What Penelope’s Reading by Sian - The Missing Clue - February 2019

The tyranny of life with a toddler is reading the same book over and over again, and I’m not above hiding a book I’m tired of reading (or having thrown at me and board books are HEAVY).

I struggle a bit with books without a narrative, but Penny really enjoys Numbers by John J. Reiss. It’s very colourfully illustrated and is an attractive counting book.

Robert Munsch obviously played a huge role in my childhood so I was thrilled that many of his books are now available in board book format. We started with The Paper Bag Princess and Penny is a huge fan, plus I love the messaging that you don’t have to change yourself for a handsome prince, even if he does have good hair.

Although we predominantly read board books, we don’t generally restrict Penny access to paper books and that does mean they do get a bit of (mostly unintentional) abuse. I had kept back Nicky Mehta’s Away But Never Gone on account of the fact that it is such a lovely package, but Penny dug it out and we’ve been reading it. I think the messaging is lost on her so far but I’m happy for it to become familiar to her should we need to have any conversations about grief in the future.

We have some friends who have slightly older kids and they have gifted us a lot of the books that have become Penny’s favorites. Despite the fact that it is not a board book, The Philharmonic Gets Dressed is always at the top of her To Read pile. This is a book from 1986 that was featured on ‘Reading Rainbow’ (remember that?) and it does just what it says on the tin: describes how the New York Philharmonic gets dressed for a concert. The first line, “It is almost Friday night. Outside, the dark is getting darker and the cold is getting colder,” feels very appropriate for winter reading.