Pam Watland is married to illustrator Dave Watland and is part of the creative inspiration behind Funkland World.
Ever noticed there are just some children’s books that your kids or grandkids want read to them over and over and over again? Has it ever been a bit tedious to satisfy your little one's appetite for that favourite story? I think anyone who has ever read to small children has been tested by their love of a favourite book. I mean, how many times is enough to read one single book!
Over the years, as a parent and now grandparent, I have found that certain books are just easier and more fun than others for me to read to littles. There are some wonderful stories that neither they nor I easily tire of…I love those books!
As I pondered what makes a book fun and easy to read I have come up with a few things I look for when choosing books for my small ones.
1. A book that has visual appeal is helpful. If I am going to read it many times, I’d like to enjoy the artwork and find the colour palette pleasing. Along with the artwork, the font size and style is important to me. My middle age eyes crave clarity and it is so much easier to revisit a book that is kind to my vision.
2. Next the sound of a book being read out loud has to be considered. A story line that happens to rhyme is really much more fun than one that doesn’t. The rhythm adds to the pace of the story and makes it more exciting to express what is being shared.
3. I think because I have such a keen affinity to language, the variety of words we can use to express our thoughts and emotions, I am drawn to children’s books which offer a slightly more creative slant on the vocabulary. Especially when the books are written for a younger age category, I appreciate the opportunity to expose children to a wider vocabulary. I have noticed that children seem to develop a broader personal vocabulary when they are exposed to such through the adults in their life, including the books we read to them.
4. The teacher heart in me longs for a take home message that is edifying and lasting. I love books which weave life lessons along with the laughs and giggles.
I have met many excellent books, meeting all the above criteria. Some of them have become classics because they have been around so long…others are fairly new to the scene. I am always delighted when I make friends with a new book that becomes an old friend.
I may be a bit biased (since I am married to the illustrator) however I am finding Funkland World’s new release Stanley the Walrus and soon to be released Brenda the Ballerina Polar Bear among my new old friend children’s stories. Each of my critical points for choosing a children’s book is met among the antics of a silly walrus who has a village of friends who help him become the best silly walrus he can be! And the story of a large hairy polar bear who listens to her heart…well,who could want for more?
Funkland World…where everyone is possible!