As an adult we can look back and remember fondly the books we read as a child. Whilst creating the two children’s book lists earlier this month (18 Modern Children’s Books Every Adult Should Read, and 12 Classic Children’s Books Every Adult Should Read Before They Die) I also began thinking about what books I read with my own children when they were very young. I believe it’s important for parents to spend time reading with their children, especially at a young age, it will shape what they read as an adult and provide them with their own happy link back to their childhood.
Here are my personal recommendations for some great books that are great to share with your young children. They are in no particular order. Please feel free to add your recommendations in the comments and share the list to your friends.
A purr-fectly rollicking adventure from superstars Donaldson & Scheffler!
Tabby McTat loves his life on the streets with his owner, Fred, singing (and caterwauling) for coins that people throw in Fred’s hat. But one day, Fred is in an accident, and the two are separated! Will Tabby and Fred find their way back to each other?
From the creators of A Gold Star for Zog and Stick Man, Tabby McTat is a touching story of friendship, loyalty, singing – and kittens!
Jolly Christmas Postman
What could be more appropriate? The Jolly Postman (1986)- -cycling past “the fast-eloping dish and spoon,” a giant beanstalk, and King Cole’s castle–delivers holiday letters and gifts addressed to “Mr. H. Dumpty, Wincey Ward, Cock Robin Memorial Hospital”; the Gingerbread boy; and even “Mister Wolf,” found “wolfing pies and sherry” and sporting amiably with three pigs and the little red hen. All is reported in deft, jovial verse; six bound-in envelopes contain amusing missives- -cards, a picture puzzle (Humpty Dumpty, of course), a tiny pamphlet of a book, a picture letter (Granny’s sound advice to R. Hood), and–for the postman–an accordion-style peep show. The illustrations are as charming as the text–even the postmarks are fun. Pure delight. (Picture book. 2+)
Captured by a giant!
The BFG is no ordinary bone-crunching giant. He is far too nice and jumbly. It’s lucky for Sophie that he is. Had she been carried off in the middle of the night by the Bloodbottler, or any of the other giants—rather than the BFG—she would have soon become breakfast. When Sophie hears that the giants are flush-bunking off to England to swollomp a few nice little chiddlers, she decides she must stop them once and for all. And the BFG is going to help her!
A Bear Called Paddington
Paddington Bear had traveled all the way from Peru when the Browns first met him in Paddington Station. Since then, their lives have never been quite the same . . . for ordinary things become extraordinary when a bear called Paddington is involved.
First published in 1958, A Bear Called Paddington is the first novel by Michael Bond, chronicling the adventures of this lovable bear. Paddington has charmed readers for generations with his earnest good intentions and humorous misadventures. This brand-new paper-over-board edition of the classic novel contains the original text by Michael Bond and illustrations by Peggy Fortnum.
The classic adventures of everybody’s favourite flat boy – It’s Jeff Brown’s Flat Stanley.
Stanley Lambchop is an ordinary boy with an extraordinary problem. One night, a giant pinboard falls on top of him leaving him completely flat. At first, Stanley enjoys the benefits of his strange predicament – it can be fun going in out of rooms simply by sliding under the door. And it’s a hoot being posted to your friends in California for a holiday. But it’s not always easy being different, and, once the novelty begins to wear off, Stanley wishes he could be just like everybody else again. But how will he ever fill out?
Jeff Brown’s world-famous character Flat Stanley continues to charm half a century after he first found his way into print.
Clarice Bean, That’s Me
Clarice Bean’s beloved picture books are in paperback for the very first time! With dynamic new covers featuring flaps, die-cuts, foil, and more.
When your annoying little brother shares your room, your older brother is in the tunnel of adolescence, your dad hides in his office swaying to Frank Sinatra, and your mother listens to foreign language tapes in the bathtub, what can you do to get away from it all? Meet the irrepressible Clarice Bean on her search for a little peace and quiet amid the wonderfully wacky chaos of a large extended family.
That Rabbit Belongs to Emily Brown
When the Queen steals Emily Brown’s favourite toy and erstwhile companion, a toy rabbit called Stanley, Emily sets out to get him back and teach that naughty queen a valuable lesson!
Who needs words to tell a story? In Raymond Briggs’s charming tale, told with 175 softly hued, artfully composed frames, a little boy makes friends with a snowman. He wakes up on a snowy day, tells his mother he’s going outside, then begins a flurry of snowman-building. That night, he can’t sleep, so he opens the front door and lo! the snowman has come to life. The amiable yet frosty fellow enjoys his tour of the boy’s cozy home; he admires the cat, but is disturbed by the fire. The boy shows him other wonders–the TV and a lamp and running water. Predictably perhaps, he is disturbed by the stove, but likes ice cubes quite a bit. Soon it is the snowman’s turn to introduce the boy to his wintry world. They join hands, rise up into the blizzardy air–presumably over Russia and into the Middle East–and then safely back to home sweet home. The boy pops into bed before his parents get up… but when he wakes up the next morning he races outside only to find his new buddy’s melted remains, scattered with a few forlorn lumps of coal. Since the book is wordless, you can make up any ending you want… like “Then, in a puff of pink smoke, the snowman recomposed himself and went to live in the boy’s garage freezer.” Or you could just resign yourself to a peaceful “And that was that.” Raymond Briggs’s The Snowman won the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, and this wintertime classic continues to win the hearts of kids every year.
The Doll People
Annabelle Doll is 8 years old–and has been for over 100 years. Nothing much has changed in the dollhouse during that time, except for the fact that 45 years ago, Annabelle’s Auntie Sarah disappeared from the dollhouse without a trace. After all this time, restless Annabelle is becoming more and more curious about her aunt’s fate. And when she discovers Auntie Sarah’s old diary, she becomes positively driven. Her cautious family tries to discourage her, but Annabelle won’t be stopped, even though she risks Permanent Doll State, in which she could turn into a regular, nonliving doll. And when the “Real Pink Plastic” Funcraft family moves in next door, the Doll family’s world is turned upside down–in more ways than one!
Pop up Dinasaur book
Open this book and a massive T. REX springs out, flashing a startling jawful of jagged teeth. Turn the next spread and a ravishing raptor unfurls and appears to fly off the edge of the page. Inside the amazing ENCYCLOPEDIA PREHISTORICA: DINOSAURS are “shield bearers” in full-body armor, creatures with frilly headgear, and weighty, long-necked giants. There are even amusing tidbits on the history of paleontology itself — like a pop-up version of a Victorian New Year’s dinner in the belly of a dinosaur model, or a pair of scientists locked in a literal tug-of-war over bones.
Full of fascinating facts and lighthearted good humor, this breathtaking book includes fascinating, up-to-the-minute information about popular dinosaurs as well as many lesser-known varieties. With each of six spreads featuring one spectacular, large pop-up as well as booklets of smaller pop-ups and text, ENCYCLOPEDIA PREHISTORICA: DINOSAURS is a magnificent display of paper engineering and creativity — an astonishing book that will be read, admired, and treasured forever.
What books do you read with your children? Share this with others to see if they agree.