Once I've started on the subject of books and kids, I can't stop, I'm afraid. Here's today's question: why are most baby books so awful?
Sadly, so many of them look like they've been thrown together at the last minute, with text that seems to have been typed by a dog in a small back room somewhere near Grimsby, and computerised illustrations that someone did with Paint after several bottles of wine. I guess it's one of those things that anyone thinks they can do - ooh, yes, let's write a book for a baby. What a doddle. Write a couple of words, put in a couple of sickly pastel pictures and away you go. Oh, and why not add a musical doo-dah while we're at it, to really annoy the parents.
In reality, because you're working with a more limited vocabulary (although Slinky Malinki manages to include the glorious phrase "rapscallion cat") you really have to make the language work twice as hard. The ones that do it best (and also seem to get the best reaction from my consumer sample of one small child) are those that string together rhymes and silly words, and match them to carefully drawn pictures. Oh, and anything with a cat in it is a winner in our house.
Here's my list of "books suitable for 15-month-olds that I enjoy reading too" (although after the tenth rendition in a row my enthusiasm might take a slight downturn).
Pants (anything that begins "small pants, big pants, giant frilly pig pants" has to be good)
Room on the Broom
Barnyard Dance and Hippos Go Berserk
Miffy at the Gallery
The Baby's Catalogue (reminds me of my 1970s childhood)
M seems to like all these too, judging by the number of times a day I am brought them from the book basket.