Our favourite bedtime books!

When I started this blog I intended it to be a useful source of information for working moms as well as SAHMs and I have realized that I have been sidetracked lately due to my opinionated views and a few other things.

While Daniel and I were preparing for bed last night, he brought me a stack of books to choose be his bedtime story. As we rifled through the collection I noticed that he always brings me the same 10 books to choose from. I also realized with great happiness that one of my books was also part of the pile. So without pomp and ceremony are our top 10 bedtime stories, in no particular order.

1. The Herd Boy, Niki Daly. While caring for his grandfather’s sheep and goats on the grasslands of South Africa, young Malusi dreams of everything from owning his own dog to becoming president. The theme to this gorgeous book is that even a humble herd boy, can aspire to be a leader in the new South Africa, drawing from the fact that Nelson Mandela, was a shepherd boy himself. Indeed, the chance encounter between Malusi and the old man in the car (who strongly resembles Mandela–with his trademark presidential shirt–and clearly is a dignitary). This is a gorgeous little book full of suspense as well. I love the illustrations set in the wilds of the Eastern Cape in South Africa where I grew up. You can follow Niki Daly on twitter @Isitanism

2. The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle. There are very few moms who haven’t had to read The Very Hungry Caterpillar to their toddlers over the last few years.  This is one of my all-time favorite children’s books. One sunny day, a caterpillar pops out of an egg. He is very hungry and begins searching for food. He eats and he eats and eventually, he becomes a fat caterpillar. He then spins himself a cocoon, where he rests for two weeks. And when he emerges…well, you can guess the results. One can follow Eric on Twitter @ericcarle

Mwenye Hadithi (Author), Adrienne Kennaway (Illustrator)

Mwenye Hadithi (Author), Adrienne Kennaway (Illustrator)

3. The Greedy Zebra,  Mwenye Hadithi (Author), Adrienne Kennaway (Illustrator) This is the story of how all the animals in the world came to chose their clothing, except for Greedy Zebra, who had to take the left-over pieces . . .When the animals discovere a cave full of furs and skins, they discard their drab skins for glossy new ones. Greedy zebra, arrives late, after a delicious snack, only to find a few stripes of black cloth. He squeezes into them but Greedy Zebra is too fat for his and his new coat bursts open! This is a wonderfully illustrated book, it instills a sense of “Seize the moment” attitude in children because we all know that toddlers don’t want to miss out on anything! Neither of the authors are on twitter but the books can be bought on Amazon or at most of the leading book stores. http://www.amazon.co.uk/African-Animal-Tales-Greedy-Zebra/dp/0340409126


Caryl Hart   (Author),    Sarah Horne (Illustrator)  http://www.amazon.com/Rhino-What-Caryl-Hart/dp/0340981407

Caryl Hart (Author), Sarah Horne (Illustrator)

4. Rhino? What Rhino? By Carly Hart and Sarah Horne: The rhino at the zoo was lonely and bored, so he squeezes between the bars and  past the sleeping guards and heads out into the great, wide world. But because he is a rhino, his manners aren’t quite what they should be, which results in him getting into all sorts of scrapes and japes as he steals people’s clothes and food to survive. All the other poor animals get the blame, so they decide to have a word with the rhino to set him back on the right path. This is a lovely little book and beautifully illustrated with so much colour for the kids! I love that it also in a moral compass for the consideration of those around you. Both Carly Hart and Sarah Horne are on twitter and can be followed @carylhart1 & @sarahhorne9


Lulu and Tee

Lulu and Tee

5. iThemba, Where there is life, there is hope; Lulu & Tee; iThemba is the Xhosa word for Hope. With rhino poaching a serious threat to our rhino populations it is up to our two-ton heroine, iThemba, and her game-ranger friend Joe, to save her skin – and her horn – when poachers come calling. I love that this little book includes real life landscape shots with the illustrations of the animals incorporated. These two South African ladies have really outdone themselves. The ladies can be found and contacted on http://www.africanpenguin.co.za/about.html  I found this little gem in a book store in Dubai called Bookmunch. bookmunchcafe.com, @BookMunchDxb.


Michael Broad

Michael Broad

 6. Forget Me Not, Michael Broad. Despite the age old saying about elephants never forgetting,  young Monty is a young calf who needs some help when it comes to remembering things. When Monty finds a blue bucket, he thinks it is a forget-me-not (his mother had told him that the flowers help elephants “remember to stay with the herd”) and finds himself separated from his mom and the rest of the elephant herd. Carrying the bucket for his mom with his trunk, Monty encounters a few other animal clans on the savannah, who warn him that he won’t fare well if he’s alone when the rain arrives, prompting him to try to remember where he belongs. This is really a heartwarming little story. Don’t forget to look for the mosquitoes and the “uqongqothwane” (Dungbeetles) that follow Monty on this journey to remembering! http://www.michaelbroad.co.uk/ @MichaelBroadArt


7. Poor Douglas, he is not having the best of days! All he wants is a best friend. Everywhere he looks he sees that everyone has a best friend, Flossie has one, and Cow has one—even the rabbits have a special group just for best friends! Will Douglas ever have a best friend of his own? Maybe what he’s looking for is right under his nose! David Melling has become one of the UK’s best-loved author-illustrators over the past few years. I love how this book can teach children that friendship can be found even at the darkest hour of their little lives if they just look around them. http://www.huglessdouglas.com.au/ @DavidMelling1

John Bush & Gavin Thompson

John Bush & Gavin Thompson

8. Bungle in the Jungle, John Bush & Gavin Thompson. Armed with a magical, upside-down tortoise, Baboon paints these words on a baobab tree as a ploy to adorning himself in more handsome attire. “Bored with your looks? Want something new? Meet me at the Baobab Tree at dawn if you do.” But his vanity backfires on him. Their African animal story books are all beautifully illustrated bringing to life the vibrant rhythm and action of the stories in a way that children and adults alike will love. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bungle-Jungle-John-Bush-ebook/dp/B00F9AO8OU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1411542875&sr=8-1&keywords=john+bush+bungle+in+the+jungle

Nicky Liguori

Nicky Liguori

9. The Adventures of Daniel and Tasco: A Day on the Farm. Yes, its me and its not because I wrote this book but my son genuinely loves reading about his adventures on the farm. He loves that he can identify his Nena & Papa in the illustrations and his favourite thing on the farm is his Uncle Simon’s red bike. The book is an adventure story about Daniel who travels to South Africa to visit his grandparents on the farm. While he is there he meets Tasco, an Alsatian puppy. And together they go gallivanting all over the farm. http://www.littlemajlis.com/item/danielandtasco/3184/the-adventures-of-daniel-and-tasco-a-day-on-the-farm

10. One, Two, Buckle My Shoe, Russell Punter & David Semple. This great little book is a relook at the traditional nursery rhyme where the little girls goes about trying to save her beloved chicken, Gertie, from the naughty fox. It is a great tool to help with young kids learning to count as the book has incorporated a story to count up to 30. I love the illustrations in this book as they are eye catching and vivid. http://www.amazon.com/Buckle-Shoe-Usborne-Picture-Books/dp/1409577430

Wow that took a bit longer than I expected to put together, phew! I hope that our list will help grow all your favourite lists and if there are any books that I need to add to mine please let me know. Always looking for the next great read!


4 thoughts on “Our favourite bedtime books!

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