5 A Day Books: Favourite Books & Gardening

Minnie loves books! Ever since she was a few months old she has shown a real interest in them.

One of Minnie's first fave reads

Enjoying one of our faves from week 1 of the challenge

She has her favourites, which we read over & over, & others she likes to read now & again. We always seem to take books wherever we go; on the bus/train, in the bath, outside in the garden, on shopping trips, on holiday, she used to even read them on the potty! One of my favourite reading experiences was last year when we were camping. The 3 of us (daddy, Minnie & me) huddled up together in sleeping bags & blankets each evening & read stories together until Minnie fell asleep. Such a magical family time!

Sharing books on our camping trip

It's never too early to start reading & sharing stories with children, & it's so magical when your child responds to the illustrations or your voice as your reading. Now Minnie is starting to retell stories as she plays & I love listening to her versions of her favourite tales.
We've been taking part in the 5-A-Day-Books Challenge organised by Anna over at The Imagination Tree. If you haven't seen what it's all about, pop over now & check out some of the great books chosen by Anna & others who are taking part too.

Basically the challenge is to choose 5 books which you read every day for a week. You then choose another 5 books & read these for a week. The books you choose should be short, simple, developmentally appropriate & reflect whatever your child is currently interested in. At least two of the books should have a rhyming text, or repeated refrain (these are Minnie's favourites as she can easily join in & pick up the rhythm of the text).

Now we're a little behind in blogging about this (sometimes I'd just like a few more hours in my day) but we're here now, better late than never! ;-) Although this is now week four of the challenge, this is our third week taking part. (We're reading other books too, but try to make sure we read our chosen 5-a-day-books every day.)

Our choices for Week 1:

Minnie loves Tabby McTat by Julia Donaldson, & I have to admit I do too! It has a great fun rhyming text, & a brilliant story line all about the adventures of a busker's cat! "Me, You & the Old Guitar" is now a song we have to sing again & again!! 

The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister is a classic & again it is one of Minnie's favourites. She has a paperback copy, & bath book which is great for her to explore at bath time & an ideal place to read all about creatures that live under the water! 

This lovely book by Anna McQuinn & Rosalind Beardshaw could have been written for my daughter! Minnie loves the library & last time we visited she wanted to take 35 books out that she had chosen to take home! After a little discussion (ahem!) we narrowed it down to 20!!! "Lulu Loves the Library" is a perfect book for children who are just discovering libraries, or who love visiting them as much as Minnie! It tells the story of Lulu's day & her visit to the library, what she & he mum find on the way there, what they get up to at the library, & their journey home.

This is a great rhyming read with simple repeated refrains. Great for encouraging imagination as children can guess which animal is making the noise on each page. Also great for exploring different movements as the little boy, walks, wades, leaps, runs, swings through the jungle. There is musical version of this story which would make a perfect accompaniment.

Here's another children's classic & one which has a fabulous rhyming text as well. I love the Ahlberg books, each one offers a great story which takes the reader on a real journey. Minnie is loving The Three Bears, & other fairy tales at the moment, & it's great to introduce them in different settings in this book. Of course the most magical thing about this book is the letters the postman delivers to all the fairy tale characters. Minnie gets so excited opening the envelopes & reading the letters. A great interactive, fun book.

Our choices for Week 2  (Theme: Spring)

This beautiful story is perfect for exploring Spring. Little hedgehog is looking after baby hedgehog when they set of to discover the bluebell woods, but baby hedgehog keeps losing his blanket & lots of adventures follow. In the end the most unlikely character saves the day. Great for exploring lost & found experiences, & for reassuring how important you are even if you're the smallest!

Another great book if you've been planting & growing seeds. Flora's Flowers by Debi Gliori tells the story of the Rabbit-Bunn family who have been busy planting Spring seeds, apart from Flora who has planted a brick! The book finishes with a wonderful surprise! A great book for exploring seasons & change, & persistence!

Ferdie's Springtime Blossom is another book filled with wonderful illustrations. Ferdie the fox is worried, he thinks his friends have woken to early from hibernation & that Spring hasn't arrived after all. Ferdie has a great adventure meeting all his woodland friends, & soon discovers the white covering he thought was snow, is actually a beautiful blanket of Spring blossom! This is a perfect bedtime read.

Here's another Julia Donaldson favourite of ours about gardening. One Mole Digging A Hole is a counting book which offers a silly, fun, rhyming text along with Nick Sharratt's bright & bold illustrations. The simple & short text combined with the fantastic illustrations & bold numerals makes this a great book for all ages. Counting from 1-10 has never been so much fun, where else would you see 9 doves in gardening gloves?

In The Nest by Anna Milbourne & Laurence Cleyet-Merle explores the first few days & weeks in the life of baby birds. The lovely illustrations show how the birds feed, what they eat, how quickly they grow & learn to fly. Great for developing an interest in nature & habitats.

Here our choices for week 3 (Theme: Gardening)

The Snail and The Whale - Julia Donaldson

What The Ladybird Heard - Julia Donaldson

The Crunching Munching Caterpillar - Sheridan Cain

Ten Seeds - Ruth Brown

Jasper's Beanstalk - Nick Butterworth

We're looking forward to this weeks reads & enjoying more gardening too! :-)

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  1. I'm recently new follower here and I love your blog! We do this already, so I may just have to sign up for the challenge! Also, I really want to find Tabby McTat. I think my little guy would love it since the cat kind of looks like our cats!

  2. Thanks so much Justine, great to see you here :) Tabby McTat is one of the best children's books we've read, I love it! I'm sure it'll be on Amazon along with Julia Donaldson's other great books. Let me know how you get on with the challenge if you sign up.

  3. Great choices!!! We have quite a bit of those and Rainbow Fish is always a favorite!

  4. That first photo is ADORABLE!

  5. WOW! Must have taken you ages to find all those pictures online, ha! What fantastic choices. Thanks so much for reminding me of Walking Through The Jungle- it lends itself perfectly to being a 5-a-day book doesn't it?! I'm loving your lists and SO glad you have joined up!

  6. I love The Rainbow Fish! I'll have to check out some of these other ones too.