In a world where technology seems to be taking over our everyday lives, I still believe strongly in the power of books. Our home is filled with books and while I try to limit my girls’ screen time, I encourage them whole-heartedly to read as much as they want. It’s exciting to see Sunshine and Lily reading on their own, though I also enjoy it when Jade pulls a book off the shelf and asks me to read her a story.
I enjoy finding books for my girls that challenge or inspire them while still entertaining them. And as a parent who has read a lot of picture books, I enjoy finding books that I don’t mind reading over and over again as often as they ask for it. So today, I thought I’d share three books that have become my favourites. These books are creative and inspiring and challenge the girls to think in different ways about the story and themselves.
Ninja Baby by David Zeltser
Ninja Baby makes me laugh every time I read it, and our girls (especially 3-year-old Jade) like it just as much. It is the story of Nina, a “ninja baby” who karate chops her doctor and obliterates her applesauce. Then her younger brother arrives… a Kung Fu master whose tactics leave Nina feeling left out. Slowly, Nina begins to learn from her brother—and to teach him her tricks.
I love the way this book interjects laughter into common family situations like feeding and changing a baby. The girls’ think Nina’s antics are hilarious, without recognizing the tongue-in-cheek humour. Ninja Baby also introduces allegory and comparison to children, in a subtle way. This book is a great story with a lot going on under the surface—and those layers of reading provide lots of entertainment for parents and kids alike.
Double Happiness by Nancy Tupper Ling
Double Happiness is a book of poetry about two children who are moving to a new home. Instead of telling the story in chronological order, the book is a series of poems that depict the two kids’ reactions to the move. The daughter is reluctant to go while her younger brother is ecstatic about every part. The poems take various forms and perspectives in the story, and require reading between the lines.
One stray leaf
onto my box—
If I had a koala I’d feed
her this minty meal all
the perfect treasure to remind me of home.
The girls aren’t as excited about this book, but I think it’s a great way to introduce poetry to them. Many kids’ books include rhythm and rhyme, but the poetry in Double Happiness is much more sophisticated while still being accessible to kids. It’s also a good way to talk to kids about a big transition like a move.
Interstellar Cinderella by Deborah Underwood
When I first saw Interstellar Cinderella, I thought, “Not another Cinderella story.” It’s an oft-told story, but Interstellar Cinderella is now one of my favourite versions of it. In this book, Cinderella is a girl who likes fixing rocket ships. She can repair anything, even the rusty old rocket in her attic. Instead of going to a dance, she watches the prince’s Royal Space Parade and fixes his sputtering rocket ship for him. When she disappears, she leaves behind her sonic socket wrench, and the princes goes on a search to find the girl who can use it.
I like the fact that this story is a creative retelling of a familiar story. I’ve talked with the girls about the fact that we can tell a story in different ways. I also like the fact that this encourages girls to be creative and follow their dreams, even if their dreams include things like using tools and fixing rocket ships. It’s also written in rhyme, so it’s a quick, fun read.
What books inspire your child? Have you read any of these?
I recieved these books for review courtesy of Raincoast Books; all opinions expressed are my own.