children's books

Suggested Books for Toddlers

Slug needs a HugIt’s never too early to introduce your child to a love of books.  Dublin City Libraries holds a vast array of books suitable for all ages, even newborns! The Baby & Toddler Book Clubs have been running successfully at Ballymun Library since September 2016.  The aim of the clubs is to encourage a love of books and reading between parents/carers and their children in an informal and relaxed setting.

Here's a list of books they have read and songs/rhymes that you can share with your toddler. We will be updating this page regularly so please do check back!

Preparing for Preschool

ColoursReading books to your child is an excellent way of teaching them about numbers, colours and animals before he/she starts school.  The Baby Book Club already covered the concept of numbers through Julia Donaldson’s (author) and Axel Scheffler’s (illustrator) Tales from the Acorn Wood series: Counting before Christmas. We returned to this series last week and read Colours.  The group sang The Rainbow Song to complement the theme of the story.

Reading together benefits your baby/toddler in so many ways!

At the ParkBallymun Library Baby Book Club continued exploring the series of books entitled ‘Small Talk’ by reading At the Park from same.  The ‘Small Talk’ series was set up by Nicola Lathey, a specialist speech and language therapist for young children and parenting journalist, Tracey Blake.  The stories use lots of text repetition and are designed to develop speech in young children.  Maria explained the importance of reading books slowly to babies as they need more time to work out who’s saying what and following the storyline. She also advised the group to allow babies time to mimic the story’s text as babies tend to respond slower than children.  This technique also helps babies to develop language skills.  Finally, the group learned the song Let’s Go to The Park to accompany the story.

Citywide Reading Campaign for Children

Knights of the Borrowed DarkChildren across Dublin are encouraged over the next two months to read about mysterious shape-shifting creatures that disappear into the shadows, as Knights of the Borrowed Dark by Dave Rudden is the chosen book for the 2017 Citywide Reading Campaign for Children.

The aim of the campaign is to encourage children to read for pleasure. As well as reading the books, children are encourage to write their own - check out online activity at There will be author visits to libraries as well as city-centre based events. The campaign ends on 19 March with a packed day of fun events based on the book, as part of the St Patrick’s Festival’s Big Day Out in Merrion Square.

'Small Talk' at our Baby & Toddler Book Clubs

Small talk: BedtimeAfter taking a break over the Christmas period, Ballymun Library book clubs were back with a bang last Tuesday! It was fantastic to see such a great attendance at both clubs with regulars returning and some new members showing up.

Festive fun for babies & toddlers

I love you Father ChristmasDespite the fact that Christmas is almost upon us, Ballymun Library had a great turnout to last Tuesday’s sessions.  At the Baby Book Club we read That’s Not my Lion from the publisher Usborne’s ‘That’s Not My...’ series of books.  We will also learned a new song titled ‘I’m a Lion’ which was sung to the tune ‘Three Blind Mice’.

Next week, we will read I Love You Father Christmas by Emma Dodd.  This is a lovely story all about Santa Claus and is guaranteed to put families in the Christmas spirit.


It's Roary-time at Ballymun Library

Counting by Julia DonaldsonLast Tuesday, 6 December, Ballymun Baby Book Club had lots of fun with numbers and counting using the book Counting from the book series Tales from Acorn Wood by author, Julia Donaldson and illustrator, Axel Scheffler.  Maria taught the group a new rhyme entitled ‘I Can Count’ to complement the story. 

There are lots of ways to incorporate counting in children’s routines such as:

(a) Counting food (cheerios, grapes)
(b) Climbing stairs
(c) When your child is swinging in the park
(d) How many books you borrow from the Library!

Help! The wolf is coming to baby & toddler book club!

Zeki loves Baby ClubLast Tuesday, Ballymun Library Baby Book Club read Zeki Loves Baby Club.  The story centres on baby Zeki who loves to attend a Baby Club every Wednesday.  Zeki gets the opportunity to have lots of fun through singing songs and meeting his baby friends – just like the Baby Book Club! This book also contains a number of suggested songs and activities to do with your baby/toddler at the end of the story so it is well worth reading!  We sang ‘If You’re Happy and You Know it’ to complete the storytelling session. Check the availability of Zeki Loves Baby Club in the library catalogue.

That's not my elephant...Next Tuesday, 29 November, Maria will introduce the Baby Book Club to a beautiful series of books entitled ‘That’s Not My...’.  The publisher, Usborne, produces a variety of colourful board books aimed at very young children.  We will read That’s Not my Elephant.  Each page of this book contains bright pictures and patches with different textures.  The book series is designed to develop sensory and language awareness.  It’s perfect for reading to babies and toddlers when you’re at home, out and about and at bedtime.  We will be covering many books from this series over the coming weeks.

What's next for Ballymun Library Baby & Toddler Book Club

Betsy goes to the DoctorLast week, the Baby Book Club read the story 'Who's on the Farm' by Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks.  The babies learned all about their favourite animal characters from the previous week's story What the Ladybird Heard using large fun flaps as the story was read.  The Farmer In the Dell was sung by the group following the story. Check out Who's on the Farm in the library catalogue.

With winter approaching and colds and flus more common, Betsy Goes to the Doctor by Helen Stephens was a perfect reading choice for the toddlers. In this story, poor Betsy has a sore ear.  Her trip to the Doctor turns out to be far more fun and exciting than she imagined.  She even gets a sticker at the end of the visit!!  This is an ideal story for reassuring little ones who might be nervous about the experience of visiting the Doctor.  We sang Miss Polly Had a Dolly to accompany the story.

Baby and Toddler Book Club November reads

LadybirdBallymun Library's fun book clubs for babies and toddlers aim to foster a love of reading in our youngest borrowers. Last week, the Baby Book Club read the story What the Ladybird Heard which was written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Lydia Monks.  This is a brilliant rhyming tale which is perfect for teaching younger readers about animals and animal sounds.  There's an added fun dimension of trying to find the ladybird, the heroine of the story, on every page. We sang Old MacDonald Had a Farm to round off the storytelling session.
What’s the Time, Mr Wolf? which is Illustrated by Annie Kubler was the chosen book read to the toddlers.  This is a funny, finger-puppet story about a wolf who loves to eat at any time of the day.  We sang Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf to accompany the story.