26th January - 2nd February, 2013 has been the 132nd National Storytelling Week in the UK. We will also see the return of World Book Day on 7th March 2013. Everyone loves a story, and stories come in so many different forms. From watching your favourite television programme, creating a fun verbal fictional story with the kids or settling down with a warm beaker of milk and a bedtime story. Whatever the story, they are designed to have a lasting effect on their readers. And when the experience of storytelling is shared, it can bring a closeness and develop a bond between individuals. We love stories in the Munchkin Patch!
Every night before bed, Munchkin has to have a bedtime story. In fact, it's just not bedtime without a story! She has a bookcase full of books that she has collected over the course of the last 3 years. However, her bedtime story is always chosen from a small selection that are kept in a separate bookcase.
Here, we want to share with you our very favourite books and why Munchkin loves them so much!
"Silly old Fox, doesn't he know? There's no such thing as a Gruffalo!"
Everyone who has encountered The Gruffalo through Julia Donaldson's magical, well loved creation, will fall in love with the characters, from the cunningly cute mouse to the Gruffalo himself. Children and adults alike will become totally engrossed in the Little Brown Mouse's journey through the Deep Dark Wood and in the characters he meets along the way.
"Aha, oho, tracks in the snow ..."
The Gruffalo's Child, also by Julia Donaldson, continues the story of the Gruffalo, but introduces the Gruffalo's child too, who goes exploring in the snow for the Big Bad Mouse. With very clever and clear links to its predecessor, this is a pleasure to read. After The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo's Child, I'll never underestimate the intelligence of mice again!!
"Wise Old Man, won't you help me please?
My house is a squash and a squeeze!"
Donaldson's classic tale of the little old lady who moaned that her house was too small and she needed more space. When the wise old man comes to her aid with a very unexpected, yet effective solution!
"I am the rat of the highway ... the highway, the highway ..."
A story about the greedy Highway Rat who steals the food of everyone he meets. Until he meets his match when he encounters the clever duck and her 'sister ... sister ... sister ..."!
"Night Monkey laughed and said, "Don't be daft ...!"
Another heart warming tale by Julia Donaldson which focuses on differences. Night Monkey and Day Monkey live very different lives amongst very different surroundings. However, this lovely story shows them learning about each others lives and becoming friends against all odds!
"The Witch tapped her broomstick, and Whoosh ... they were gone!"
As the clumsy witch flies, with her cat, through the sky on her broomstick, dropping and retrieving her belongings along the way, she encounters a whole host of characters - the bounding dog, the clean frog, to name just two. As they join her on her journey, much to the cat's disgust, events inevitably spiral out of control until the witch's new friends work together to save the day!
"At last he found a treasure chest, and in it was a book ..."
Munchkin loves this one. Julia Donaldson cleverly takes together several different story books and brings them together in this lovely tale of a boy and his favourite book! Munchkin loves to join in with this one as we create different voices and create actions to go with the story. When we have this as her bedtime story, 'wind down time' is not quite so peaceful!!
"... I'm Stick Man, I'm Stick Man, I'm Stick Man, that's me ...!"
A lovely story about, well, Stick Man, and the trouble he gets into from just going for a jog one day! From a dog who sees him as the perfect 'Fetch' stick, to the young girl who decides he is just right for a game of Pooh Sticks, all Stick Man wants is to find his way home to his 'Stick Lady Love' and his 'Stick Children Two'. Will he find a way ...?
"Me, you and the old guitar,
How perfectly happy we are."
Tabby McTat, another favourite by Julia Donaldson, tells the lovely story of the relationship between a man and his loyal cat. A story of love, separation and re-found love, we find this is a wonderfully calm, relaxing story to have before bedtime.
"... He opened his book, closed his eyes and began to count."
This is also right up there in Munchkin's top 5 favourite bedtime stories. However, I think that is down to the writing style and the glittery pages at the moment, as the meaning behind this story and its plot has a slightly older focus. The story is wonderful, but I am not sure how much of it she really understands yet. However, it has a princess, it has glitter on every page, it has very colourful pages and there are plenty of opportunities to adopt funny voices, so she loves it!
"... But look me up and down - I'm the smartest giant in town!"
The Smartest Giant in Town is a really inspirational tale about selflessness, sharing, friendship and gratitude. As the giant finally gets himself some long awaited and much needed smart new clothes, he meets a number of unfortunate, needy friends along the way who each have a problem that needs solving. The giant is only too happy to help ... but at what cost ...?
"And the Ladybird said never a word."
What the Ladybird Heard is one of those stories the kids can't help joining in with! A story about teamwork and friendship, this tale contains wonderfully constructed rhyme, plenty of animal noises and an amusing plot, with, of course, a witty ending! What's more, there is a glittery ladybird on every page which isn't always easy to see, so Munchkin has great fun searching for it!
"Now that you've been shown, you can practise on your own."
Munchkin loves Zog! The story of a young dragon who is desperate to impress! All he wants is to win a gold star for being a skilled dragon! When the likes of flying and fire breathing are pretty unsuccessful, Zog realises his services are better used elsewhere! The budding friendship between Zog and his human friend, and how it develops is fantastic and heart warming!
"Dig, dig! Quick, quick! Scrabble, scrabble! Kick, kick!"
Another lovely story about friendship, The Rhyming Rabbit is about an under appreciated rabbit who loves to rhyme. None of the animals are fans of his poetry, until one day he meets a friend who shares his love of rhyme.
Yes, as you can see, all of Munchkin's bedtime stories for now are by Julia Donaldson. This is her choice, as she seems to have set herself the personal challenge of collecting every one of them. She will insist on looking inside the back cover every night, after our story, to check the list of other titles and recap which she has and which she needs!! As you can tell from the list above, there are not many left for her to collect!
Reading is a very important activity in the Munchkin Patch and we make sure we read with Munchkin every day. We are very lucky that she loves a story and has made it an essential part of her bedtime routine. I hope Beastie Boo is as enthusiastic about reading as Munchkin is as she grows up. I can only hope that with us reading to her from day 1 will prove to be a good thing, as it clearly was with Munchkin!
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