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Forums > Social Chat > Looking for a childrens book to read aloud age <5

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HOP admin
Location: HOP
Member Since: 18th Nov 2003
Total posts: 984
Posted:I have been looking around for a good book to read aloud to children but find that the stories make no sense and are quite pointless.
Are we supposed to read our kids pointless stories?
I thought a good story would teach something like problem solving, sharing, helping others, being happy about being you, kindness to others..

I just read a story about a young boy that got a new pair of gum boots who ran outside and chased and scared the animals and made a huge mess. The picture showed a small cute duck who had fear in his eyes running for his life. The boys goes inside and his mother gives him a treat confused The end.

Have you read a story like that? frown
Can you recommend a better story book?



"May your balls always burn"

Location: Nova Scotia, Canada.
Member Since: 8th Nov 2002
Total posts: 1591
Posted:Dre Seuss


Carpal \'Tunnel

Member Since: 17th Apr 2002
Total posts: 15414
Posted:Is that the rap version?


How do you change this thing???
Location: Behind the couch...
Member Since: 7th Mar 2002
Total posts: 1903
Posted:I think the book "Tikki tikki tembo", I loved as a child and I'm sure to read it to my children. tongue

It's about a youg boy called "Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo" and he's brother "Chang"... "Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo" falls down a well and he's brother "Chang" runs back home to tell he's mother and father, but because he's puffed out it makes it quite humorous... biggrin


I can't hear you... I have a banana in my ear.

"You mean I'll have to use my brain?... but I use staff!!!" ~ ben-ja-men

Rouge Dragon
Rouge Dragon

Insert Champagne Here
Location: without class distinction
Member Since: 21st Jul 2003
Total posts: 13215
Posted:i remember that book!!!!!!!!!!!

*goes to check stash of kids books* these are books i had to i can recomend them as quality enjoyable kids literature! and im pretty sure there isnt any scaring ducks! however they are 17 years old so they might be hard to get.

i always loved the Franklin Turtle books. and they have good illustrations (from what i remember!) by Paulette Bourgeois and Brenda Clark. "franklin fibs" has a moral to it.

and Hairy McLary (sp?) from Donaldson's Dairy

"the lion in the night" by Pamela Allen. she also wrote "Bertie and the Bear"

anything by Mem Fox. "wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge" used to make mum cry (thats a good one about being kind). "possum magic" is GOLDEN! its an aussie classic (so kinda applies to me more really considering u dont exactly like possums over there do u?)

ezra jack keats (mum says she doesnt like his work much but the name came to mind and he has the same last name as me so gotta be good! tongue)

"my brumby's motor car" John Birmingham

"each peach pear plum" Janet and Allan Allberg

"the jolly post man" by the Allbergs again (there is a series and they are GREAT! my friends used to ask to read them when they came over!!!)

thats it for now! lol! we cant find the box of my good books! but when it comes to kids literature - I LOVE IT!

ooh! i just found one last one! this book is fantastic! however it will probably be impossible to find but its all about individuality "the big orange splot" by Daniel Manus Pinkwater. my dad LOVES this book and so do i cos its got such a good message!!!!!

i would have changed ***** to phallus, and claire to petey Petey

Rougie: but that's what I'm doing here
Arnwyn: what letting me adjust myself in your room?..don't you dare quote that on HoP...


Location: montreal: bagel capital
Member Since: 16th Jul 2003
Total posts: 133
Posted:Try 'the giving tree' I think the author is Unkle Shelby, I enjoyed it so much as a child that I still remember the story to this day. It makes a lot more sense than a girafe and a half, which is a nifty book because it has lots of rhymes, but doesn't really make any sense. Another favorite of mine is 'where the wild things roam' but I can't remeber if it's suitable for kids under 5... though I would think so.

Check at your local library to see if they have any native american tales, these are almost guaranteed to have good morals and values in them. My father always used to read us stuff from there, but neither he nor I remeber the title.

Otherwise there's always books about animals and how they lived, or space and how astronauts work, or the medieval times and and how things were different then, and... well I think you get the picture.

