My “StoryDoor” is a project I’ve been working on for some years. With the support of a web designer who has been extremely patient, I now have a StoryDoor website (www.storydoor.info.de) and a MyStoryDoor instagram.
A Good Story
The world of story telling is magical – often captivating our imagination and even explaining things we don’t understand.
Of course, there are so many children’s books: old and new. As a child we didn’t have many books in our house, but when I became a Mum I soon made up for this. Since the 1990s the market has been flooded with wonderful children’s books.
Here are a few examples of children’s picture books which combine simple mesmerising text and vivid illustrations. In my opinion they really work!
- Ketchup On Your Cornflakes by Nick Sharratt
- The Complete Farmyard Tales: written by Heather Amery and illustrated by Stephen Cartwright (see StoryDoor 2 on www.storydoor.info.de)
- Room on the Broom: written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler
- Dirty Bertie by David Roberts
- Whatever Next! by Jill Murphy
Books published by the independent publisher Usborne are an absolute must for your bookshelf. The Usborne Book of Bible Stories and Illistrated Grimm’s fairy Tales to name but 2. Pure quality.
I’ve recently discovered books published by Child’s Play which bring a story alive with their lift-up flap.
I recommend any books illustrated by Michael Terry (E.g. Little Hotchpotch. See StoryDoor 4 www.storydoor.info.de). A visual treat!
Kids love a giggle. For example take “Dirty Bertie”- he does all the things you’re not supposed to do (according to grown-ups anyway!). I know his horrible habit of picking his nose is not to everyone’s taste but kids adore such naughty talk.
Books which make children laugh are an excellent way of grabbing their attention. Such a book is an invaluable tool for parenting – use it to help children learn how to behave (or in Bertie’s case – how NOT to behave!) or simply to impart information.
There are 2 amusing children’s books which prove categorically that Germans do have a sense of humour (contrary to popular British belief!) :
- Welcher Po passt auf diese Klo? by Nele Moost and Michael Schober
- Die Kackwurstfabrik by Marja Baseler and Annemarie van den Brink, illistrated by Tjarko van der Pol (all from The Netherlands)
Unfortunately for those of you who cannot read German these books are, as of yet, not available in English. A real shame.
A Happy Ending?
Sometimes when I read a story “out loud” I struggle if it has a sad or gruesome ending. Probably the most difficult to read are those written by Hans Christian Andersen. Remember “The Little Match Girl” or “The Pied Piper of Hamlin”? I realise there is always a moral to be learnt from these fairy tales but I admit to changing the outcome to avoid tears at the end.
BEWARE! Some traditional Nursery Rhymes which seem so short and sweet, aren’t all that you imagine. The classic “Ring-a-ring a roses” is still sung by young children with enthusiasm – little do they know, that it’s a song about how people died of the plague!
Why not visit my StoryDoor website to see and hear me read my favourite children’s books.