Monday, October 12, 2015

10 of our favorite books. A Positive List by Anamika Agnihotri



As bloggers we are always looking for like minded individuals to make connections with, groups of bloggers, groups of writers, groups of mom writers. During the last few months I found some great places to share my writing and simply be myself. One of these is The Write Tribe.

I love the Write Tribe, a community of writers that live all over the world but come together as a family with their writing. I found the Write Tribe casually as I searched for linkups that were not about mommying, or kids, or crafts and diy. The Write Tribe is solely about writing, for the sake of using our words to create magic pieces of literature. 
A few months ago I created "Positive Lists", a guest post section of Crazy Little Family Adventure dedicated to lists about things we love and things we would love to do. Lists about positive thoughts and positive actions. My first positive list was guest written by Jeanine Lebsack from Mommitment. It was called: 

This Positive List was put together by Anamika, whom I met on the Write Tribe. She tells us about her son's favorite books! 



I am Anamika Agnihotri, a Stay-At-Home-Mom with 4 year old son, Dhruv. I am based in Bangalore, India.

When I started out being a full-time mother two years ago, after working in the corporate sector for  9 years, I knew nothing about parenting or rearing a child. I constantly made efforts at learning the tricks of this trade in what I fondly call "The Dhruv School of Parenting" where although I used to start out being an instructor but humbly ended up following the pupil, my son.

I blog at the bespectacled mother about my motherhood and parenting tales and about the children books we love to read together.

My social media links are -

Books are the one aspect in me and my son's lives which keep us positive and happy (although children do not need a reason to be happy). I introduced him to books when he was 10 months old and since then reading to him has been a continuous voyage. We read twice a day - once immediately after waking up in the morning before getting ready for school and then at bedtime in the night before dozing off. At any given time, he has 2 books to read because 1 is hardly enough to keep him content.

Here is my list of Dhruv's 10 favourite books, in no particular order, from the last few months.

1. Charlie Cook's Favourite Book 

Author: Julia Donaldson

Illustrator: Axel Scheffler


This is one book which has many books in it. Each character beginning with Charlie Cook is reading a story from his/her favourite book about a character who is further reading his/her favourite book about a character who is further reading his/her favourite book and so on....In this book, everyone whether a human, a frog, a bird, a crocodile, a ghost, a bear, a thief in the prison or an astronaut in space (thieves and astronauts are humans too) is a book lover and has a favourite book.
Dhruv's answer to why does he like this book was a simple one - "because the pictures are too good and there are lots of books".


2. The Something 

Author and Illustrator: Rebecca Cobb


This story is about a hole in a boy's garden. One day the boy and his dog were playing with a ball, the ball bounced off into the hole and never came out. The boy imagines there must be something down there. Different people have different ideas as to who would be living down the hole - a mouse's family, frogs, a hungry troll, a snake, a fox, rabbits and a dragon. The boy, along with his dog, guard the hole and keep waiting just in case 'Something' someday comes out of the hole.
I am sure the story challenges Dhruv's imagination and at the same time he has also got to know there can be life and creatures living below the ground´s surface.


3. Cave Baby 

Author: Julia Donaldson

Illustrator: Emily Gravett


A story of a baby who lives in a cave with his mum and dad. His mum makes drawings of animals on the cave walls and his dad is brave. The cave baby's life is boring staying in his baby cot all the time but then one day he is moved out of it since his parents climb into it to shoo off rats (funny and ironical for dad being brave). He finds a brush and paint and he paints all over his mum's drawings. Dad scolds him that a big woolly mammoth will throw him to a big brown bear. That night a mammoth does come and takes the scared baby away to his cave and lets him paint all over the cave's walls giving him immense delight. What follows is a roll and a romp and a splash.
I asked Dhruv what did he learn from this story? He answered "Let's draw and paint on our white bare walls and have fun".
Lesson for me - 'Seeking lesson from every story , not a good idea'.


