This month’s kids’ book club is brought to you by four-year-old Abdullah Fawaz Alshaalan, who recommends titles from Robert Pearce, Patricia Hegarty, Calliope Glass, Shel Silverstein, Janet and Allan Ahlberg, and Jill Murphy
At MCC, we’re passionate believers in the joy of reading and the power of books to help our little ones learn and develop.This month we asked four-year-old Abdullah Fawaz Alshaalan, son of MCC member Sara Naif, to tell us about his favorite titles in his own words. Abdullah is in pre-school at King’s College where his favorite subjects are counting and stories. At home he loves reading and horse riding.
Here are Abdullah’s favorite reads:
Mr Wrinkles, By Robert Pearce, illustrated by Jacqueline West, published by Alligator Publishing
Abdullah says: “I love this book because I think elephants are amazing. Mr Wrinkles gets stuck in a hole and all his friends help to get him out.”
MCC says: An excellent selection from Abdullah! This charming story illustrates the power of friendship, and how working together as a team can make us stronger. Jacqueline West’s beautiful illustrations make it even more special.
Who’s There? Beware, by Patricia Hegarty, published by Caterpillar Books
Abdullah says: “I love this book because I like the black mouse and he goes ‘hippity-hop’ to Granny’s house. Whenever we read this story Ms Jane uses funny voices and I laugh.”
MCC says: This tale of a little mouse walking through the woods to grandma’s house is excellent for young readers because it holds their attention with its simple rhyming text and clever changing picture windows.
Dumbo, by Calliope Glass, illustrated by Dominic Carola and Ryan Feltman, published by Centum Books
Abdullah says: “I like the story because I like the author! The author is Petra who wrote a lot of stories and brought them to me.”
Note: Petra was Abdullah’s nanny, and they spent many hours exploring books together.
MCC says: Everyone loves the story of Disney’s lovable little elephant and this edition, brought out at the time of the latest movie version in 2019, is beautifully illustrated and fun for little ones to read.
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, published by Harper and Row
Abdullah says: “I love this story because I love apples. Apples are yummy and they make us muscles.”
MCC says: This parable about giving and acceptance is now more than 50 years old but still has a powerful message about those who give and those who take. The moral may be a little over the heads of very small children, but they will enjoy the story of the apple tree that gives everything it can of itself throughout a boy’s life.
Each Peach, Pear, Plum by Janet and Allan Ahlberg, published by Viking Press
Abdullah says: “I like this book because I like spying things with Mama. I found Bo-Peep that Mama couldn’t find. I like when Baby Bunting waved and said hi to the horses and the bears. Baby Bunting can play with Nawafi, my brother.”
MCC says: This deservedly popular book from the 1980s takes fairytale characters, such as The Three Bears and uses verses to hint at what is hiding in the picture on each page. Children love to work things out and follow the story themselves.
Peace at Last by Jill Murphy, published by Macmillan Children’s Books
Abdullah says: “I like it because I like bears. I like Baby Bear, Mama Bear and Baba Bear. Mama Bear is rude to Baba Bear because she snores at night and Daddy Bear says ‘oh no’ all the time!”
MCC says: This comforting bedtime story follows Father Bear as he wanders around the house trying in vain to find somewhere peaceful to sleep. Featuring the repetition that soothes so many children and the gentle familiarity of night-time noises, it is a perennially popular tale.
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Does your child have a book they’d like to recommend?
We want to hear from them! Email us at [email protected] and we’ll be in touch to arrange the details.