Kids Books To Inspire & Delight!
With the Emirates Airline Festival Of Literature in full swing, it’s all about books in our house this week! There’s nothing better than cosying up on the sofa and reading to or with your kids – and bedtime stories are a routine staple and a great way to finish the day (even if you’re feeling completely exhausted and ready for a little ‘mama’ time by that point!). From books that I remember fondly from my own childhood to those that my kids delight in – here are ten books to treat them to by the time they’re ten, guaranteed to ignite a love of literature and to be cherished forever.
Revolting Rhymes by Roald Dahl
Quite possibly some of the funniest words I’ve ever read, Roald Dahl’s revolting rhymes are everything a parent should disapprove of (the cheeky language, the masterful use of language and the naughty little twists on some of the world’s favourite fairytales) but actually totally brilliant and loved by all. The best part is that these rhymes are as fun for kids to listen to as they are for parents to read (particularly because the grownups pick up on all the innuendo and other stuff that the littles wouldn’t get!).
Not Now, Bernard by David McKee
This brilliant story features a little boy called Bernard who tries to get his parents attention to tell them that there’s a monster in the garden but is always ignored. The story builds up to a crescendo where the monster eats all the parents. Darkly comic, kids love it and it’s not scary at all (despite sounding like it might be!) – plus gives us a little bit of a lesson about taking notice of what our little people are saying.
The book with no pictures by B. J. Novak
This mischievous story has my kids in absolute hysterics every time! Written to be read out loud, the little ones feel like they’re playing a trick on me and my husband as we end up saying all the silly things that the book dictates. Their favourite? When we exclaim ‘My only friend in the whole wide world is a hippopotamus named Boo Boo But…’.
The Snail & The Whale by Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler
No kids’ bookshelf would be complete with a collection of stories by Julia Donaldson – but it’s ‘The Snail and the Whale’ which I find most brilliant. The beautiful use of language and clever rhyme plus the really serious message about the damaging effects of human behaviour on our planet is a perfect combo. And I have to also give a special mention to my other Julia Donaldson favourite, Stick Man and the fab twist as ‘Stuck Man’ aka Father Christmas enters the tale.
Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone by JK Rowling
As much fun to read for adults as for kids, seeing my eldest little boy (almost 8) enter the wonderful world of Harry Potter has been completely magical. He’s absolutely captivated by the stories, the characters and JK Rowling’s brilliant descriptions – to the point where he’s now convinced that Hogwarts is a real school and that he’d like to be a pupil there! We read a chapter or two together each evening and I feel seriously miffed when he decides to pick the book up without me and I miss out on some of the story! And after each book comes the treat of watching the movie and seeing it all come to life.
Malala’s Magic Pencil by Malala Yousafzai
This incredibly moving true story about a girl who stood up for equal rights to education in Pakistan, even when faced with a very real threat from The Taliban, is written in a simple enough way for children to understand the power of the pen and of bravery and dedication. Totally inspiring – my little girl was gifted this book and I’d recommend it to any mamas of girls.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
I can remember reading this to my kids when they were absolutely tiny –and then getting to the stage where they could try and ‘read’ it back to me by pointing at and naming the pictures of everything that the greedy caterpillar ate. Just so cute!
The Day The Crayons Quit by Oliver Jeffers
Poor little Duncan just wants to colour but his crayons have other ideas! One by one they quit for the most hilarious reasons – the red crayon because it has to work on holidays (valentines hearts, Santa’s suit), the orange and the yellow because they’re fighting over who should colour the sun, the blue because it’s used to colour so much water – and the peach because it feels ‘naked’ (the source of much amusement to my three!). Brilliant book – so well written.
Paddington by Michael Bond
One of the world’s most loveable bears (btw if you haven’t seen the latest Paddington movie then do – it’s magic!), the story of Mr & Mrs Brown come to have a bear from ‘Darkest Peru’ living in their London home. From the very first night when he attempted a bath and almost flooded the house to when he tries to help clean up but makes a huge mess, Paddington is forever getting into all sorts of situations (just like my naughty little kiddos!).
Winnie-the-pooh by A. A. Milne
The Bear of Very Little Brain and his friends from the Hundred Acre Wood have delighted readers for years – myself and my little fam included! The wonderful adventures of Christopher Robin and all the inhabitants of the Hundred Acre Wood are absolutely timeless and endearing and so lovely to read – these stories really do transport you to another world.