Best books to reads with kids

I don’t have my own but I do have more nieces and nephews than I can count, which means a lot of bedtime reading. It’s great. I love reading with them.

I read once about the emotional cues that reading with children exhibits. There is a closeness as they sit on your knee and you envelope them to share the book, turning pages or finding characters on the page. It makes me so sad when teacher friends tell me that new pupils don’t know how to hold a book, never mind read it. Does this mean nobody reads to them? I think that is such a sad and highly likely scenario. I still remember the stories I was read  as a child and it was as important as brushing my teeth for bedtime routine.

So, while I think this is a hugely important moment to share with my nieces and nephew, the book choice matters a lot. These are some of my favourites:

 The Gruffalo

Author: Julia Donaldson

Illustrator: Axel Scheffler

I have been familiar with the images of the Gruffalo for a long time but I was only recently introduced to this and it is top of my list for bedtime reading. I always suggest it when the chatterbox asks me to read.

I love the rhyme and rhythm of this short story. It’s a witty tale and very sweet. And the animation is beautiful. Top marks!

 The Yoga Ogre

Author: Peter Bently

Illustrator: Simon Rickerty

I got a great laugh out of this one. The poor old ogre is finding it difficult to find an activity that suits his bulky frame, with catastrophe around every corner. I do wonder whether it’s a bit dodgy suggesting that larger bodies can’t play this sport or that, but I doubt the chislers are attuned to that messaging.

Stick Man

Author: Julia Donaldson

Illustrator: Axel Scheffler

It’s another one from Jullia Donaldson. I think her stories are great. This is another one that has great use of rhyme and rhythm, which really suits this tale of a stick on the run. Again, the animation is beautiful. This is ideal for any night really, but because you fly through the text it’s perfect for keeping the night time routine when they are tired and tetchy without dragging the process out.

Goodnight Moon

Author: Margaret Wise Brown

Originally published in 1947 this book makes me want to go to sleep but not before having a massive hug. It’s warm and heartfelt and really endearing. This is a soft, slow read. But, importantly, also a quick one. Seventy years on, this is still a great choice for your tots.

Adam’s Cloud

Author: Benji Bennett

I have to confess that I cried reading this to my nephew a few years ago. As I neared the end I had to compose myself to finish reading it aloud. It’s truly beautiful. And there is the added bonus when you buy this book of contributing to a worthy cause.

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