Since having Louis I have become quite nostalgic. Books are obviously a love of mine, but getting Louis interested in some of my old books is something that means a lot to me. The Little Golden Books were the most pivotal in my reading life as a kid so I thought I would share some of my favourites.
Here are my top 12 Little Golden Books! I hope you can find some you would like to share with your little readers too!
Louie loved exploring them that’s for sure! They even have some fresh teeth marks on them now! Ha! 🙂
1. Little Brown Bear
LBB was sick and tired of picking blackberries with his mama! He wanted to go fishing with his Papa! “But you’re too little LBB”, said Mama and Papa. “Hmph! I’m not too little!!”
LBB sneakily tiptoes outside and down to the river following his Papa! Close enough to be near Papa, but not so close that Papa will catch him! With Papas spare rod under his arm, he’s certain he can catch a fish!
Just before the day is through LBB feels a tug on the line and is catapulted into the rushing river! The big fish is pulling him rapidly towards the dangerous waterfalls! Yikes!!
Luckily Papa is there to rescue him!
This story is perfect for talking about safety and following the instructions of an adult. Keeping safe can be as simple as holding someone’s hand while crossing the road or waiting for your parents before you jump into the pool!
Perhaps your little reader can design a sign telling others about the dangerous waterfalls ahead and emphasise a way people can stay safe.
2: Smokey the Bear
Smokey and his mama get caught up in a forest fire! Smokey loses his mum but luckily gets rescued by a kind park ranger!
Smokey is just the cutest little bear he ever did see so he gets shipped to Washington DC and housed in a zoo!
Smokey’s new job is to educate the public about fire safety! Actually, he has some pretty good tips!!
This book is fabulous for starting discussion about fire safety, particularly down here is Australia where we’re very susceptible to bush fires in the summer months!
Get your little reader to make a TV commercial sharing tips for fire safety this Summer!! Get out the iPad and record them! Let them dress up and pretend they’re on the news! It’s great for developing thinking and language skills, plus confidence!
3: Cookie Monster and the Cookie Tree
Does your little one have a hard time sharing their toys, food or belongings?? This book is a goodie for you!
Greedy witch has her very own cookie tree!! Full of delicious cookies to munch on whenever she likes! But she won’t share them! No sir! Those cookies are all hers!!
But who should come strolling along? That’s right, Cookie Monster! Ha!
I love this story because it shows two characters, set in their greedy ways, finding a way to come together to share the goodies of the cookie tree. If even the most stubborn, and difficult characters can make good choices to share, then we can too.
It’s a bit of a laugh in the end for the poor old witch. I think she underestimated just how hungry for cookies the Cookie Monster really is. Yum. Yum. Yum!
4: The Four Seasons
Join the crew of Sesame Street in their very own theatre production of The Four Seasons.
OMG this is hilarious! The characters of Sesame Street get on stage and act out the four seasons with funny jokes, nonsense, silly costumes and crazy dialogue. The little glitches and mishaps along the way will make your little one giggle for sure. And to top it off… it’s a rhyming book! Yay! You know how much I love a good rhyme.
See if your little reader can make up a play about the seasons. Perhaps they can pick their favourite season and act it out with costumes and props.
Who’s your favourite character? Mine is probably Grover… or Ernie… Hmmm? Actually, I like them both. Hehe!
5: Mickey Mouse and the Great Lot Plot
Mickey and his friends love spending their days playing baseball. However, the last vacant piece of land in town is about to be sold…to Scrooge Mc Duck! He has no interest in baseball and can’t understand why Mickey and his friends are so sad to have nowhere to play.
Mickey vows to buy the land, and stop Uncle Scrooge from turning it into a factory. So, he and his friends work so hard to earn the cash they need.
Mickey is too late in his efforts and Uncle Scrooge buys the land! Oh No! But Mickey and his friends try one last plan to stop Scrooge from building on the site. So, they invite him to play a baseball game so he can understand how much fun baseball is!
Does it work? It sure does! Uncle Scrooge builds a baseball diamond for the children to enjoy, and even he gets amongst the fun by playing baseball each day with the kids. Maybe hes not so scgroogey after all.
See if you can get your little reader to write a letter to Scrooge convincing him NOT to build on the lot. Persuasive texts are a bit of a big deal in the school curriculum down here in Australia so getting in some practise at home can’t hurt.
6: Winnie the Pooh- The Honey Tree
Winnie the Pooh is honey obsessed! He will do just about anything for some sweet honey. When wandering in the middle of the forest he came across the most beautiful big tree. At the top of the tree he hears a very distinct buzzing noise. Ah huh!! Buzzing means bees… and bees mean honey! Yesss!
Winnie the Pooh comes up with the best possible plan. Float to the top using a big blue balloon and hope that the bees don’t suspect a thing! Ha! He even rolls himself in mud to give off the illusion that he just a dark cloud floating in the sky. Hmmmm? Lucky Winnie is super cute because this plan, along with many of his plans, isn’t that great.
In the end, Pooh gets no honey. Zero, nil, zip! His balloon is popped and his arms are stiff and sore from hanging so long. Poor Pooh bear!
This one is a little big long, so for the littlest readers I would break it up over two sittings. But the older guys can definitely enjoy it in one go. AA Milne uses such clever language and the quirky jokes add some appeal to adults. I never realised how funny and profound Pooh Bear was until I grew up. Maybe these books are actually more for us than the little ones. Hehe! 🙂
7: Buster Cat Goes Out
I love cats! Even though I have a beautiful dog at home (shout out to my cheeky spoodle Henry) anyone who has known me for a long time will know that cats have a special place in my heart. They’re aloof, smart and independent. I love that cats are picky with their affection. I know, I know. That’s precisely the reason why most people don’t like them. But I’m not most people.
