♥ Children's Book of the Month: July 2023♥
(suggested) reading age: 4+
(suggested) interest age: 0+
Well, July has been quite a month! Sorry I've been very quiet on here lately, but in the meantime, I've become a first time Dad! On the 5/7/23 Llio and I welcomed Broc Siôn Dafydd into the world! And despite the lack of sleep, he's filled our lives with love and joy since the moment he arrived.
Being about a month old, it didn't take long for me to stuff a book in front of him. Bach a Mawr by Luned Aaron arrived just in time – how appropriate. Whenever I hold him, I can't help but marvel at his helpless little body in my arms, and think about how he'll one day grow up to be a strapping young man. Everyone tell us to ‘make the most' of this period, and I know exactly what they mean. He’s grown out of several baby grows already!
Apart from having a son, another reason I’m happy is because I now have someone, I can trial new books with – a guinea pig if you like! Whilst I try to do my best when reviewing children's books and be as objective as I can, at the end of the day, I'm not a little kid anymore and I never will be again! Even though he hasn’t yet uttered a word, I can assure you that little Broc is quite fond of the book.
How do I know this? Well, he spends hours staring at the pictures, looking at them with wonder and amusement. Also – it stops him crying so it’s a lifesaver. I never realized that babies are pretty much blind when they're born. They can only see nearby shapes, and their vision is pretty blurry for the first few months.
The book is pocket sized and handy – just the thing for packing into the pram. He hasn't started chewing things yet, so the corners are safe for now. Babies like bold, vivid and simple shapes – things that are high contrast. He can probably make out the shapes of the animals standing out against the white background. The adjectives that correspond with the words are good ones too – ffyrnig (fierce) and addfwyn (gentle). The basic idea of the book is all the contrasts we see in the world around us.
I've also been using these pretty little sensory cards by Priya & Peanut too, but now we’ve got a little Welsh book that does the same sort of thing. It doesn't matter that he doesn't understand what he sees- he finds them interesting and that’s good enough for now. When he’s a little older, we can read and enjoy it a bit more together. Put it this way, we’ll get our money’s worth out of this one.
As always, Luned Aaron's pictures are fantastic, and it was very interesting to see on her Insta page a little about the behind-the-scenes process of creating such a book. One doesn't always appreciate the hours of work that go into creating books for children. The sloth is my favourite picture, and that's exactly how I feel after very little sleep!
On the penultimate page the animals come together in a splash of colour, and I like the idea of including a word list on the back for those who need it. As I say, this is a simple, but lovely little book by Luned Aaron, and I’d expect nothing less from this multi-talented author/illustrator.