Reading Essentials : A four-year-old’s list for young readers

We kick off the autumn edition of Reading Essentials With Sitara Suseelan’s report. Like a true journalist she has not interfered with the bookworm’s choice and sent us the list without parental tampering. Over to her!

The written word has always been my weak spot. When I had a baby girl I didn’t have a resolute desire of introducing her to the world of books. Talk about reading getting incidental! What prompted me was that KICK she gave while residing in my womb whenever I read to her. So I decided to give it a try and I haven’t turned back since. She loves story books. Unobtrusive as it seems, she blended in with books (and animated films) like fish to water. It doesn’t have to have a great story in it. Funny moments, beautiful moments, thoughtful moments are all she needs.

We do book conversations. We revolve around many questions- the most common of which is ‘Why do you like this book?’. And her answer, plain and simple, ‘Because I like it!’.

So this time, I’d put on my reporter garb and went that extra mile with a recorder to piece up a story on my little treasure’s favourite list of books.

Ergo, here is my 4-year old, Nakshatra’s book list:

  1. The Dot – Peter Reynolds

Why do you like this book?

Because I like the way she painted dots. It was beautiful and there were so many colours.

  1. Monsieur Saguette and his baguette – Frank Asch

I like him with his long baguette. He saves people. He is having an adventure with it.

  1. Oxford Reading book ‘Top cat and other stories’

Because it makes me read.

  1. The Gruffalo and the Gruffalo’s child-Beloved Julia Donaldson

One of the very first books she’s fallen head over heels for. She was barely 13 months then and the relationship is solid strong to this day.


I like the little mouse becoming friends with the Gruffalo and tricking him . I like the Gruffalo’s child with her little horns. I like girls.

  1. Pierre – Maurice Sendak

Because you taught me how to read ‘Pierre’. I like him saying ‘I don’t care’ all the time. ( Cautionary tale hasn’t worked out that way for her. All in good time. All in good time)

  1. I spy -An alphabet in art-Lucy Micklethwait

Because I like saying ‘I spy’ and looking for the letters.

Don’t you like the paintings in the book?


Which do you like the most?

The elephant one. I love elephants!

  1. Charlie and Lola: I’ve won, no I’ve won, no I’ve won-Lauren Child

Because I like Charlie letting Lola win. I like Lola to win all the time (Word of caution: She’s a feminist in the making). They are funny. They make me laugh.

  1. Hansel and Gretel-Anthony Browne

I like the cake house. I like the old lady asking, ‘Who’s nibbling at my house?’ and the children saying,’ only the strong wind’. (She loves the spooky feel this book gives her but isn’t admitting it at the moment)

  1. The first big book of Dinosaurs (National Geographic)

Because I like long necks and sharp tooths and three horns and spike tails and flyers .(All this in one breath! Her love for dinosaurs goes beyond words)

  1. The heart and the bottle book- Oliver Jeffers

I like the pictures in this book. I can’t say why. I like it when she takes her heart from the bottle (You have no idea how my heart thrummed when I heard her say that). She had to take it out because she likes it. She was missing it all the time. That’s the problem! (she picked up the last line from heaven knows where and has been using it since without fail in every conversation we have)

Thank you Nakshatra! And Great job, Reporter Sitara! This list will help many tiny bookworms find their light. 

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