Monday, 14 March 2011

Books for children .... for reading together

I am always on the look out for great books, interesting books, diverting books for children. I have three boys - they are currently 8, 7 and 5. The 8 year old is a great reader, the 7 year old mainly likes Horrid Henry, and the 5 year old obviously is still at the "in, and, of" stage of reading, phonics and all.

But they all love being read to.

I think that reading with and to children is one of the greatest pleasures of being a parent. Not least because for five minutes they are sitting still, rather than tearing around wrecking the place. But also because they absorb stories like sponges and for that moment you are sharing the same imaginative world.

So, I am going to blog on a selection of books we enjoy. I am going to do separate blogs for the ages, so that your recommendations are age-specific. Please add your suggestions after the relevant blogs. But here are a few books which I find are lovely for reading to all the children together.

Ponder and William - Barbara Softly
Winnie the Witch (series) - Valerie Thomas and Korky Paul
Spy Dog (series, also Spy Pups) - Andrew Cope
The Indian in the Cupboard - Lynne Reid Banks
Stig of the Dump - Clive King
Sir Charlie Stinky Socks - Kristina Stephenson
Jeremy James (series) - David Henry Wilson

The following are more challenging, but are a great introduction to their subject:

Black Ships before Troy - Rosemary Sutcliff
Usborne Illustrated stories from Shakespeare

Please add your suggestions for books for parents to read to their children.



  1. My five-year-old son is really enjoying the Disney classics at the moment. Aladdin is probably his favourite, given the amount of times we have read it. But he likes them all. In an age when he can probably work the TV, DVD and Wii better than his parents, I'd say he also prefers the books to the Disney films.

  2. Some interesting choices here for my kids and I to investigate. My daughter is 4 and my son 2, and both love Winnie the Witch, but we haven't really encountered many of the others.

  3. My 6 year old daughter has discovered the joys of Roald Dahl and my three year old loves the Brothers Grimm tales. Timeless

  4. My two sons have the Grimm's Fairy Tales
    read and saved for years.
    The tales of the Brothers Grimm
    Hans.Christian.Andersen 1805-1875

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  6. I have to say that Roger Lancellyn Green wrote some excellent classic stories for children and highly recommend these titles (if you can find them) :

    King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table (1953)

    The Adventures of Robin Hood (1956)

    Tales of the Greek Heroes: Retold From the Ancient Authors (1958)

    The Tale of Troy: Retold from the Ancient Authors (1958)

    Mystery at Mycenae: An adventure story of ancient Greece (1959)

    Myths of the Norsemen: Retold from the Old Norse Poems and Tales (1960)

    The Saga of Asgard: Retold from the Old Norse Poems and Tales (Puffin Books 1960)

    The Luck of Troy (1961)

    Tales the Muses told; ancient Greek myths (1965)

    Tales from Shakespeare (Atheneum 1965)

    Tales of Ancient Egypt (1967)

    Ancient Greece (John Day Co. 1969)

    A cavalcade of dragons (H. Z. Walck 1970)

    Tale of Thebes (Cambridge University Press 1977)

    Other than Lancellyn Green I would also suggest Cynthia Harnett, in particular "The Woolpack" and "The Load of Unicorn".

  7. Hi Susanna. I remember my mother reading a number of book to my sister and i about different Twin children from around the world. A quick search tells me they're by Lucy Fitch Perkins and are (were) well known. They're cultural social history stories. We loved them. Maybe you and your boys would enjoy them.
    Best wishes. Simon Pugh