Karena Valentina

Sharing my adventure as a new mum. Exploring parenting, style, travel and personal reflection.



A while ago I posted a picture asking for your book recommendations and I was delighted with how many of you responded with your tried and tested favourites. Having studied in teaching and childcare I understand how important it is to read from an early age, but felt lost with all of the choices out there… You really can’t judge a book by it’s cover as I have bought a few which looked great but didn’t really deliver. We put some of your choices to the test and have loved all of them, so I felt that it was only fair to share this list with all of you as I would have found it really helpful early on. 

Oh and a really good tip I received was to buy the books in a set (for example Dr Seuss or Hairy MacLary sets), it saves heaps of money and means that they come in a nice box which makes them easier to tidy away! I’ll split the list into our favourites and what we like about them and then I’ll list all of your other recommendations (or what we are now calling our wish list)… a resounding favourite was the Hairy MacLary books. 


Hairy MacLary (Lynley Dodd) - These books are Jack’s absolute favourite. We bought a set of ten books and he loves all of them. They are written in rhyme and he laughs at all the pictures, he even gets excited when he sees us holding one of the books. 

Dr Seuss Collection - Again Jack adores the rhyming in these books, he responds to the repetition and silly sounds and loves all of the colourful pictures. These books are also some of our favourites. 

The “Large Family” books (Jill Murphy) - These were my favourite books as a child. They follow a family of elephants in which the children are always up to mischief. We love the busy pictures and funny stories, they are fun for both mum and bub with humorous undertones.  

“Little Bear” stories (Martin Waddell) - These are a must have. They are beautiful stories mostly centred around sleep. My favourite growing up was “Can’t you sleep, Little Bear?”, I have just ordered this set for Jack and can’t wait to read them to him. 

Julia Donaldson Collection - We love this set, in particular “The Grufflo”. We haven’t yet read all of the books in the set, but from what we have seen so far, these are a great buy! 

The Very Hungry Caterpillar (Eric Carle) - Need I say more, this book is amazing :)!

Guess How Much I Love You (Sam McBratney) - An absolute classic that is just too sweet! I LOVE this book (to the moon and back). 


“Alfie” Books (Shirley Hughes)

Barry the Fish with Fingers (Sue Hendra)

Dear Zoo (Rod Campbell)

Each Peach Pear Plum (Janet and Allan Ahlberg)

I Love Pets (Carol Tatt)

Island and the Bear (Louise Greig)

Llama Llama Red Pyjama (Anna Dewdney)

Love You Forever (Robert Munsch)

Monkey Puzzle (Julia Donaldson)

“Paddington Bear” Books (Michael Bond)

Peepo! (Janet and Allan Ahlberg)

“Pip and Posey” books (Axel Scheffler)

Piranhas Don’t Eat Bananas (Aaron Blabey)

Room on the Broom (Julia Donaldson)

“Spot!” books (Eric Hill)

Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes (Mem Fox)

The Big Orange Splot (Daniel Pinkwater)

The Tiger Who Came to Tea (Judith Kerr)

"The Very Cranky Bear” Books (Nick Bland)

Hope this helps you out… as mentioned above these are all tried and tested by various mamas out there! 

Happy reading! 

Much Love, 

Karena xxx

PS - If you have any requests for future blog posts feel free to get in touch. :)