Kids’ reading — Boots, Rufus the Numbat, and a Fairy Empire

As a proud parent, I find it endlessly interesting to watch my kids’ literary tastes developing. So I’m now going to make an enormous leap of (perhaps faulty) logic and assume that all you people out there will find it just as interesting. And thus I shall blog about the books that my daughters have been reading, or, in the case of the younger, chewing on.

My youngest, Alexandra, is just 18 months old. She loves books. She loves it when I read them to her — but she also spends ages turning the pages by herself, giggling at the pictures and pointing things out on the pages. Her current favourites include A Friend For Boots and Bath-Time Boots, both by Satoshi Kitamura. These board-books are absolutely brilliant! Simple yet delightful words combine with simple but charming illustrations, to tell the story of a cat named Boots. Alexandra delights in pointing out Boots and the various toys depicted on each page.

My eldest, Nykita, is 7 years old. She is currently obsessed with the Rainbow Magic fairy books by the pseudonymous Daisy Meadows. Daisy, or rather the four authors from Working Partners who write under this pseudonym, have built a Rainbow Magic empire. There are already over 90 titles in the series, and no doubt, they’ll keep churning them out for as long as little girls keep getting their parents to buy them. Nykita has been borrowing them from her school library. She is finding this rather frustrating as she only gets to borrow one book a week, and she usually finishes the book on the night she brings it home. But fear not… I went to a recent department store toy and book sale. There, amongst a sea of mothers with shopping trolleys stacked twice their height in toys, I wandered around with an armful of books. I got two boxed sets of the Rainbow Magic books, comprising books 71 to 84. And then to balance things out a bit, I also got a boxed set of Enid Blyton books. These should keep her entertained for a week or two.

With two young daughters who love books, I was delighted to receive a review copy of David Miller’s new picture book, Rufus the Numbat. This is Miller’s second book for Ford Street Publishing, after the critically acclaimed Big and Me. And he’s done it again — a lovely book with a unique look and a story that works on two levels. Kids can simply enjoy the madness and mayhem that ensues when Rufus the numbat wanders into the city, while adults can appreciate the subtle statement on humans encroaching on the natural habitats of native animals.

But don’t just take my word for how good it is… let’s get some expert opinions as well. It got a definite thumbs up from Nykita. She spent ages studying the intricate paper sculptures that Miller used to illustrate the book. “I like the way everything is made out of paper,” she announced. She also said that it was “a very creative story”. Her favourite bit was when Rufus rode a skateboard away from the city to the bush. I read the book to Alexandra, who kept pointing to Rufus each time I turned the page, giggling with enthusiasm every time she spotted him.

So Miller has managed to please an 18 month old, a 7 year old and a 42 year old with Rufus the Numbat — a pretty good achievement!

Anyone out there want to share with us what their kids have been reading? Leave a comment.

And tune in next time so I can tell you about how much I love old books.

Catch ya later,  George

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George Ivanoff

LITERARY CLUTTER: Bookish bloggings from the cluttered mind and bookshelf of Melbourne author, George Ivanoff. George is the author of the YOU CHOOSE books, the GAMERS trilogy of teen novels, and the YA short story collection LIFE, DEATH AND DETENTION.

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