Here’s a thing. Once upon a time, we lived among a thousand children’s books. There were piles next to the bed, next to the daybed, in the day bed, and bursting from every bookcase and box we could find. There was always a new unread book to pick up, and read for the first time. There was always a book to read, which we hadn’t read in a long time.
But then you plan to move your family to the other side of the world for a year. A thousand kids’ books can’t come with you, as nice as that would be. But how then do you choose? We like variety. We love reading something new or forgotten. How could we choose books to sustain us for a whole year?
Here’s a few ideas:
Something small, but full of goodness
There are several beautiful small books, which are long, and juicy enough to the fill bedtime reading hour, but short enough to fit in your luggage. The key is finding well written books that you can read over and over again, like:
I don’t really like re-reading adult novels, but re-reading children’s classics never gets tiring. And if you can find the classic in small print, with a paperback cover, even better.
Books we brought with us include:
Alice Through the Looking Glass
The Wizard of Oz
Charlie & The Chocolate Factory
Something that satisfies more than one age group
If you have more than one kid, bringing books that kill two birds, so to speak, will weigh less in your luggage. Both our three-year-old and our six-year-old daughter love:
The Cleo Stories
and all picture books. Well, any book with illustration.
Something to listen to
I have always sworn by audio books. My daughter chewed through Charlie & The Chocolate Factory several times over when I used to have to take her baby sister to sleep. Audio books are great for plane rides and long trips. I either download them through iBooks on my phone or, if I have an internet connection, put them on YouTube without the visuals.
Audio books my eldest has listened to on this trip include:
James & The Giant Peach (YouTube)
Gangster Granny (iBooks)
and I have listened to The Fault In Our Stars (iBooks) and Artemis Fowl (iBooks). (Great for running too!)
Something to borrow
Of course, you don’t have to bring every book with you, in your luggage. There are lots of free libraries around the Netherlands. Mini ones, in front of people’s houses! But also public libraries. Our friend took out a membership for us, and every week or two, we select new picture books to read at night to keep life interesting.
And Dutch friends have very generously leant Dutch books to the girls while we are here.
Something to swap
I haven’t done this yet, but I like this idea…
If you meet other families on your travels, swap books with them! I don’t think I can bring myself to re-read some of our picture books again, having read them so often on this trip. Maybe I can find a bookish family to swap some books with, when we are camping.
My kids are learning Dutch. So buying or borrowing Dutch books while we are here is a great thing to do. Not only do I get to stagger through the books, while the kids patiently listen, I get to learn a little bit of Dutch too. Also, children’s books are a great little insight into the culture of the place you visit.
Books that are very synonymous with Dutch culture are:
Whatever you do, choose wisely! These books will be your companion on your travels, however long that may be. So they need to be good.
Personally, I hear anything by Zanni Louise is worth lugging around the world 😉
How do you choose books to take with you when you travel? Any other ideas?
Join me for Children’s Book Tuesday here by sharing your children’s book post in the link below. Or follow along on social media #ChildrensBookTuesday.