At the very worse (which isn't bad at all) you can always rely on folklore tales and/or classics such as mother goose, snow-white, the little red ridding hood, etc...
Good luck with your story hunt!

there is no better way to say I love you than with the gift of a spatula!


How do you change this thing???
Location: Behind the couch...
Member Since: 7th Mar 2002
Total posts: 1903
Originally posted by Bender

The Giving Firestaff

adapted(ripped off) from Shel Silverstein


There was once a great practice staff, and a novice twirler. They would spend hours and hours together. The boy would palm the staff, get pissed hitting himself with it and generally talk codshit about what he could do with it. And the staff loved the boy.

One day, the boy came to the staff. The staff was delighted and beckoned, "Come and play!" But the boy was no longer a boy; he was now at uni, and he was interested in pyromania, but he didn't know how.

"Here," the staff said, "take my ends and wick them." The twirler did just that, and the staff was happy.

Years passed, and the staff was lonely without the twirler. One day, he learnt fire acrobatics, and the staff was delighted, but he was now interested in teaching others. He wanted to build a troupe.

"Here," the staff said, "give me to your friends" The twirler did just that, and the staff was happy.

Years passed, and the staff still missed her friend. One day, the twirler returned, and the staff was again overjoyed. But the man was now older and tired of single staff tricks; he wanted to get into exotic [censored].

"Here," the staff offered, "Cut me down. Make for yourself a 3 section. Remove my wicking to make fire poi and grow as a twirler" The man did just that, and the staff was happy.

Many years passed, seasons came and went, and the staff was very lonely. She missed her friend, and she often thought about the old days, when they had such fun. Finally, she saw her friend return, and she was delighted.

But the boy was now an old man, no longer able to play or teach or to hit himself 'upside the head. And he was tired. soo fuken tired man.

"Here, my friend," the staff said, "I still have a pretty good wooden dowel left. Won't you use me as a cane?" The old man did that, and the staff was happy.

You could asways read them this... it's an old time classic... tongue

I can't hear you... I have a banana in my ear.

"You mean I'll have to use my brain?... but I use staff!!!" ~ ben-ja-men


Mumma Hen
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Member Since: 25th Apr 2002
Total posts: 6391
Posted:The queen who stole the Sky... I cant remember who wrote it but its about the how stealing is bad and it effects everybody..
the queens steals the sky and makes a ballgown outta it...
I love that book... cant seem to find it though... ubbcrying

TAJ "boat mummy." VALURA "yes sweetie you went on a boat, was daddy there with you?" TAJ "no, but monkey on boat" VALURA "well then sweetie, Daddy WAS there with you"


Location: Guelph, ON, Canada
Member Since: 21st Nov 2003
Total posts: 1389
Posted:Robert Munsch... I think that's how you spell his last name. Some of the best childerns books out there, a great Canadian author. The stories are great, really funny, and even the serious ones keep the kids in awe... You should definately check them out.

~ Bobo

wie weit, wie weit noch?
fragst mich, wo wir gewesen sind...
du fehlst hier

- cat -
- cat -

Location: Perth
Member Since: 16th Nov 2003
Total posts: 48

I LOVE the Queen who stole the Sky!!! Would definitely recommend.. I still have it packed away *somewhere* in one of my piles of kiddy stuff I can't part with. Gorgeous piccys of the dress too... I used to want one tongue (sorta defeats the purpose of the story tho there)

I still enjoy the old Hungry Hungry Catapillar... (unsure of author)..

I think the old Serendipity series (I think that was the name of them) was also awesome.. beautiful piccys of unicorns and animals and stuff. The Silver Unicorn? I think it was... they came in different coloured books, e.g. pink, blue, green, with a cute picture on the front of an animal in this enchanted faraway land type thing. ubblove

Kombi guy
Kombi guy

Location: HOP Central, New Zealand
Member Since: 21st Nov 2003
Total posts: 222
Posted:Ive heard that you can tell a fairly good tale or two yourself Malcolm. ubbloco ubblol wink
Why not throw some pen to paper and come up with an interesting story using that wonderful thing called imagination smile
Also that way you know that the kiddies that you are reading too havent heard it before, makes it just a touch more magical. The way kids stories should be. ubbtickled ubbrollsmile


remembers when it was all fields round here
Location: in the works... somewhere...
Member Since: 27th Feb 2003
Total posts: 2790
Posted:My son is nearly 3, here are some of his favourites...

