FATHER’S DAY BOOKSHELF
A specially curated Bookshelf by author Wyl Menmuir
You know by now that story time is one of our favourite times of the day – a time to catch up with the little ones and let them be inspired by beautiful, imagination-provoking reads. It can also be quality daddy time, especially at weekends if dads aren’t able to get home from work before the kids are in bed (or offers a precious wind-down for stay-at-home dads who’ve been on the go with them all day).
For fathers who don’t get as much family time as they’d like, reading a bedtime (or anytime) story offers a chance to strengthen that connection with their offspring, create a sense of calm and share a special moment over some fabulous tales and magical, eye-catching illustrations. And Dad can always provide some silly voices and special effects, of course.
So, in honour of Father’s Day, and dads everywhere, we asked dad-of-two, author, editor and literary genius (plus all-round top guy) Wyl Menmuir to curate a selection of books that he loves to read to his own children.
As Wyl says, ‘I love reading with my two children and story time before bed is my favourite time of day. If I’m away from home, it’s one of the things I miss most. Lyrical, funny, absurdly simple or deceptively complex, I’ve been reading some of the books below with my two since they were born.’
‘The first time I read this with Lana and Tom was when we stayed in Mousehole [a Cornish village]. We spent the holiday looking for Mowser the cat in the village streets and peered through the Mouse Hole to catch a glimpse of the Great Storm Cat. It’s been a firm favourite since then.’
‘Delivered with deadpan humour, I Want My Hat Back is the story of one bear’s search for his missing hat. And woe betide the animal who has taken it… I think I enjoy this one even more than my children do.’
‘The boy loves stars very much and dreams of having one of his own. A journey of imagination, hope and possibility that reminds you what it was to be a child.’
‘Yes, it’s ubiquitous, but I’m yet to meet anyone who doesn’t love this book about the night Max wore his wolf suit. I loved it as a child. I love it as an adult. And I love reading it with my two.’
‘Probably the best book ever written for reading aloud. It’s absurd, very funny and endlessly repeatable. Tanka, Skunka, Tanka, Skunka, Tanka, Tanka Skunk!’
‘A tiny snail hitches a lift with Earth’s largest mammal for an epic adventure that stretches from the frozen Antarctic to the volcanoes of the tropics. This book makes me imagine the places my children will go in their lives and and the adventures they’ll have.’
‘Kids love it. Adults are slightly disturbed by it. A massive tiger turns up on the door and asks to come in for tea. What do you do?’
‘Meet the visitors to Happy Harry’s Café. Rushing Ryan, Joe the Crow, Robin the Robin. Lilting, rhythmic and poetic, my children think this story, based on a very silly joke, is great.’
‘He’s alright, my dad. If there was ever a proper dad book, this is it. A tribute to dads everywhere, and the illustrations by Anthony Browne are nothing short of genius.’
The last of our Christmas gift guides! And there's something extra special about Christmas when there's a baby in the family, even if they don't know quite what's going on (and, let's face it, you're so tired, neither do you...). Here's our gorgeous selection of gifts, featuring small and unique Brands We Love so you can support the independents as much as we do.
Festive gift inspo for the little lords in your life. Whatever they're into, we think we've found something to bring a smile to their face this Christmas morning. Focusing on classic, quality gifts that will inspire curiosity and encourage creativity, these should keep them busy beyond Boxing Day.
Festive gift inspo for the little ladies
We love to review toys for Busy Bird - but sometimes the best review is just watching a child open the toy and play with it, that way you get their honest reaction. And this is just what happened when we were asked to be part of an 'unboxing' for goodtoknow.co.uk recently. Let's just say Wet Head is no fun when it's Mummy's head getting wet...