books · child development · favorites · finland · multilingualism · reading challenge

The Reading Challenge 2018, part IV

We are avid users of library services. We visit the local library weekly, have materials delivered (for free!), enjoy the children-friendly events. I’ve taken a habit of loaning dvds for our movie nights and we regularly borrow boardgames as well. So when I heard about the Little Helmet Reading Challenge, I thought, this is definitely for us!

The list includes 25 books and I will write five posts throughout the year with our selection of children’s books. Our family reads in Finnish and Italian language, but some of our picks are in English and I translate on the fly. Beside the link to the HelMet (our library network) archive, whenever possible I’ll include the link to the same books in other languages to make sure you can enjoy them as well. If you’ll find my recommendations valuable, let me know in the comments below.  The year is almost over and so will be this series. If you wanna peek at my other recommendations, check out my previous posts: first, second, and third.

#16. Someone goes to school in the book

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HelMet (ENG) | ENG
Even though it’s not the central topic of the book, this challenge gives me a chance to introduce you to a brilliant book which R, now 5, greatly appreciated: It’s hard to be five. R is a very compliant child (wish her little brother would try to imitate that) and I thought this book may give her space and words to express how she feels. I was totally right! She asked me to read it time after time! The story is narrated in first person by a new 5 year old. He has a baby brother and complains about the changes that took over after he turned five. For instance, why he has to walk anywhere, while his brother gets carried on a stroller? Why can’t he get dirty like in good ol’ times? It’s so tough to act responsible, he doesn’t feel small anymore and he’s not all ready to grow up. R went through a similar phase few weeks ago and I’m so glad I found this book for her! Authors Jamie Lee Curtis and Laura Cornell have published several successful books, mostly based on relationship and empowerment for children. You should check them out!

#17. Someone gets out of trouble in the book

Curious_George

HelMet (ENG) | ENG
When someone says trouble, I always think of Curious George! My kids love the animation series and I thought reading a book would be fun. In Curious George and the Pizza Party, George gets invited to a pizza party at a friend’s. He’s too impatient to bake his own pizza and while no one’s looking… well, the outcome is quite a parent’s nightmare, but George is as cute as ever and like every time he puts all the effort to solve the tricky situation. My nickname for E is “monkey” and between his small round head and his attraction for trying to execute his unconventional ideas, E is my little Curious George. We often joke about it in our house. E truly enjoys to watch George think and get out of trouble.

#18. The book cover has a vehicle on it

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HelMet (FI)  | HelMet (SVE)| FI | ENG
We are in full “Fireman Sam’s phase” here, so we had to choose Paloauto Rientää Hätiin (English version: Fire Truck is Flashing). This was E’s favourite book in this batch and I’m pretty confident I can recite it by heart even if we read it in Finnish. In the story a fire breaks out in a city building and the fox firemen get ready, drive to the place, and save the day. There are other books in this series Busy Wheels by Mandy Archer, so if your child is more into ambulances, tractors, or spaceships, they’ll find the right book.

#19. The book has a pet in it

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HelMet (ENG) | ENG
We recently got a cat and, as a natural consequence, the kids lost interest in our guinea pigs. I thought this challenge would be a nice opportunity to help them reconnect with our other pets and I found this lovely series called Zoe and Beans. We picked the story Hello Oscar. Zoe is a curious girl, Beans’ her inseparable dog friend. One day, they find a guinea pig in the garden… then another… then a turtle. What’s going on?
A perfect book for 3-5 years old, with big nice illustrations and not much text. Right away we ordered three new books of Zoe and Beans!

#20. The book is connected to a game

9781406358148

HelMet (ENG) | ENG
Being a geek, I had hoped to find some toddlers’ book connected to a videogame, but no way. We went more classic with Maisy Plays Football by Lucy Cousins. The Maisy series (Maisy was translated to Maisa in Finnish) is a classic in our house. The stories are perfect for 2-5 year olds and I love the colourful and simple pictures. There’s a book for every milestone: going to daycare, spending the night at a friend’s, going to the movies… but also stories about daily life and playing with friends. If you haven’t read any Maisy’s book, you definitely should!

The year is almost over and so will be this series soon. Stay tuned for the last post, the very last batch of books. It’s been so much fun to discover new books and watch my kids grow and appreciate new stories. If you have book recommendations, I’d love to hear them out: drop me a line down in the comments. Until next time :).

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