When my daughter turned 4 and started learning the simple two-three letter words in school, my approach of reading books with her graduated to spending around half an hour every day reading multiple books, asking questions and having fun with the rhymes.
Besides, the alphabet and picture books she particularly enjoyed the rhyming books. Making animal sounds together, encouraging her to guess where the story was heading based on the illustrations before reading the book has been something that kept her curiosity roused and imagination growing, encouraging her to read tirelessly.
Rehearsing the phonics as we read along has been one of the most loved activities for my little reader. Introducing books with morals that delivered important life lessons in both make believe and real life settings have been very helpful because she loved the connection of the stories to the events of her daily life.
These are a few of her favorite reads:
1. The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson: This award-winning rhyming story of a quick-thinking mouse that took a stroll into the forest and met an owl, snake, fox and a hungry monster impressed my daughter immensely. She loved the way the mouse scares off his enemies inventing tales of a fantastical creature called the Gruffalo. The surprising climax, lovely rhymes and most of all the enchanting illustrations made this book a favorite of my child. The Gruffalo’s Child is a book by the same author that I highly recommend to anyone who has loved reading about the mouse and Gruffalo.
2. The Cat in the Hat by Dr.Seuss: This is a book about two siblings left alone in a house on a rainy day when a cat that behaves like a human appears from nowhere. The cat’s antics of how it changes dull moods to wacky ones cheered up my child every single time. This humorous book with a unique writing style and ample illustrations made my child want to read it again and again for its wonderful rhymes.
3. Ganesha by Subhadra Sen Gupta: I chose this wonderful book to introduce my daughter to her favorite deity, Ganesha while letting her have an insight on Indian mythology. The book has a simple language keeping in mind the young readers who, helped by the beautiful illustrations can follow the stories effortlessly. My child loved relating to Ganesh as a child who acts lazy, mischievous, loves reading and is kind-hearted always ready to help anyone in need.
4. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White: This timeless classic teaches value of kindness to the children through a very beautifully narrated story. The attractive illustrations and the beautiful messages of friendship, trust, sacrifice, love, loyalty, life, and death delivered made it my child’s favorite. This book has a moving, believable story that made my daughter love it while being emotionally touched on many instances.
5. Jataka, Panchatantra, and Hitopadesha by Amar Chitra Katha: The Jataka Tales is a collection of stories about the previous births of the Buddha. The stories show Buddha as a king, an outcast, a god and an elephant, among others, exhibiting the virtues that each tale teaches. The Panchatantra is a collection of stories teaching the values of wisdom, compassion, and kindness through stories of animals. The Hitopadesha is a collection of stories of animals, imbued with the values of governance, leadership and the conduct of war and peace. With the wonderful illustrations and simple language, these stories have wonderfully kept my child entertained while learning important life-lessons. Each of these books is a gem in itself but make for a must-have collection in a box set of 23 titles, providing plentiful stories for my voracious reader child.