"Balloon" by Jez Alborough

"Bringing Down The Moon" by Jonathan Emmett

"I Love You Just The Way You Are" by Virginia Miller, who is also the illustrator.

I think the "Puddle Lane" series are out of print now - we have his dad's originals! - but they're firm favourites too.

"I thought you are man, but
you are nice woman.




old hand
Location: london
Member Since: 11th Jul 2003
Total posts: 1024
Posted:lion the witch and the wardrobe !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ubblove hug hug ubbloco ubbtickled


the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
I couldn't agree more about many of the books for children being pointless drivel, and some of it not in such a good way. Dr. Suess and sometimes Shel Silverstein may not make a whole lot of sense but they teach a great deal of linguistic skills and rhythms, believe it or not.

However, I agree that "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein is an amazing book. The drawing are simple and correlate well with the story, and the story itself if touching, and sad and beautiful. It is about unconditional love, and learning to appreciate it.

"Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak is also a great childrens book. It is written in kid speak, that is, a continuous flow of language. Kids love this book. I bought it for my childrens literature class and kept it for my son. We have read it so much that we don't need to really read it anymore. Years later he still loves it. And, it has some great opportunity for kids participation because of mild repetition (ex: there is a part that goes.. "And Max said..." at which point the kids will yell "NO!"..much fun!)
Also the vocal influction for "Roared there terrible roars, gnashed their terrible teeth..." can be so much fun. There are three pages of pictures without words that really allow the kids to extend their imaginations and have a small talk on what they are doing. It has a nice moral about behaving in it as well. It has been one of the highest rated childrens books for decades.

There are also the "Chicken Soup with Rice" or "One Was Johnny" books, illustrated by Maurice Sendak. They have rhythm and rhyme in a singsong pattern.

There are stories such as "Lan PoPo" the Chinese version of Red Riding Hood.

Uncle Remus tales, which are American South tales about Brer Rabbit and Brer Bear which are really moralistic though sometimes hard to read.

The African tales of Anansi the Spider, the Trickster. Very fun and moralistic.

Oooh...like "How the Elephant Got His Nose" where the elephant didn't listen to his mom and friends and got too close to the water, where the crocidile grabbed ahold of his nose. He pulled and pulled to get away from the croc and it stretched his nose waay out until *snap* he flew backwards away from the croc, but his nose never shrunk back down.

There is a beautifully illustrated book called "Gollem" (sp??) It is a story about how the jews lived in a walled off section of the city, and other people of the city would jump the wall and hurt the jews. The jews plead with the king for help but never got it, so they created a protector from the earth, a Gollem. Gollem protected them at night but learned to appreciate life during the day but when the jews didn't need him anymore they were going to take away the magic and turn him back to earth. He didn't want to.
It is a strong moralistic tale. It is sad and involved but it is supposedly made for young children. When I evaluated it, I wasn't sure but Noah learned alot and really seemed to feel it.

Anyway...just a few humble suggestions! wink

Let us know what you decide!

Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK


HoP Mechanical Engineer
Location: OK, USA
Member Since: 11th Jul 2002
Total posts: 729
Posted:For a <5yr old child it's less about teaching them science and problem-solving skills as it is about nurturing their creativity, teaching them how to form words and distinguish real words from nonsense ones (Dr Seuss is a big help with this) and just building the bond between parent and child.

If it's substance you're looking for, I would recommend finding the "Big Ol' Illustrated Version" of a classic book, such as Treasure Island or The Hobbit (a book written in the style of a father telling it to his kids... a terrific book) that will get the child's attention but at the same time not turn him/her into an oversized Teletubby or Spongebob (nonsensical characters that exist only to bait children with flashing lights and cuteness).

