Monday, May 12, 2014

Our Contributors' Favorites for CBW - Part 1

Since I am always curious about what books parents choose to read to their kids, especially when their kids are very young, and since I enjoy finding out in what specific ways these books resonated with them, I asked our ST contributors to share their favorite books with anecdotes and memories surrounding their book picks.

Here is the first installment, from our own talented author and ST founder, Praba Ram. It is interesting that the two cherished books she shares here are by author-illustrators - the specially gifted people who bring the magic of words and pictures together in their own inimitable style.

Grow up!
by Nina Laden

It's been over 11 years, but I  simply can't get over one board book that my older daughter adored being read to when she was barely fourteen months old: Grow up! is a precious little creation by author-illustrator Nina Laden.

Cut-out holes of different baby animals provided her with countless hours of entertainment. I am pretty sure it's the peek-a-boo image with that big-eyed caterpillar on the cover that got my girl hooked on to reading at tender toddler-hood.

The book worked great as a guessing game to find out what each baby animal like tadpole, kitten, puppy would change into. I always thought such intelligently designed board books were a brilliant way to build cognitive skills in our babies.

My toddler's budding language skills were enhanced by every single word, with the crescendo of the book in her toddler tongue still ringing loud in my ear...Baby grows up to be....Me! I vividly recall how she would spend a good couple of minutes (a big deal when you are describing a toddler's attention span!) looking at herself at the mirror on the last page.

This Children's Book Week, I feel immensely grateful to author/illustrator Nina Laden for setting us off on a journey to explore the wonderful world of children's writing. Simply put, it was Nina's die-cut illustrations in blue and green, and her simple and playful text that got the reading ball rolling for our family.

[Picture Source:]

Duck and a Book 
by David Shannon

Three years of reading-aloud some great authors in children's literature to my older one definitely came handy when I had my second daughter. With all the acquired knowledge, I was very consciously trying to pick the right board books for my second child. So when I saw my newborn come home with this book, Duck and a Book, as part of some marketing materials and information packets that the hospital provided, I couldn't wait to start reading aloud the book to her.

With a Bad Case of Stripes and No David already having made their way home through the four year old, one look at the author's name, David Shannon - a favorite in school and library circles - I knew Duck and a Book would be the very first book to read to my baby. My bundle of curdled milk and I would cuddle for hours seeing the duck show off his new book to all the animals in the farm. What a simple, yet brilliant a-book-about-a-book idea, I remember thinking to myself!

So, I guess there was no better way for me to begin yet another reading adventure with my little one. This time around it was through David Shannon's work that my little one's reading took off during those infant days.

End of that year (2006) in October, my third baby, Saffron Tree was born. The adrenalin rush connecting with a community of like-minded contributors over children's books will never cease to die in me. Hope and pray and wish for this little reading journey to continue, with that exact same brand of children's-book-lunacy we've been holding on to dearly for many years now!

[Picture Source:]


Sheela said...

Thanks for sharing your two picks, Praba! Nina Laden and David Shannon are much-read in our house as well - especially When Pigasso Met Mootisse and No! David and Too Many Toys

Unknown said...

Lovely idea to have your contributors post on their all-time favourites. Praba, both books are new to me and I will look out for them.

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