Teo’s bookshelf. Our reading habit and books for children

Reading to my son has always been a great way of spending time together when while staying at home. Honestly, I was dreaming to relax under the blanket and read an adult book. Wondering what should I do with a small baby who was crying all the time, I started to read him (even though he was “too” small to undestand it) and later, watch together illustrations. In fact, Teo started to repeat words and speak early. Now he has a large amount of vocabulary. I like to think it’s becuase of our reading ritual 🙂

We still have a habit to read every day in bed before going to sleep. When he was younger, we were reading also during a day.

In this article I would like to show you some proposals which are accesible in different languages. I won’t hide it – Teo’s favourites but also mine (our tastes not always correspond :).

Funny stories for small ones

books for children

“Dear zoo”, Rod Campbell

books for children animals

books for children zoo

We have this book in English, got it as a gift from our auntie Justyna from UK. Book is accompanied by animal puzzles/bricks. Story is good to improve name of animals (sometimes we did it in 3 languages: Polish, Italian and English). It’s funny for children, because as a part of surprise has windows that can be opened .

“Peek-a-Poo What’s in Your nappy?” Guido van Genechten

books for children

books for children

Absolutely amazing book helping to exclude nappy. Curious mouse asks other animals if she can check what do they have in the nappies. We can witness the whole range of different poos. At the end, we discover that mouse’s nappy is empty because she uses potty. It is very funny, easy, with one crucial message – it is cool to use potty instead of nappy. It might bring also other funny outcomes… like comparing daily poo with animals different poo types… 😉

“Everyone is yawning” Anita Bijsterboch

books for children

Perfect to fall asleep. Seriously. The reader in order to tell a story needs to yawn and it works that everyone is yawning indeed! Good for small hands because the mouths of animals can be opened and closed. Teo really loved it and even now he likes to re-read it.

“Tickle my ears” Jorg Muhle

books for children

Rabbit is a hero of the whole series supporting the different topics (for instance preparing for a bath time), but we have only this one. The book is very illustrative, minimalistic and in the few words convince a child to participate in the whole ritual of going to sleep. Teo loved to do “swith off the light”, prepare his pillow, change into pyjamas – everything together with the rabbit.

Growing up with the understanding what the beauty means

The next group of the books has one thing in common – the beautiful illustrations. After the period of ugly books all about cars, that Teo really loved, we entered finally in something more sophisticated. Those illustrations remind me the old books I had read years ago being a child myself.

“Forever friends” Michael Engler, Joelle Tourlonias

books for children

I am not sure if this book exists in English. For sure in German. The story is about the friendship between a dynamic and careless rabbit and more calm, sweet hedgehog. It shows the feelings of jealousy about a friend (a squirrel enters between them) but also the meaning of real friendship and support.

books for children

“The perfect moment” Susanna Isern, Marco Soma

Written and designed by psychologist and art painter, book speaks about again friendship and helping others even if you have a deadline to follow 🙂 It might be also a study of lack of assertiveness and difficulty in saying “no” :D, but itàs also my adult comment. For sure the book is also available in Spanish.

“Two for me, one for you” Jorg Muhle

Sharing is carying – we adults know this, but children might have understandable difficulties with this topic. There also exists a point of view that we as adults should accept it and donàt force children to share. Well… I prefer to show very strongly the pros of sharing and leave the decision to Teo. This book illustrates as well what the old proverb “where two are fighting the third wins” mean.

“A year in the Wonderland” Maciej Szymanowicz

books for children

books for children

It’s the Polish book, so beautiful, almost only illustrative. In reality part of the series with many different options, but we have only this one. It shows how Wonderland changes month after month. Good tool to introduce name of the months. I think I bought it more for me…:)

“Goodnight, goodnight construction site!” / “Mighty, mighty construction site!” Sheri, Duskey, Rinker

books for children

books for children

We are the huge fans of the construction industry. Thanks to Teo I improved all vocabulary and functions in many areas (not only books but also puzzles, Lego, etc.). This series of books is very funny, illustrated well and informative about the roles of every each machine (in comprehensive language). It is also useful to fall asleep showing that after hard work during a day, everyone needs to rest. There is as well “Construction site on Christmas Night” and we plan to have it soon.

