Mister Magnolia – Quentin Blake


A delightful classic book that needs no introduction. If you have a child around 3 years or need to buy a present for a child of this age, I would recommend this book.

Age : 3-4 years

A lovely picture book by the illustrator of the Roald Dahl books, Quentin Blake.  We have this book for the last 3 years and Mini still loves to pick it up and read it. The rhyme is so funny and witty that I hear giggles soon after she starts reading. Mini loves the silliness and the tragedy of ‘poor’ Mr Magnolia, who just has one boot.
Mr Magnolia has only one boot.
He has an old trumpet
that goes rooty-toot—
And two lovely sisters
who play on the flute—
But Mr Magnolia has only one boot.
A very happy character, Mister Magnolia continues to have fun despite a missing boot. A lovely and light-hearted  piece that ends happily. He gets another boot that does not match his other one but makes him really happy nevertheless.
The book is a delight with lovely rhyming pattern and always brings a smile to our faces.


Miss Dose and the Doctors’ Daughter

miss dose

Title: Miss Dose and the Doctors’ Daughter

Author: Alan Ahlberg and Faith Jaques

Happy Families Series

Another book from Mini’s school as part of her reading. I have to say, I like Alan Ahlberg books. It is a delightful little story about Dora who wants to be a doctor. As both her parents are doctors, she does get a chance to be one when her parents wake up covered in spots.


A book recommended for early reading. It had a good mix of words and a lot of questions can be generated for comprehension purposes.

Mini says – It is a funny book

Mumma says: 4/5

The Tiger Who Came to Tea

I still can’t believe that this book was first published in 1968. The Tiger Who Came to Tea, is a classic children’s book that has won the hearts of millions.

Source: Internet

Name: The Tiger Who Came To Tea

Author: Judith Kerr

This is a delightful story of a little girl called Sophie. One evening, just as she was about to have her tea, there was a knock at the door. It surprises both Sophie and her mummy as it was not the time for the milkman or the grocer to knock the door and her daddy would have opened the door with his keys. To their utter surprise, a huge yet a friendly and polite tiger was at the door.

The tiger was so hungry that he ate all the food they had in the house. The tiger also finished all the drinks and all the water in the taps.  In the end, there was no food left for Sophie and her family. When daddy returned home from work, they went to eat out at the cafe. Next day, they went shopping and bought a big box of tiger food, in case the hungry tiger comes home again. But he never came back …

A simple story but very charming. A must buy for every toddler.

Mini : One of her favourite books and she loves the story. The colourful illustration is very captivating.

Mumma says: 5/5

Imogen the Ice Dance Fairy – Rainbow Magic Dance Fairies Collection

Mini chose this book from her library last week and another book about the tap dance fairy as well.

I can see a pattern there.

This book had been lying around for a few days, till this evening. Mini was not feeling too well, bad weather and all that. So we snuggled up to read this book.

This book is one of the many books in the Rainbow Magic Series.  Initially, I was not a big fan of these books, but for a 5 year old girl it is simply great. This is a delightful story about a little ice dancer, whose friends deal with the goblins who stole the fairy ribbons. These ribbons are important for them to dance nicely and successfully. Imogen is the tiny fairy wearing glittered shoes and lovely dress.

A very sweet book for little girls.

Mini didn’t say much in terms of review, but I know she enjoyed the story.

I liked it too – apart from.. maybe erm.. the use of the word ‘yanked’. I know kids and parents use all sorts of words, but they need to read lovely and nice words in the books they read.

That’s just me ..

Tiddler – by Julia Donaldson

Mini, along with her friends went on a school trip to the Blue Reef Aquarium at the onset of her school term when she started Year 1. All the learning that followed since, were related to the sea.

As part of the ‘Under the Sea’ theme in Year 1, Tiddler was an obvious choice of book.

Name: Tiddler

Author :  Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler (Illustrator)

Age: Preschool – Year 1 (3-6 years)

A delightful story about a little fish who gives very elaborate, made up excuses, when he is late to school. Only one friend, Johnny Dory, believes those extraordinary adventures, and spreads those stories in the ocean world. One day, when Tiddler gets caught in a fisherman’s net, he actually experiences all those adventures in real life, that he had previously lied about. Familiar ?