4. Again! 

Author and Illustrator: Emily Gravett



A fascinating book for its creative and interesting illustrations from a gem of an illustrator.
A child dragon is all ready for bedtime and asks his mum to read him a story from his favourite book. Mummy dragon reads it accurately for the first time. Then the child says Again. She starts reading one more time but she is sleepy and so amends the story short. The child yet again says AGAIN! Mum reads again, shortens the story and finally falls asleep. The child keeps on saying AGAIN! AGAIN! AGAIN!. He gets enraged, takes upon reading himself and out of anger blows out fire through the book making a hole. The last pages of the book (the readers' copy) has a burnt hole.
The first time we went through it, Dhruv felt the courier guy goofed up by delivering us a burnt book and he cried over it because he wanted a new book in good condition.


5. No David! 

Author and Illustrator: David Shannon

This is a story of a mischievous little boy David. Each time he is up to something, his mum catches him and calls out No David No!.
A very simple book yet we loved it lots. Here is a video based upon this book.







6. Eleanor's Eyebrows 

Author: Timothy Knapman

Illustrator: David Tazzyman


A girl named Eleanor does not value her eyebrows more than silly, hairy, scruffy bits of fluff. The eyebrows, thus feeling unloved, slid off her face into the big wide world to find someone who would love them for what they were. They try being useful as a magician's moustache, hand warmers for Lady Beetles, extra legs for an ant, wheels in the motorbike of a Stick Insect and even an exclamation mark on a road sign eventually getting washed off by rain. Meanwhile Eleanor starts to miss them and puts up a notice calling them home. The eyebrows see the notice and return to her face when she is sleeping.
We loved reading this one since it is too funny and more so is the picture of 2 hairy eyebrows dragging their cases behind. For a whole 1 week Dhruv checked numerous times for his own eyebrows were well in place or not. Talk about Eyebrow Appreciation!

 10 of our favorite books. the bespectacled mother.


7. The Colour Thief 

Author: Gabriel Alborozo


Zot, an alien, lives on a planet without colour - no green grass, no blue sky, no yellow sun and no red flowers. Without colour, everybody is sad in his world From his lonely mountain top, he gazes at a distant planet Earth, sparkling with brilliant colour, and thinks it must be a very happy place. He sets off to steal the colours from Earth to take back to his planet for his friends....for his happiness and of others. Zot is not bad although he plans to steal. At the end he returns all the colours to Earth only taking back with him an orange balloon, a gift from a little boy.
This is a visually stunning and thought provoking book. We talked about friendship and sharing with friends. Incidently, for now, all aliens are Zots for us.

8. The Life of a Car 

Author and Illustrator: Susan Stegall


This book covers the life of a car right from its getting manufactured on the assembly line in the factory to being scrapped and recycled. The book contains vivid collage illustrations with minimal words. Short sentences like Build the car, Deliver the car, Sell the car, Fill the car, Wash the car, Fix the car and so on describe the pictures. This book provides room for a lot of discussion with the child with the pictures of the car at various stages. You can take a boy out of a car but never a car out of a boy. Therefore, you know why does Dhruv like this book.

9. The Bad-Tempered Ladybird

Author and Illustrator: Eric Carle



The bad-tempered ladybird picks up fights with every animal it meets, no matter how big or small. But, after a whole day of being bad-tempered, the ladybird realizes that life is much better when you are in a good mood. This books explores the concept of size and time relevant to small children.
What interested Dhruv in this book? The frequently used phrases "Hey you, want to fight?" and "Oh, you are not big enough". Besides this, we practiced reading time from the clock on each page.
Author - Dr. Seuss


A character known as ‘Sam-I-Am’ pesters an unnamed character to try a dish of green eggs and ham. The unnamed character refuses every time. He continues to repeat this as Sam follows him, encouraging him to eat them in several locations (house, box, car, tree, train, dark, rain and boat) and with several animals (mouse, fox, goat) all to which the unnamed character refuses. Finally, the unnamed character gives into Sam’s pestering and tries the green eggs and ham, which he finds that he does like after all in the end.

We love this one for the flow of words and with all the simple rhyming it appeals like a nursery rhyme.  We have a personal connection with this story. While I act like the ‘Sam-I-am’ following Dhruv pleading, requesting (and threatening too) to try different foods and Dhruv acts like the unnamed character adamantly refusing everything everytime.

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