Christmas Stocking Fillers: Storybooks for 3-4 yr olds

My first choice shouldn’t come as a surprise to my regular readers!!!! If you don’t already own Chicka Chicka Boom Boom then I only have one question for you “WHY NOT?!!!”.  Please click on the link NOW and make your purchase!!!! Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is my absolute favourite book of all time. Ok, that’s my sales pitch done. I’ll let the images below do the rest  🙂

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“In this lively alphabet rhyme, the letters of the alphabet race up the cocunut tree. Will there be enough room? Oh, no – Chicka Chicka Boom! Boom! A told B, and B told C, I’ll meet you at the top of the coconut tree. In this lively alphabet rhyme, all the letters of the alphabet race each other up the cocunut tree. Will there be enough room? Oh, no – Chicka Chicka Boom! Boom! The well-known authors of “Barn Dance” and “Knots on a Counting Rope” have created a rhythmic alphabet chant that rolls along on waves of fun. Lois Ehlert’s rainbow of bright, bold, cheerful colors makes the merry parade of letters unforgettable.”

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Coming in a number 2 is “Where is the Green Sheep”. Many thanks to my good friend, Brooke, for gifting me this one. Click here to purchase from Book Depository.

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“There are red sheep and blue sheep, wind sheep and wave sheep, scared sheep and brave sheep, but “where” is the green sheep? The search is on in this cozy, sheep-filled story from acclaimed author Mem Fox and popular Australian cartoonist Judy Horacek. Complete with sleepy rhymes and bright illustrations, this book is sure to delight children of all ages, from the very young to those just beginning to read.”

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I also have a this cute, fluffy, green sheep to accompany the story.  It would be a lovely stocking filler to accompany the story book! Click here to purchase from Book Depository.

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Coming in a number 3 is “How do Dinosaurs Count to Ten?”. This is a really lovely way to introduce your child to counting from 1-10. It’s chock block with dinosaurs making it, dare I say it, “boy friendly”. I’m by no means implying that girls won’t like this book. They certainly will. It can, however, be tricky to find books that entice boys to read. This one certainly will. Hope I’m not in trouble with this one!!! Click here to purchase from Book Depository.

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“The bestselling, award-winning team of Yolen and Teague present their beloved dinosaurs in a new format with this fun, read-aloud board book that teaches young children to count from one to ten! Come along for some BIG fun as your favorite dinosaurs delight young readers with their playful antics. How do dinosaurs count to ten? Over and over and over again! This brand new board book format brings the gigantic humor of bestselling, award-winning team Jane Yolen and Mark Teague to the youngest readers, helping them learn to count from one to ten with a simple, rhyming text and laugh-out-loud illustrations!”

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Coming in a number 4 is Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What do you Hear? by Eric Carle. Eric Carle is best known for “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” and “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see?”. Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What do you Hear? is a twist on the later book. It has lots of interesting animals that you child may be a little less familiar with. If your kid loves Brown Bear then this one is sure to be a hit too.

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“Zoo animals from polar bear to walrus make their distinctive sounds for each other, while children imitate the sounds for the zookeeper.”Click her to purchase from Book Depository. Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 21.40.04

Coming in a number 5 is Farmer Duck by Martin Waddell. Martin Waddell wrote the much loved story “Owl Babies”. Click here to purchase from Book Depository.

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Martin Waddell’s uplifting modern fable and Helen Oxenbury’s humor and pathos make this a very special collaboration. Farmer Duck isn’t your average duck. This duck cooks and cleans, tends the fields, and cares for the other animals on the farm all because the owner of the farm is too lazy to do these things himself. But when Farmer Duck finally collapses from exhaustion, the farmyard animals come to the rescue with a simple but heroic plan.”

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I hope that you have all managed to find a storybook to add a Christmas Stocking! Check back next week for even more reads. This time I will be focusing on 5yrs+. I will also do a blog post on my favourite Christmas Themed books.