So, my cat Ally, who lives with my parents, is just like Buster. She’s a bit of an explorer.
Buster is bored of being cooped up in the apartment all day long. When his owner, Mr Huggs, heads out, Buster decides he’ll head out too. But getting out of the apartment building seems more of a challenge than he had anticipated. Dogs and brooms seem to make his plan to escape a little harder than expected.
Buster ends up on the roof of his apartment building and meets a nice lady. And it is there that he has found a new friend to enjoy!
Get your little one to write their own story about Buster. If they were the author of this book, where would Buster go and who would Buster see? Talk about the setting of the story and the characters. The imagination of children far exceeds our own. Tapping into it can be so exciting!
Just a quick shout out to my sweet friend Laura Jean, whose cat, Ricky Miyagi, is the coolest and baddest cat in town. Ally and Ricky 4 EVA.
8: Big Birds Red Book
Haha! Look at the scribble on the front cover of this book courtesy of my cousin Manuel. We were so close with our cousins growing up that we shared so many things, including our books. I gotta say, I’m not the best book sharer nowadays. ?
This book is hilarious! Big Bird spends the entire book looking in his bag of shopping for something red. He wants to show the reader how amazing the colour red is, but cant seem to find anything. “Nope, nothing red in there.”
Big Bird spends the WHOLE duration of the book searching for red things that, unbeknownst to him, there is a bunch of red things in his background if only he would just turn around. A marching band, a red car, red tomatoes etc. The raucous of red in the background is typical Sesame Street silliness!
Your little reader will love how innocently silly Big Bird is and they’ll want to call out to him “Hey Big Bird, just turn around!!” If you can find this little gem at a second hand book store I’d buy it.
See if your little reader can list as many red things as possible. If you have more than one little reader, see who can list the most. Nothing wrong with a little healthy competition I say!
9: Tawny Scrawny Lion
Ok, so I really loved this book when I was little, despite the big scribble on the front. Talk about authentically vintage. This book certainly is.
Tawny Scrawny Lion is hungry. So hungry. He chases and eats animals all day long. But because he has to chase them so much, he stays skinny and, well, scrawny.
The animals come together to try and think of a plan to stop the lion from running around and eating everyone. Rabbit has a plan. He cures the lion’s insatiable hunger which keeps him so scrawny. Offering him delicious fish stew to satisfy his hunger means he stops eating the animals, including the rabbit.
A nice little story that was a hit for me when I was young and my nieces and nephews still love it today.
Get your little reader to make animal masks or animal puppets and act out the story. Not only will they be getting their craft on, working those fine motor skills, but they’ll be practising their comprehension and their language skills! Win win!
10: Bert’s Hall of Great Inventions
My brother Michael loved this one… as you can see by his name sprawled on the front. Ha!
Bert is an inventor. He invents so many things! Good things too, like a light bulb, pincers, a plane and a fly swatter. But every time he goes to show Ernie one of his fantastic inventions, Bert is trumped by one of Ernie’s animals whose natural talents surpass his inventions. For example, when Bert shows off his fly squatter, Ernie shows off his cow that swats flies with his tail. When Bert shows off his pincers, Ernie shows off his lobster friend.
Poor Bert just cannot catch a break! The end is a bit funny too. Bert thinks he finally has a better and bolder idea than Ernie, one that cannot be beat. Or can it?!
This book is screaming for your little reader to make up their very own invention. Get all the scrap paper, boxes, glue, glitter, paint, putty, playdoh and anything else you can think of, and see what cool invention they come up with!
11: Scuffy the Tug Boat
Scuffy is a tug boat ready for the world! He is way too brave and excited for the shelf at home! So his owner popped him into the bath. Hmmm, this isn’t the place for him either. Scuffy wanted to be out in the real water, the babbling brooks. So Scuffy’s owner took him out to explore the real water of nature. Scuffy drifts away, speeding off on his owner, ready to see the world. But as Scuffy explores his surroundings, he gets caught up in obstacle after obstacle. Other animals and floods make for an interesting and scary adventure!
Maybe the bath tub back at home really IS the place for Scuffy after all!
Get your little reader to write a sequel to the story. What adventures will Scuffy get up to next?
**Check out the purple, sparkly laminate in the photo! That’s actually my parents’ original, authentic 70’s bathroom!!
12: The Good Old Days
This beautiful story is so relatable for me and my family. I’m not sure about you guys, but we often find ourselves talking about the good old days. It’s probably my favourite book of all, hence saving it till last.
In this sweet book, Leah and Andy go visiting their grandparents for the Summer. They bond over picking berries, baking and eating sweets. The inquisitive children ask questions upon questions of the good old days, and grandpa and grandma relish in the childrens’ curiosity.
Grandma and Grandpa spoil the children with love and kindness and the close bond they share is obvious from page one.
This book is perfect for generating discussion about the good old days in your family. What can you share with your little reader to spark their excitement in history and days gone by? Share what life was like before them and when you were young. Go deeper than the absence of iPads and electronics. Talk about values, respect, work ethic and even chivalry perhaps. Those old aspects of social interaction are timeless.
**The photos and papers in this pic are courtesy of my parents. Thanks Mum and Dad for letting me raid your drawers for your old school goodies!
I hope you enjoyed my top twelve Little Golden Books. Each of these remind me of the sweetest bonding time with my family. Reading in bed before I fell asleep was such a beautiful experience. I hold those memories so dearly and hope to build some more of these special moments with Louis.