By Urvi Sheth
Julia Donaldson is synonymous with children’s media. A writer, playwright and performer, her Gruffalo series has enthralled kids of all ages and opened many doors of imagination for them. Her journey started as a song writer for children’s television shows and songs on the radio. Her unique style of writing stories in the format of poetry makes her books even more interesting to children. Here’s a list of some of her books for toddlers and pre-schoolers.
This book by Donaldson, illustrated by Nick Sharratt, talks about a waddling toddler as suggested by the title itself. The book is based on onomatopoeia, where each page introduces a sound, thus giving opportunities to children to act out the corresponding gesture. While there are new words, they are often repeated with every page, which increases familiarity and word recognition for children. A fun way to introduce digraphs to children and phonic clarity to young readers, this book is an ideal pick.
The Detective Dog
Illustrated by Sara Ogilvie, Donaldson leads children into a world of imagination, mystery and rhyme through this book. Detective Dog Nell helps little Peter from Tuesday to Saturday but on Mondays, he joins him to go to school. But when they reach school one Monday, a crime takes place and Nell investigates. The book is written in the poetry format and is filled with description, making it an interesting read-aloud book for toddlers.
A Squash and a Squeeze
With illustrations by Axel Scheffler, this classic, first written in 1993, will surely be an exciting read for kids. This book was originally a television song written by Donaldson, and was played on children’s television. The book narrates a simple story of an old lady who lives alone in a small house and feels that she has no space to move around. The story leaves you with an important message. The book is a great way for children to learn new vocabulary, rhyming words while inspiring imagination.
(The author is educator and founder, Beyond Books.)