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  • Angela Costigan

Good and Glorious Books

I spent a lot of money on kids' books this week. And quite a bit last week. And the week before. I don't HAVE a lot of money to spend on kids' books.

My child went to school today with a hole in her tights that is probably getting too large for me to claim, 'Oh, that must of just happened...'

There is a rattling sound coming from under my car's bonnet that I'm fairly sure is responsible for small children and dogs running in the opposite direction as I drive past....

And still, I buy books.

I stand there in the bookshop, looking at the price tag of a gorgeous picture book and I think 'If I don't buy this, I'll never know all the magical snuggly moments I might have with my child and this book.'

And so yesterday's haul was this...

And the day before that, there was this...

And there's the book club orders and the online purchases etc etc and the middle grade books that I'm not even taking photos of because they're already scattered all through my (rattling) car.

But Ange, where are the books about 'farts?' I hear you asking, 'There's a great new one from yet ANOTHER celebrity...'

I do not buy books about farts. Or bums. They sell well enough without me buying them.

Don't get me wrong, there is a place for those. You are almost guaranteed to get a kid laughing with one.

And that's important. SO important. But this blog is not about those picture books.

It's about all the other glorious ones out there. And why you should buy them.

Did you know there is a fairly well known statement that claims....

'Boys will not read books where the main character is a girl, but girls will read books about boys.'

But hang on....who are buying the books for these boys? Especially when the kid is still at the 'picture book' stage?

Is little Tommy thumbing through the spines at the bookshop, looking up at mum or dad and saying 'I refuse to read this picture book, for the protagonist is female....'

I think not.

Now I get that as they get older, kids naturally gravitate towards books of their interest and that which their peers are reading. I'm down with that. BUT.

I have been to a lot of workshops and talks by Australian children's authors who have all experienced the same thing...

Parents will purposefully steer their little boys away from books where the main character is female.

Oh dear. This is no good.

I'm not here to lecture anyone though. Buy or borrow whatever books you like for your kids. Hey any book is better than no book. Just be mindful of how you influence your child's choices. If Little Lucy wants to read Zac Power - cool. If Michael picks up a picture book about Cinderella - awesome.

Read and let Read.

Stuck for ideas? Here are a few awesomely wonderful kids' books for your to consider.

And honestly, I could write another ten blog posts on this. But these are just a few I grabbed from our shelves at home...(the pictures should scroll, but if you want to look at one longer, just click on it).

Books that make you laugh without a bum in sight...

(Honest to goodness, the 'Unicorn and Horse' book is so much fun to read out loud and okay there is one fart joke in there...).

Books where the rhythm and rhyme are SO GOOD that you don't mind if your kids says 'read it again!' for the hundredth time...

(I wrote about 'The Elephant in the Room' in another blog post earlier this year, if I knew how to link to that here, it would be joyous for all involved...)

Books that 'make you feel calm' as my child would say...

Books where the illustrations are so beautiful, you become completely lost in another world...

Books that sneak up on you and teach you a lesson, without you even knowing it...

Books where the language and the illustrations weave together in such a beautiful way, it makes your heart ache....

I picked up 'A House that Once Was' in the bookstore, while my five year old picked up the 'Unicorn' book mentioned above. I read a few pages and I honestly didn't care if my kids would like this book or not (they LOVE it), it is so breathtaking, I planned on keeping it in my writing room, on that high shelf I once wrote about in another blog (once again, it would be so handy to link to that here...let's pause and pretend I did...ahh brilliant).

But the kids like the book so much, they insist on keeping it in THEIR room. Pfft.

Goodness. Looonnnggg post. It needs to end.

The moral of today's insights? Buy or borrow good and glorious books for your kids. Challenge yourself to choose something different

and enjoy the wonders that will unfold.

**As always, if you are the fortunate author, illustrator or publisher of any of the before mentioned books and you feel that I have not credited you correctly, please make contact and I will amend**

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