By Anna Dewdney (Viking)
Llama is waiting for his mama, who has tucked him in to bed then gone to fetch him a glass of water. When she doesn’t come back quickly, he starts to worry and fuss, eventually hollering for her as he gets cross. Such a familiar bedtime scenario – little ones will giggle at Llama even as they face their own fears about what happens if mama disappears? What’s so refreshing is the depiction of all the things Mama Llama has to do when she has put Llama to bed – tidy up, answer the phone etc. Children get an idea of why Mama might not be running back immediately and they get to face their fears and understand that it;s OK to feel that way – even Llama feels that way sometimes. When Mama reappears she gently reassures him and gives him the comfort he needs. Gorgeously illustrated with rich colors that show the emotional mood of the baby Llama, this is the perfect rhyming book for age 2-5 year olds.
* Rhyming books are essential for the development of reading and vocabulary. Children learn pitch, volume and voice inflection as well as sequencing, memorisation and patterning which are essential cognitive skills. Children also develop their mouth and tongue muscles by saying the rhymes out loud, so get them to copy after you: Llama Llama red pajama! Ask them what else rhymes with Llama and then find all sorts of words that sound the same, repeating them in a funny song: “Time to go to bed, you sleepy little head, You’ve all been fed, your books been read and now it’s time for bed!’ Julia Donaldson does a great rhyme – we also love The Rhyming Rabbit. “You go? Oh no. Oh woe, Oh Sorrow.”