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂


More Books for Emergent Readers

There has been a great response to my post on Bob Books. It seems that lots of you are interested in sourcing stories that your emergent reader can read almost independently. I have had a few tweets asking me to cover more books so here it goes…. Does your child like dogs?!

Emily Gravett is a fantastic author for young children. Here books are big, clear, beautifully illustrated and simply written.

“Dogs” is a very simple story as you can see below. It contains some of those very important “high frequency/Dolch/tricky words” that I keep referring to as being vitally important for developing reading fluency.  In just the illustrations below we see “I, love, and, that, play, won’t”.

The book is also a nice length and would make a great (code for short!) bedtime read.

This book would also be wonderful to read to Preschoolers or as part of an Oral Language Lesson. There is lots of language to explore.

Opposites: big/small, hairy/bald…

Contrasts: stroppy/soppy…

There are lots and lots of  expressive canines in clear, white space on the page, making the text easier to read.  Each dog  tells their own story. There is also a lovely surprise at the end… No, I am NOT giving it away 😉

Dogs is less of a “school reader” format than Bob Books and so may not allow for much “sounding out” but wins on exposure to tricky words, “fun” to read.

Dogs is available from Book Depository for a purse friendly 5.47 Euro. Please click here for a link

Check in later this week for even more book reviews!

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

Books for Beginner Readers to Read themselves!

I get asked this question a lot “What books can I buy that my child can read himself/herself?!”. Buying books for beginner readers isn’t as simple as it seems. Most of your child’s favourite books such as “Owl Babies” or “The Pig in the Pond” are far, far too difficult for a Junior Infant child to read. In fact, by the time your child can read all the words necessary for these books he/she will probably consider it too “babyish” and dismiss them off hand.

I really like the “Bob Books” series. Set 1 Beginner Readers is perfect for Junior Infants or those in their first year of school.

Your child only need to be able to sound out the letters M, A, T and S to independently read his/her first book! New letters are added gradually, until by book 12, children have read books with all letters of the alphabet (except Q).

The series consists 12 books. 12 pages each. 3-letter words.

Here is a close-up of a page from the series. The story and the illustration is very simple and clear. Cute or what?!

While these books give good practice decoding or “sounding out words” this is not enough to achieve reading fluency. Your child should also be able to read some “Tricky Words” which are non-phonetic and are important connector words in stories such as ” the, has, he, she…”

May I introduce Bob Books: Sight Words Kindergarten 🙂

This series introduces the following words that are commonly found in stories for children this age, some are phonetic and are included due to their importance:

after       as      can      did        down      fly      get       go
goes       had   has       home   in             is        jump  look
not         off      on       over      ran         saw     see      she
some     they  to        was       went       who

The box contains:

10 easy-to-read,s small books, 12 pages each.

Stories are told in three and four letter words, plus  3 new sight words in each book.

Context clues and illustrations give sight word hints.

 30 two-sided, sight words flash cards.

You can see that they are nice and easy to read. The tricky word “saw” is the focus. I can state from experience that no child can have too much practice and exposure to these tricky words. Children who have a good and automatic knowledge of these are more fluent readers and have a greater understanding of the story they are reading than children who don’t.

For a long time these books were not readily available outside of the U.S. A big thanks to Book Depository for saving the day yet again. They deliver worldwide, yippee! I just love those guys! They are good value and reliable, I use them all the time.

You would imagine that these would cost a small fortune. Thankfully they are really, really affordable. I am currently saving to purchase the entire series!!!

Bob Books Set 1 Beginner Readers is only 10.68 Euro.

Click here for a link to the site

Bob Books Sight Words Kindergarten is only 10.64 Euro.

Click here for a link to the site

Books Depository currently have a 10% off offer making them even more affordable.

I hope that you find this post useful. I will be blogging about books for beginner over the coming weeks. If you have any questions please email me at or leave a comment on the end of this post.

Let me know if any of you purchase them. I would love to hear what you think.

Miss Mernagh 🙂