Friday, June 7, 2013

Children's Books that are keepers.

Each year at Christmas time we give both the girls a book that we hope will be a 'keeper'. The type of book they may not love right now, but over time it is one they won't grow out of fast and it will be read over and over for years to come. Sometimes they do love it instantly but the book has so much to it that they get more and more out of it as they grow.

Finding such books is really hard.

The best ones so far have come from Graeme Base. The Water Hole, Uno's Garden and ol' faithful Animalia. These books have beautiful images that small children can look at, you can make up stories to the pictures or read the written story. As the children develop, the illustrations have things to find hidden in the drawings, important messages about the world and even mathematical equations to work out.

Old classics can also work but most are longer books and not as suitable for little kids. Little Women is on the list for the coming Christmas.

I have also found Ruby Red Shoes.

We all love Ruby Red Shoes.

It is a very simple book about Ruby the hare. Ruby is a very 'aware hare' who lives in a caravan with her grandmother, Babushka Galina Galushka.  Ruby has a beautiful garden, with chooks who cheat when they play soccer and who are learning to speak french. Ruby has lots of fun playing with friends and being all cosy in her caravan.

The paper of the book is a high quality thick paper, not 'toddler proof' plastic paper but thicker than many kids books and provides that feeling that you are reading a 'special' book.

Most of all, whenever we read Ruby Red Shoes we are always a teeny bit sad that it is over. We would like to see more of Ruby and her garden and what she is up to.

Ruby Red Shoes is written and illustrated by Australian artist Kate Knapp, Kate and Ruby share a blog, and it looks like they might be in the process of putting together Ruby's next adventure!

Do you have any other books which you consider to be 'keepers'?

Have you read Ruby Red Shoes?

Images are from the Ruby Red Shoes website



  1. It's trickier than it sounds to find keepers that we all enjoy. My son loves Animalia but not The Water Hole, much to my disappointment.

    My mother-in-law just gave us an old book that used to be my husband's called My Visit to the Dinosaurs, which we all seem to love - the colours are beautiful and the paper quality is pretty special. Will have to check out Ruby.

  2. we have this book ... my daughter is 3.5 years old. We absolutely love it and I love the texture too!

    xoxo Carly

    PS I still have all my golden books (I'm 37 ... so they are pretty old!) and we love those too.

  3. We have all the classics, but I'm yet to find something that both my boys want to read over and over again (that isn't a wiggles book). I'm hoping to introduce Enid bouton to my seven year old soon. He loves adventures and his reading is out if sight! I'm hoping he loves the books that my husband and I grew up on. X

  4. Some favourites in our house are Where Is The Green Sheep and the Slinky Malinky and Hairy Mclarey books. My older boys loved them when they were younger and my 3 year old is now loving them too.

  5. I have a lot of graham base's books, and have had some since my daughter (17) was a little girl. I love Allison Lesters books too, and the rainbow fish. Mem fox as well.

  6. I haven't read Ruby Red Shoes - but I will get it. I love books and I love giving them to my kids.
    We love Uno's Garden. My little miss talks about it all the time.

  7. Milly-Molly-Mandy was our Christmas book this year and I LOVED reading it with my girls. Pippy Longstockings is already in the present cupboard for this Christmas! We have also been reading the Enid Blyton; Magic Faraway set....definitely worth getting!
    Oh and have you read Mr Chicken Goes to Paris? Favourite new book this month!
    Will be looking up Ruby Red Shoes this week!

    1. Poppy and Enid are read here too, but Mr Chicken in Paris sounds good- will keep an eye out for that one.

  8. What a gorgeous blog Ruby and Kate write! Havent read this book but some of our faves are the Graeme Base collection, Alison Lester on many levels - the Sam and series with the pony and then Snow Pony for my big horse mad girl. She (10) is also devouring the Jackie French collection - the long walk, Girl from Snowy River..... One of my faves - the Famous Five - which I have in a hard back green fabric covered tome, is also a fave with the girls. I love that they read and enjoyed my book.

  9. Alison Lester is a goodie. Are we there yet is a favourite here currently, Magic Beach was on repeat for a year a two!


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