Pros: Cute story to read aloud with beautiful rhyme and wit. It is a book that can be used in a classroom environment because the story is quite open ended. This means that all the children can have their own conclusion on this story. The book Tiddler encourages a pupil to initiate independent writing, creating rhymes of their own, learning about different names of fishes. Each fish has its own personality and the illustrations reflect their emotions very clearly.

Cons: I would wait to introduce this book till they start school. A little twist to the Boy who cried Wolf story

Mini says: I love the story but not Tiddler

Gosh ! why?

Mumma says:  4.5/5

Days with Frog and Toad – Arnold Lobel

Name of Book: Days with Frog and Toad

Age Group: 5-6 years (I can read series)

Author: Arnold Lobel

This morning, Mini was reading this lovely book that highlights the joys of friendship. It is a story about the friendship between the toad and the frog and their little adventures together.

Pros: Beautiful story with a lovely underlying meaning. Mini could read it herself  with good expression. Funny and warm.

Cons: Nothing to be fair. This book was from school so we didn’t get to keep it. She can always read it again at school if she wishes.

Mini thinks: It is hard to be alone, you should be with friends.

Mumma thinks: Glad this book is part of her reading curriculum 5/5

How to encourage a child to love books

I am hoping to raise a little girl who loves books. So far, she loves them  – that’s great!

Mini is five and a half years old. It is only in the last six months or so, Mini has started to actually able to ‘read’ a book with a small degree of fluency. The good thing is – she loves a book, even if it is just a picture book or a sticker book.  I think –

One of the best ways to bond with children is, to read aloud to them.

It is a shared activity that we can continue for many years to come.

Reading provides stimulation and helps increase their attention span as well as their curiosity.

Above all, reading is fun.

So how to get a child pick up a book?

1. Start Early

It is never too early to introduce books to a baby. Bright and colourful fabric books and board books would be perfect (I know – baby will first chew, then feel and then appreciate the picture probably). Ah well, just read and watch the sparkle in those curious eyes. Babies love repetitions and so just a couple of books will go a long way.

Oh, and then you get waterproof books for bath time and buggy books for the trips to keep them entertained.



2. Make time and create an atmosphere for reading

Make time to read, with no distractions. This will help your child to listen attentively and enjoy the book. It is fun to be creative, build a den with a few sheets and snuggle in with a book, and read. Wear a tiara and read the princess story or a pirate hat and role play.

Disclaimer: All photos sourced from the internet.

3. Play

Making letters with play dough, making words with paint, paper, using chalk outdoors, big foam letters to create small words, the scope is endless.

4. Read yourself

Children imitate a lot – so if you read a book, they will copy. Convince the children to value books.

5. Visit the library

Go to the library, with time in hand. Let them pick up books, explore, then encourage them to turn the pages, ask questions, show excitement and bring books home.

At home, scatter books around; not literally but maybe have a small bookshelf here and a box with a few books, there, all within their reach. They will pick them up and investigate.

Source: Internet

6. Read signs, road names, shop names when you go out.

Read whatever you come across, when you go out. Bus numbers, roads and shops, signs, menus, shopping list, labels – anything. As they grow older, they will be eager to read all that, themselves.

7. Once they start school

Sit back and leave it to the teachers – not! It gets serious now, phonics, recognition, joining different sounds and all that. Continue having fun and encourage them and have a lot of patience. Always praise, praise and praise and see that gorgeous smile.

My journey continues from here.

I hope Mini always says –


Thanks for passing by.

I hope to be able to continue blogging.

A few useful resources and links that I plan to check

  1. http://www.educationcity.com/
  2. http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/parents/
  3. http://www.literacytrust.org.uk/
  4. http://durham.schooljotter.com/coxhoe/Fun+Stuff
  5. http://www.ictgames.com/
  6. www.topmarks.co.uk
  7. www.primaryresources.co.uk
  8. Helpful post at I can teach my child