One thing I really enjoy as a parent is reading books with my children. I love starting them young. I started reading with Hayden as early as she was 9 months old and now that she is 4 years old, I love seeing how her cognitive skills and creativity have developed over the years.
We recently received a beautiful, new book called Flora and the Penguin, which is a follow-up to Flora and the Flamingo, a Caldecott Medal book that recognizes the most distinguished American picture book for children. These are gorgeous, wordless illustration books with flaps that open and shut. The author and illustrator, Molly Idle, used to work at DreamWorks Animation, so without a doubt, these books are simply stunning for all ages.The book is currently available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Chronicle Books, Indiebound, your local library and wherever books are sold. Hayden adores them, and so does Hadley and I! (Though Hadley at 20 months is a bit too young to tell a story, but she does love playing with the flaps!)
This book, however, is perfect to start at Hayden’s age, and here’s why:
Perfect for bonding and quality time. My alone time with Hayden is scarce these days but when I do get them with her, I try to make the most of it by doing something productive. On the weekends when Hadley goes down for a nap, I can usually sneak in alone time by reading books with Hayden. Flora and the Penguin is amazing because it stirred up fun conversations, and I love all the funny things that Hayden came up with while telling the story. She decided to name the Penguin, “Fartsy”, haha! Please don’t even ask me how she came up with that name, but it sure made us laughed silly!
It Practices Story Telling Skills. One thing I wish I had learned more as a child was story telling. I was never really good at it, but had realized how important that skill set can be in the adult world. It can help you launch projects, build trust, and inspire those around you. Sure this may not apply to Hayden for another 20 years, but I do think it’s important for her to build that skill set now so that it becomes a second nature to her.
I love that this book has no words, and that it can have multiple story lines. It really opens up your child’s imagination. We went through this book two times already, and each time, it has a slightly different story. I love how it helps her explore different scenarios and that there are always more than one side to a story.
Learn About Your Child’s Development and Cognitive Skills. As a busy parent, I sometimes forget to check in to see how Hayden is developing. I assume that once she’s in school, her teachers will keep her in check. While I know it’s also a parent’s job to keep up with their child’s progress, we sometimes are just too tired and we forget to do just that.
I think going through books like Flora and the Penguin together is fun and it helps me access how well Hayden is developing as a child. I love learning about her emotions, thinking, and reasoning. In one part of the book where the Penguin was illustrated under the water while Flora was skating by herself, Hayden’s interpretation was… “Flora doesn’t know what the Penguin (Fartsy) is doing under the water. Flora is feeling sad and misses Fartsy. She’s skating by herself alone. Alone is sad. :( ”
I was glad to learn that Hayden was able to access certain emotions and that I was able to get glimpse into her world on why being alone is sad. This gives me a chance to let her know that sometimes it’s ok to be alone.
I love that spending just 30 minutes on this book, I’m able to bond with Hayden, teach her new skills, and learn more about her. While books with words are great for learning language and structure, a book without words are great for learning story telling skills and the endless possibilities!
I cannot tell you how much I love this book series and how lovely it looks in her book case! With the holidays coming up, I am definitely buying a few copies for my nephews and nieces.
GIVEAWAY!! Together with Chronicle Books, I am also giving away 3 copies of the Flora and the Penguin! (Closed)
** The winner to this giveaway is…. Katie Kizzire! Congrats!! Will be contacting you shortly to receive your book.**
Comment below by telling me “where is your favorite spot to read a book” and you are entered to win a free copy!
Giveaway starts today, 9/30, and will end next Tuesday, 10/7 at 11:59pm PST. Winner will be picked at random. Open to U.S. residents only. Here is a very sweet animated trailer of the book! Good Luck!
This post is kindly sponsored by Chronicle Books, a publisher I trust offering bestselling books, children’s books and specialty gifts. All opinions shared here are my own. Many thanks for supporting my sponsors and SST!
Photos by Shop Sweet Things.