these days (now he is 4 and a big boy) when he’s in a particularly relaxed and sleepy mood, but it’s worth having in the house to catch those nights when they come.
When the Cat in the Hat stage show came to town Nanny bought tickets for herself and Son #1 as a midweek treat (no way Son #2 was going to sit still for that!). So naturally, I had to buy the book. It’s fairly long so be prepared to skip a few words/sentences/pages along the way, or read half the book in one sitting and half later.
With awesome nonsense rhyming that only Dr Seuss can pull off this well, the Cat in the Hat tries to entertain/get into trouble a young brother and sister left alone by themselves on a rainy day while their mother goes to work. If you can resist picking up the phone to child services (who leaves small children alone by themselves for a whole day??!!) you’ll love reading a story where the cat is actually messier than the children.
I’ll be honest. I don’t understand the interest in this book. It’s short, it has very little plot, it’s repetitive and predictable. But the boys seem to love it. I suppose you could say it’s baby’s first detective story.
Having said that, it’s also easy to read with good rhythm and rhyme. I do an internal happy dance whenever it’s chosen for bedtime story because it takes about two minutes to read.
Llama-farmer Palmer really makes my day when he comes running down to the lake his pyjamas to try to prevent his llama from bingeing on psychosis-inducing marmalade jam. He’s too late. Chaos ensues.
I highly recommend you get a copy and inflict it on your child as often as possible. Hopefully they’ll grow to love it…
What other books would you recommend for preschool boys? I always love a new book!