Parents’ favourites

A special group of books dedicated to our relationship with Teo. For now maybe too diffcicult for him, but they will be a beautiful souvenir in the future.

“Mon amour” and “Ce que papa m’a dit” Astrid Desbordes, Pauline Martin

books for children

“Love” is a dialogue between mom and son showing unconditional love in every circumstances. Our gift from Kasia Szajda 🙂 “What daddy told me” (we have it in Italian as “our” daddy is Italian) on the other hand is a collection of reflections and life lessons from father to son. The serious and deep thoughts showed in simple and understandable way. Very moving honestly. I always cry when I read version of father…

books for children books for children books for children

“I love you, daddy” Mamen G de la Torre, Sole Otero

This personalised book was ordered by me as a gift to “our” dad for Father’s Day. It is possible to print the real names of dad, mom and a baby, personalise the appearance of daddy hero (the glasses, bird, hair colour). The plot shows the adventures of dad and son, rescuing mom from the tower, etc. There is also a space to draw the cuddles for dad. Very cute 🙂

books for children

books for children books for children

books for children


“Little Unicorn” Aurelie Chien Chow Chine

A collection of small books, which help to menage emotions. Little unicorn is sad, angry, jealous, afraid or shy. I really appreciate the one about getting angry. It shows how to menage this difficult mental condition with breathing exercies for children. At the beginning when Kasia adviced it to us I was sceptic. I hate all this talk about breathing, but …when you become desperate as a parent, you take everything that can help. An anger is illustrated as a black cloud that comes above unicorn’s head. The task is to send it away. Often when Teo starts to be angry, I say “Oh, the black, stormy cloud has come. What can we do to send it away? Do you remeber Gucio, the unicorn?”. Very helpful in naming emotions, explaing why they happen to change, that it’s natural, showing the ways to feel better and somehow control emotions.

Infinite storytelling

This group of books has beautiful illustrations, small amount or not at all text. We just tell what we see on the pictures, stories can be variable. After so many meetings with those books, often the person who tells us the story is Teo himself.

“All around Bustletown: Summer, Spring, Winter, Autumn” Rortraut Susanne Berner

We have all four seasons of this famous German series. It shows how the same street and town change according to the season of the year. We have the same people, but adeventures, events and landscapes change depend on the local life and the weather. We really love it with Teo.


“Mom, I will tell you …what the cars do/ what the boats do” Marcin Brykczyński

books for children

We tell the stories, notice the details, sometimes there is a task: to find differences between 2 similar illustrations. There are also elements of more advanced know-how as a history of the ships construction or the engine’s construction.



“Airport without secrets”, Rob Lloyd Jones

books for children

We bought this book before Teo’s first, conscious flight by plane. It was a discovery! He loved this book. It’s full of the windows to be open by a child. We have lots of short but useful information about the types of the airplanes, activity of the airport, logistics and most important – the process how to board a plane. Really interesting even for an adult 🙂

children books

books for children

An easy way to learn science

We have just started a new chapter of our reading habit. It’s time to introduce some serious topics in a friendly way. First of all an absolutely new passion – dinosaurs, Teo’s old interest but in a more targeted way – a cosmos.

“Ivar befriends the Tyrannosaurus”, Lisa Bjarbo, Emma Gothner

Hope it’s just a beginning for us of the famous Ivar series. It wasn’t easy to find a book with a dinosaur which is not too scientific, but  not childish anymore. I like the motive of the imagination and the plot that in the night Ivar’s room and his small dino garden starts different life, where the boy can be also involved.

“Professor Astro Cat’s Solar System”, Dominic Dr. Walliman, Ben Newman

I remember our long travel by car to Italy from Poland. One of the ways to get over the evening or night when Teo was awake was to search for the stars or the moon visible by the car’s window. Till now Teo loves to check the sky, he has already mentioned he would like to get telescope… This book might be for us an introduction to understand better the topic of a cosmos and encourage Teo’s curiosity.

Finishing this article I see how much we have spent for books 🙂 However Teo is also an active reader in our local library in Szczawno Zdrój. He has his reading card and a habit of visiting library to pick the new books around every 2 months. It helps that our library is a magic place with great ladies working there and amazing space adapted for children.

I hope our selection will be useful for you.

books for children

Author: Kamila Wierzbicka,

Owner of the library: Teodor Flaminio