Language through stories: Wash a Bye Bear

Wash a Bye Bear by Thomas Docherty

This is a genuinely really sweet book, and very accessible to Toddlers from about 18 months to 2.5 years. Many small children have comforters, and many adults have memories of comforters which makes it easy to relate to for all. 

Who is it for? Children who are able to follow a simple story will love this book. Try it from about 18 months old and if they aren't ready for it yet try again in a month or so. 

What is it about? Flora has a bear who needs a good wash. Whilst she is waiting for him to come out of the washing machine she reminisces over the fun they have had together: Days at the beach, playing in the garden, jumping in puddles. When her teddy comes out of the wash he is definitely clean, but Flora misses her old not-so-clean bear so sets out to repeat the fun (and mess) they have had together.

The good: Children can so relate to this story because it speaks to their every day experiences such as getting messy whilst eating breakfast, kicking up leaves and drawing with felt tip pen. This makes it perfect for giving children the words to describe their daily experiences. The pace of the narrative mirrors the washing machine: Slow prose and then faster rhyme as the teddy goes round and round in the wash, which makes it great fun to read again and again.

The not so good? Amazon keep running out of stock! I've tried to buy this for a friend and had to wait. I guess I'm not the only person who loves this book, so if you see a copy grab it!

Tips for using this book to support your child's language development:

- Use lots of action words to describe the pictures: Eating jam, jumping in puddles, drawing with pens, kicking leaves.
- Talk about feelings: How is teddy feeling in the wash? How does flora feel? How do you think her mum feels when Flora and teddy get messy again?
- When your child becomes familiar with the story, pause occasionally and say 'I wonder what will happen next?' This gives your child a low pressure opportunity to develop their understanding of the the concept 'next' and to use words to predict what might happen. 

If you would like to buy a copy of Wash a Bye Bear online you can get a copy here. Happy reading :)

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