There's always the Seasame Street series of literature as well, those are geared towards children and are quite well-written.

As a kid personally, I loved the magazine series "Ranger Rick" and "ZooBooks," as well as "Highlights." They're all educational and have a lot of neat information to captivate an inquisitive mind.

Hope that helps!

What hits the fan is not evenly distributed.

Dirty Marmite Spider
Dirty Marmite Spider

Climbing up my leg
Location: England
Member Since: 17th Sep 2002
Total posts: 141
Posted:I agree with Pele, 'Where the wild things are' is brilliant and was my fvourite book as a child. My ex-boyfriends niece was really into LOTR when she was four. She didn't understand lots of it but she really liked some of the descriptions and enjoyed the bits she understood. I think it's good for her to be challenged personally, as I know that she gets to watch the odd bit of mindless tv as well.

False Eyelash
Location: New York City
Member Since: 27th Dec 2003
Total posts: 346
Posted:I recently read The BFG. So good. And plenty of opps for inserting your own funny voices for different characters.

All the freaky people make the beauty of the world.


Location: london,uk
Member Since: 14th Sep 2003
Total posts: 313
Posted:The Very Hungry Caterpillar-Eric Carle...kids love it and it shows the whole metamorphosis thing in a fun way....


Mistress of Pink...Multicoloured
Location: Over There
Member Since: 6th Apr 2002
Total posts: 6140
Posted:Oh the Hungry Caterpillar biggrin yup thats a brillaint one.

And Victoria Plum books, and The Shoe People books both brilliant for friendship stories and helping the environment and each other. ubblove

Never pick up a duck in a dungeon...

Singed Piper (formerly Mark1)
Singed Piper (formerly Mark1)

resident bagpiper
Location: Vermont, USA
Member Since: 12th Jul 2003
Total posts: 342
Posted:lets see....

beatrix potter

chronicles of narnia

j.r.r. tolkein (look into bbc audio versions they are awesome), later tell about WW2 and the jacobite rebelions

harry potter, if you're sadistic and want to stunt the kid

war and peace (bedtime story, lol)

there was some book called something like "where my poop goes" that i still enjoy. im sure that wasn't the real name, so look it up

winny the pooh

when we were very young

now we are six

alice in wonderland, and through the looking glass (later the kiddo can learn about the opium wars, and the meaning of the book

the wizard of oz, later you can tell him/her about the struggle of the proletariate

as for math and physics read "flatland" and sequels

if you are christian, read the space trilogy by c.s. lewis (save that hiddeous strength for when its older)

and stuff by e nesbit, rhol dahl, and any of the books based on the "Studio Ghibli" anime, which everyone should see. examples of such include princess mononoke, my friend totoro, whisper of the heart, nausicaa of the valley of the winds.

Q:What's the difference between the Great Highland Bagpipes and the Northumbrian Pipes?
A:The Great Highland Pipes burn longer.


All the neurotic makings of America's lesser known sweetheart
Location: body in Las Vegas, heart all a...
Member Since: 10th Jan 2003
Total posts: 9831
Posted:i gotta echo what dio said also....

at that age, children don't understand complex issues like problem solving, moral judgements, etc. it's a very black and white world. that's why most of the children's books are about fantasy and silliness, to help them learn language and foster creativity. most of the books everyone has listed so far are good, and if i can think of others i'll let you know. but basically i'd just suggest a story that has a good comforting story, has good language for the kids to learn, maybe a fantasy story that will allow the child to use their imagination and creativity, and has lots of good pictures.

I was always scared with my mother's obsession with the good scissors. It made me wonder if there were evil scissors lurking in the house somewhere.

Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons for you are crunchy and good with ketchup.



HOP admin
Location: HOP
Member Since: 18th Nov 2003
Total posts: 984
Posted:Thanks all, your information has been very enlightening

"May your balls always burn"

Location: scotland
Member Since: 2nd Jun 2003
Total posts: 48
Posted:Try the moomin books by Tove Jannsen.When i was a wee girl i loved them,they completley captured my imagination!!!

spig--------Its not big and its not clever.


