Now that visual stimulation is inspired by quick-paced television, iPads, and smartphones, today’s children have a short attention span. They are habitual of watching motion pictures and become quite restless when the action expires. Nowadays, little ones rarely tap into their creativity, conjuring exciting images in their minds, unless they learn to read, or until we read to them. Therefore, bedtime stories is a must for kids. It drives their imagination and encourages them to think beyond their realms.
If you find bedtime reading a necessary ritual to bond with your munchkins, you might want to try these books dedicated to toddlers aged 2 to 5 years.
Books by Indian Authors
‘Days with Thathu’ by Geeta Dharamarajan
In today’s fast-paced world, children brought up in nuclear families are often deprived of a vibrant, joyful and satisfying relationship which exists between kids and their grandparents. This magical and endearing tale narrated by little Malar lures us into an enchanting world created by her grandfather, who transforms every experience into something magical.
We lose ourselves in a world that leads to imaginary cows, a trip to the beach and a beautiful underwater experience, as Malar says, “Thathu and I never do ordinary things.”
‘Guddu’s Photo’ by Nandini Nayyar
Mom wants to take a picture of little Guddu alone. However, Guddu wants his toy friends to accompany him to the photo-shoot otherwise he wouldn’t smile. So, mommy eventually gives in and lets Guddu bring his friends. In this book, the author charmingly describes friendships nurtured by kids and helps us understand how they perceive the world around them.
Zeel Sanghvi’s illustrations breathe life into this paperback edition. What’s more? It is also available in Gujarati, Tamil, Bangla, Kannada, Marathi, Telugu and Malayalam languages so you can have fun in your vernacular languages too!
‘Mai and her Friends’ by Durga Bai
Mai (mother in English) is anxious because Konda, her cow lost her way home from the field. A fierce storm is brewing outside, and Konda’s calf is hungry, desperately wishing for its mother to return. Regardless, Mai and the calf set out on an adventurous journey to rescue Konda. Help pours in from all directions as their friends come to rescue.
The fireflies light up their path while bamboos protect them from gushing torrents. Mai’s four-legged pals help her pull Konda out from the ditch. The book, filled with bright photos, simple sentences, and detailed illustrations engage the tots and teach them the value of good friendships in life.
‘A Bucket of Blessings’ by Kabir and Surishtha Sehgal
The New York Times bestselling photo book rejuvenates an enchanting Indian myth from the majestic hillsides. The monkeys are worried because it has not rained for months and the village pond is nearly dry. In the difficult times, little monkey recalls a tale told by his mama—the story of peacocks dancing to attract rain clouds. Thus, begins the adventure of the little monkey who sets out to invite peacocks to his native place.
The legend, coupled with colourful illustrations and a dramatic rhythm will surely inspire your kids to never back down from challenges and to put efforts until they succeed.
‘Ekki Dokki’ by Sandhya Rao
Based on a Marathi folktale, Ekki Dokki is the tale of two sisters: Ekkesvali (with a single hair on head) and Dhonkesvali (with two hair on her head). Both think they are more beautiful than the other but what happens to them when they get lost in a clearing in the middle of the forest and come across an old woman there. You need to read the story to discover the mysterious journey of the siblings into the woods.
‘Gajapati Kulapati Kalabaloosh’ by Ashok Rajagopalan
If you have a soft corner for elephants, you will inevitably fall in love with ‘Gajapati Kulapati’ a super adorable baby elephant who is troubled by heat. The friendly grandma tells him to cool off in the pond, and so, all elephants rush to the pool. What will happen when Gajapati visits the pond? Why do children want him to come again but the grown-ups don’t? You’ll have to read the book to uncover the mystery.
Though the book is authored for little ones, even you, as an adult cannot help but fall in love with Gajapati Kulapati.
Books by Foreign Authors
‘The Tiger who Came to Tea’ by Judith Kerr
Little Sophie wants to have a tea party. As she sits down with mama to have her special tea, there rings the doorbell. Who could it possibly be? Roar… Here comes a big, furry tiger who wants to have tea too! How will Sophie deal with the extraordinary tea-time visitor?
Read the captivating perennial kid’s classic aloud to find out what will happen at Sophie’s tea party!
‘Hugless Douglas’ by David Melling
Little Douglas is an adorable and chubby brown grizzly bear who wants to learn everything about the vast world. One day when our lovable Douglas wakes up in the morning, he wants a hug but does not find the right candidate for it. There begins his journey to find the ‘huggable’ partner.
This delightful tale narrated by Alan Davies beautifully describes Douglas’ journey to the outside world. For those who do not want the fun to end may check out other books in the series: Hugless Douglas and the Big Sleep, Happy Birthday Hugless Douglas, Hugless Douglas Numbers, Hugless Douglas First Words, We Love You Hugless Douglas and many more.
‘Spot Series’ by Eric Hill
Spot is a lovable little pup who experiences everyday adventures as an average kid. Join Spot on a fun-filled journey out in the rain, to school or shrine, where he plays with his buddies and gets to learn new things. Our lovable pooch eventually learns to count and tell time. He’s also fascinated by sports, and a multitude of other activities taught at school.
Your toddlers will surely relate to Spot’s adventures.
‘Usborne Phonic Readers’ by Various Authors
Usborne Phonic readers is an engaging phonics-based series to help little ones to read and write. The set comprises of 20 titles, each one having unique notes for parents and children. The book relays the adventures of our various animal friends and offers solutions to their problems.
Some popular titles include Shark in the Park, Underpants for Ants, Snail Brings the Mail, Goose on the Loose, Hen’s Pens, Fox on a Box, Mole in a Hole, Frog on a log, Big pig on a dig, Sam sheep can’t sleep, Ted in a red bed, Crow in the snow, Racoon on the moon.
So, these are some books that will help you get into the skin of tiny tots and subtly send out essential life lessons to them. Once you are snuggled up with you little chimps in the bed, you can discuss the events of the book and make reading a pleasure for them.
Until then, Happy Parenting!