Thursday, 15 May 2014

The first picture book I bought for my first grandchild by Jane Clarke

I'm a grandma! Yaaay!

My granddaughter, currently known as Peanut, arrived a month early, and she can’t keep her eyes open for long yet -  but I can't wait to introduce her to picture books. Here she is in my son's hands.


I bought her a picture book when she was just a bump. It wasn't planned – I  was browsing aimlessly in the shop in the British Library and this jumped out at me:


So, out of all the wonderful picture books in print today, why did I choose this little board book? 

It's a heavily edited, lighthearted version of Jabberwocky by Lewis Carol  - a poem Peanut's grandfather,  my late husband Martin, had to lean by heart when he was at school. I have very happy memories of Martin reciting the lines (often in the wrong order) in a funny voice and making our sons chortle when they were tiny.


I hope this book with its daft verse and surreal illustrations will make Peanut giggle too  - and hear an echo of the grandpa she will never meet.

 And of course – it's only the start of a big collection. So back to the rejoicing…



What was the first picture book you bought for your child or grandchild?





17 comments:

  1. Oh, oh, oh! She's such a teeny little thing, and so lovely! Congratulations, Grandma Jane, and what fun to have such a special excuse for buying books. I love the bookish link you've made between Peanut and her Grandpa.

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  2. I just bought I Am A Bunny by Richard Scarry for a friends baby. Its a beauty. And heartiest congratulations!

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    1. Ooh, yes, I love that one, must add it to the list. Thanks, Lucy

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  3. Peanut is a darling, Grandma :-) What a lovely way to connect memories of Grandpa with a book. I wonder how long it will be before Grandma dedicates a book to her grandaughter? x
    I didn't know anything about picture books when I bought my children their first board books. One of the first was in the shape of a yellow duck and after 20 years I can still remember the beginning: "Little Fluffy Duckling looked around the farmyard. 'I don't like my home,' he said. 'I'll find a new place to live.'
    Good grief, was I trying to reassure my son his new home wasn't so bad?! Actually it was just a cute little repetitive, melodic tale that ended happily. And then there was 'Dear Zoo' - was it to blame for so many future pets...

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    1. Just remembered It was 'pond', not 'home', in the above quote.! That makes it much better. Oh, the power just one word can have in a picture book!!

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    2. I must stop using my phone to type - so many typos. And now it's time for me to be quiet!

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    3. I don't know Fluffy Duckling, but yes, Dear Zoo has a lot to answer for - son who has just become a dad spent his gap year (or three) doing stuff like looking for anacondas in Venezuela

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  4. Congratulations Jane :)
    I love 'I am a bunny' too - it has a beautiful simplicity about it; such a zen book. 'Peepo' is one of my favourites for babies. The illustrations are so evocative and I find rhyming text works well on small ones; it becomes almost like music.

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    1. I love Peepo, too, and Each Peach Pear Plum

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  5. Congratulations, Jane! As a giftbook for new parents I'd recommend Poems for the Very Young, selected by Michael Rosen and illustrated by Bob Graham. A book that gives and gives over a child's first years.

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    1. Thanks, Moira - I will put it on the list

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  6. Oh, Jane! HUGE congratulations to you and your family on the arrival of TEENY Peanut! How wonderful. I used to read 'Guess How Much I Love You' to my bumps (aka Bumble and Pumpkin), and 'Tiddler' by Julia Donaldson, just because I so enjoy reading it aloud and I thought they might like the bouncy rhythm. The other one that was a big hit with my two when they were very small (and they still love it) was Jan Pienkowski's 'Shapes'. But I always think of that bit in Three Men and a Baby when Tom Selleck reads the boxing section of the sports paper to the baby because 'it's all about the tone'. Ha!

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    1. Thanks, Michelle - Bumble and Pumpkin, aaawww, what adorable names for bumps!

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  7. Congratulations! Gorgeous teeny baby there (I feel broody now!)

    The first book I bought my eldest child, soon after the first scan when I felt I was 'allowed' to get something was a board book of The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

    I also got Eats, Shoots & Leaves For Children: Why, Commas Really Do Make a Difference by Lynne Truss and Bonnie Timmons before she was born, because it's never too early to start learning to write? ;-)

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  8. Aw, she's a cutie - congratulations, Jane! The book I always buy for little ones is 'Sweet Dreams', a fleece cloth book by Taggies. It's so snuggly! I also love 'The Going to Bed Book' by Sandra Boynton and 'The Big Night-Night Book' by Georgie Birkett. Enjoy every minute with Peanut! xx

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    1. Thanks Natasha - I've added those books to my list x

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