Miss Whippy
Location: Cornwall & Oxford
Member Since: 3rd Jun 2003
Total posts: 1262
Posted:Awww the Moomin books!! They rule!! My mum read them to me when i was little, i recommend Comit in Moomin Land! ubblove

Dr Suess is what we've been reading my 4 yr old cousin, he loves it sooooo much hes memorized Green Eggs and Ham and the Cat in the Hat biggrin

Also i highly highly recommend 'Who is the Beast?' by Keith Baker. It teaches about how just because something is different, doesnt make it wrong and how we cannot judge by appearences alone.

Also Roald Dahl is great for kids no matter what age. Georges Marvellous Medicine, the Magic Finger, the BFG, The Giraffe the pelly and me, the twits, all great books to read to kids.

Aim high and you'll know your limits, aim low and you'll never know how high you could have climbed.

GiGi-D L'Amour
GiGi-D L'Amour

Location: Tucson AZ
Member Since: 20th Jun 2003
Total posts: 19
reading to children any type of story is important first as it teaches listening skills, attention spam, contextual understanding, sentance structuer etc.
second every child need a WIDE variety of types of books. Most parents lean towards certain types of books perfreing one genre over another... howveer this is actually not good for our children. Every child need books that are information, fantasy, rhyming, stories, fold lore etc as well as illistrations that vary as well from fine art to photographs and cartoon styles and the need to see a variety of text types. This is unfortunatley why though book clubs are often a great way to build a young ones library quickly having this as your only source is often detremental as they often focus on one author, one style or one type of book.
If you loking for a good set thats inclusive I highly recomend reading together at home it comes with 24 books a parents guied on how to read to your child and what ages what they need as well as activities at the back of each book.... plus it has all types of books.
Certain companys also carefully screen a variety of books to pick only the best for each age group. One company I highly respect in this area is Discovery Toys. Not all books make sense for young children as some teach ryhming. Some are fancifull...others are serious. If you want good recomendations go to your local library and ask the childrens librarian... or take your child to the local story time there. Librarians know how to select and read to children as well as get them to interect with the book. consider also award winning books like the caldecot awards.
some of my favorites over the years would be... Alexander and the terrible horrible no good very bad day, Olivia. I love you the purpelest, Hey pizza man, salt hands, Just an ordinary day, A mother for Coco, the giving tree, sometimes I like to curl up in a ball, Double trouble in walla walla.
BTW I have a exstensive early child hood education back ground specializing in learning through play and specificly helping parents and children interact through toys and books.
Kudos on reading to your child.

GiGi-D L'Amour
If you can't be normal make everyone else wish they weren't

GiGi-D L'Amour
GiGi-D L'Amour

Location: Tucson AZ
Member Since: 20th Jun 2003
Total posts: 19
Posted:ohh just read allthe other recomendations.. may I second every last one as I actually own them all heheh yup own every book listed LOL my I say my kids own well over 5000 books hahahaah.
Howvere the jrtolkien, narnia books etc are too advanced for the preschool set... to excpect them to even sit through a chapter is far to demanding on there limited attention span... plus illistration teaches story excpectation at this age. save the chapter books untill they hit first or second grade.
Oh seems dear shell silverstien is a favorite amoung us all. Oh one other thought on childrens litueratuer.
one under 5's DO have fact books and science only they are not what many think of as that photo books on numbers counting and cause and effect are actually pre math pre science books... they need these to build on these concepts. DK books makes some of the best childrens fact based books out there.. again however do not only go with these as with most companys they also focus too much on one genre. Usborne also has some though frankly not as impressed with them.
Also be carefull with TV based or charcter based books too easiy to get stuck on these and the quality is often poor in comparison to others.. treat these like you would sweets... definatley have some in the selection but not the only kind no one is healthy on a diet of just candy :-)

GiGi-D L'Amour
If you can't be normal make everyone else wish they weren't

Location: Wageningen, NL
Member Since: 9th Jun 2003
Total posts: 34
Posted:'just so stories' from Rudyard Kipling

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