Of course all the books mentioned so far are favourites but let me add three more which you probably all know.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see? Bill Martin with pictures by Eric Carle. This beautifully illustrated book enables the teacher to introduce colours and animals with a rhyming text. There's practically no need to introduce any of the text in advance since it becomes evident after the second reading at the latest. The third time round they'll be completing the text for you! This is a MUST for teaching kindergarten children English in our system in Germany.

Have you seen the crocodile? Colin West This little book also stands out because of its lovely, humorous illustrations. I think that the eyes of all the creatures who appear catch the children's attention and fascinate them. The simple question "Have you seen the crocodile?" is easily understood and repeated with the teacher until the page before the one on which the crocodile jaws snap open. The children realise what is going to happen because they see that all the birds and insects are sitting on the crocodile's back! They nudge their neighbour or whisper to them excitedly - and then the next page brings the horrible truth! Linguistically it 'only' adds a few names of creatures most European children would be familiar with - and even if they weren't familiar with 'parrot' or 'hummingbird' they soon will be! There are many different editions of this book, too, so you can pick soft or hard cover according to your needs and pocket.

I recommend a third book because it deals so sensitively with a common problem of someone confined to a wheelchair. This book by Jane Willis and Tony Ross is called "Susan Laughs". It has practically no text but wonderfully illustrated pictures which describe the two words of the rhyming text on each page. Susan, her friends, parents and grandparents come to life with her, make you fall in love with this cheeky little girl.

In all three books mentioned here there is little text, but the illustrations make it so easy for beginners to follow the 'story' and understand the texts, which are not simplistic but most explicit. I feel that children can thus lose their fear of books and gain confidence which may help them to try a book on their own.

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