One of the wonderful joys of being a book-loving parent is looking forward to all the magical stories that BookBairn and I can share when sh...

First Stories

Thursday, April 07, 2016 BookBairn Blog 8 Comments

One of the wonderful joys of being a book-loving parent is looking forward to all the magical stories that BookBairn and I can share when she gets older. And I hope that she will enjoy reading them together in a 'Mummy and BookBairn book club'! I have fond memories of reading many classic tales with my own mum, and we still enjoy reading and talking about books.


A great way to introduce some of these wonderful traditional tales is through a new series of books by Campbell Books publishing, a specialist publisher in books for babies and toddlers. We have, accidentally, amassed lots of Campbell Books books before I realised that they were all published by the same company, including 'Farm Playbook' which we reviewed recently (those of you that live in Scotland might have had a few in your Bookbug baby and toddler bags). Campbell Books believes that "sharing and talking about books with babies and toddlers is an important step in their journey to becoming life-long readers" and last year produced a wonderful booklet of top tips for reading with 0-4 year olds. It's available to download here if you are interested. I would like to point out that Campbell Books have not asked me to write this post or sent us these books in exchange for review, we just love their books and I wanted to share with you because I thought the booklet was a great tool for parents.

Back to the books! As part of World Book Day celebrations at school last month, and for the #2016classicschallenge that I am joining in with on Twitter, I read Alice in Wonderland and so I thought how exciting it would be to share this story with BookBairn. What I discovered was an absolute gem of a book! Our version is called 'Busy Alice in Wonderland' but it has since been rebranded as 'First Stories: Alice in Wonderland' by Colonel Moutarde.

This book is brilliantly illustrated and tells the basics of the traditional Lewis Caroll story of the little girl who follows a white rabbit down his rabbit hole into the strange and magical world of Wonderland. The retelling is short, only the cover and four double-page spreads but it packs a lot into those pages. An interactive story, the book is filled with pull-tabs, twisting wheels and little finger-sized tabs to make the story truly come to life! You can see in the video below that BookBairn loves to make Alice follow the rabbit down his rabbit hole! I love the quirky illustrations and bold bright colour palette, which perfectly bring to life the bizarre world of wonderland. Due to the brevity of the book, it focuses on key events from the story including the mad hatters tea party and the strange game of croquette at the Queen of Heart's Palace.



BookBairn adores this story and we read it for bedtime and naptimes over and over for several weeks! Because she loved this story so much, with her birthday vouchers, we bought two more from the newly revamped 'First Stories' series: 'The Jungle Book' by Miriam Bos and 'Rapunzel' by Dan Taylor. We also discovered 'Snow White' by Dan Taylor in our local library collection and have been enjoying them greatly. With similar push, pull and slide tabs, these stories bring to life these classic stories and fairy tales. I particularly enjoy the front cover of Rapunzel where Bookbairn can pull down Rapunzel's golden hair! (I had forgotten that this is a rather gruesome tale for little ones, the witch steals the baby, so might be best avoided if you or your bookbairn are of a nervous disposition. That said, it's hardly the most gruesome of fairy tales!) 'The Jungle Book' features all the characters that we know and love from Rudyard Kipling's wonderful story! I find it hard not to sing the songs from the Disney film as we read the pages where Mogwli is dancing with his friends. "Mirror Mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of them all?" Pull the tab in the 'Snow White' book and the mirror magically transforms from showing the Wicked Queen to the pretty face of Snow White. These books are a fabulous introduction to the traditional stories we all know and love! We will be keeping our eyes peeled for the final book in the collection: 'Cinderella' also by Dan Taylor.

These books are described as 'Best for Toddler' and whilst I'm sure toddlers also love these books, BookBairn enjoyed them from about 10 months and although she couldn't initially push, pull or slide the tabs to bring the pictures to life, she clearly enjoyed watching the illustrations move when we moved them. She can now interact with them better, having further developed her motor skills but, as I say, it didn't stop her from enjoying them in the first place! I love watching her poke her finger in the 'slide holes' (if that's what you call them?) and it makes me giggle when she sneakily moves the overlapping boards without pulling the tabs! Problem solving skills right there!

The 'First Stories' series is a great start for sharing traditional stories and fairy tales with little ones and will hopefully encourage wee readers, like BookBairn, to pick up the original versions when they are older. In the meantime, these are a great introduction!

We would love to hear if you have read any great baby and toddler-friendly versions of classic stories and tales as we are always looking to expand our collection!

Mummy and BookBairn book club begins! 
Love Mummy and BookBairn xx



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8 comments:

  1. Just delightful and Great Grandpa BookBairn enjoys reading your blog so much he said how much Great Great Grnadma BookBairn would have appreciated your love writing style, analysis and perception.

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    1. That's lovely! We are very much enjoying reading all these books. I think Great Grandma BookBairn would've enjoyed that too! xx

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  2. I love the fact that BookBairn calls a lot of these types of books "Wiggle books" presumably because she can slide, turn, twist and wiggle pictures on the pages.

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    1. She particularly enjoys a "wiggle wiggle book" doesn't she?!

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  3. I love these, wish they'd been around when my lot were younger, got to love the classics! Thanks for sharing with #ReadWithMe

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    1. Aren't they brilliant? I love that BookBairn can enjoy some classic stories so young. You would also love BabyLit books and Cozy Classics but I suspect your little readers are way past these too!

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  4. It's nice to see classic tales redone so beautifully for little ones. We'll look out for these books!

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    1. They are great! I love being able to read classic tales to little ones!

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