Each week we review books we have read with our baby Squirm
Katie and Cleo Move In by Catherine Jinks
This is the story of a pair of research mice who are adopted by a family. Except, because these are research mice, they’re very smart. Also, they’re rather dissatisfied with their new home. So they set about making things better. They rig up a system that lets them get out and enjoy better food. Then they find themselves some furniture. Then electricity. But when the television breaks, Katie and Cleo realise they can use their powers for good.
While this book is funny, it does show the mice abandoning their quest for books in favour of television. If you’re trying to limit television time or encourage reading, this might not be the best book to read. It does allow for looking at mice, though, as well as trying to figure out how they made electricity work. If you have an older child, you might want to look into a simple electricity kit to see if you can make your own light 🙂
Baby Brains and Robomum by Simon James
Baby Brains parents worked hard before he was born to try and make him smart. They just never thought he’d be this smart! He’s so smart that he develops a whole bunch of time saving inventions – like a self rocking cradle – to make life easier for his parents. But they’re still tired so Baby Brains develops a Robomum. Only, what will happen when Robomum starts taking over everything?
This is a good ‘be careful what you wish for’ book, with the cracks developing soon after Robomum takes over. It also points out that some things are worth doing, even if they’re a bit tedious at the time.You could definitely look at inventions with this book, researching some of the common things we find around our homes. Or you could think up inventions that would make life easier at home (I’d like a nappy hanging robot, please) or make your own robot out of cardboard boxes.
The Great Rescue Race by Raymond McGrath
Your tickets if you please.”
This is the story of Nick, aged six, who leaves his stuffed dog on a tram. Suddenly everyone jumps into action, in a lovely rhyming way, to make sure Nick gets his friend back again. From construction workers to executives to police, everyone works together to find Nick.
This is a gorgeous, bright book with words twisting and stretching across the pages. There’s a whole heap of characters, so if you’re a person who likes making voices when you read aloud, this is the book for you.
If you’re lucky enough to live in a city with trams, you could go out and explore with them. If you’re further away, maybe you could look at what cities in the world have trams. Here in Brisbane, there’s a tramway museum, and you could definitely use that with this book. You could also look at how a lost and found works, and what kind of items might be left behind. There’s also a lot of onomatopoeia in the story which could be discussed – you could even make a book full of it. (A felt book of onomatopoeia would be awesome for younger children. Finally, there’s a lot of different ways of travelling here, if you want to look at that.