Today, Saturday 26th January is the start of National Storytelling Week.
We should never need an excuse or a reason to read with our children, it’s so good for them. Here at Parental Choice, we’ve chosen a few of the books we’ve enjoyed reading to our own children.
Take inspiration and have a read, but also let us know your family’s favourites.
Julia Donaldson and books for younger children
We have a bit of a crush on Julia Donaldson here in the office, but the fight is over which is best, is it ‘The Smartest Giant in Town’, ‘Superworm’ or ‘Zog’? All have amazing illustrations and the rhyming is so clever.
‘The Paper Dolls’, also by Julia Donaldson is said to bring tears to the eyes of one of our team.
If you fancy a giggle with your little one who is a bit of a fussy eater take a look at ‘I don’t like peas’ by Marie Vinje. It may not end the way you think it will!
Another tear jerker, but a fabulous story of an unexpected friendship is ‘The Lion and the Bird’ by Marianne Dubuc.
Sue Hendra seems to have cornered the market in books with silly, yet slightly believable stories which all have fantastic graphic design. They will have kids rolling around with laughter, take a look at ‘Barry the fish with fingers’ and ‘Nobot the robot with no bottom’.
If your kids are moving to reading chapter books, grab one of the following series’ and settle down with them – try alternating who reads each chapter. An adult’s voice will help them with their own expression.
The ‘The Worst Witch’ by Jill Murphy, has stood the test of time, with the first books being published in 1974. Many of today’s parents enjoy revisiting their favourite clumsy witch Mildred Hubble and her adventures at Miss Cackles Academy for Witches with their own children.
The adventures of the Secret Seven and Famous Five by Enid Blyton may have been set in more innocent times, but their messages of good clean fun and goodies beating the baddies have stood the test of time and are always worth a read by any adventurous child (or grown-up!). So too are her fantasy tales of the ‘Enchanted Wood’ series. Who can resist Moonface and Silke?
For kids who find the format of straight chapter books a little overwhelming try introducing them to ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ by Jeff Kinney, whilst very American in their vocabulary, the short diary entries and stick-man illustrations make reading them a pleasure.
The same can be said for the series of Tom Gates books by Liz Pichon. Pichon writes and illustrates her own books and the results are highly stimulating for children. The series is extensive, 15 books in total, and is supported by a fantastic website aimed at readers. It includes a blog, written by Tom Gates himself.
David Walliams appears to need a whole section to himself!
The fact that he has been clever enough to write books for the little ones, while still happily occupying the older children is very clever! If reports are believed, his books have been translated into 52 different languages around the world.
Special mention goes to ‘The Midnight Gang’, the ‘World’s Worst Children’ series, ‘The Boy in the Dress’, ‘Geronimo’ and ‘Gangsta Granny’. The fact that many have also been made into TV movies help with visualising characters when children read the books.
While we are talking about Walliams, it feels appropriate to mention Roald Dahl. Children are still enjoying classic stories and many form part of today’s school curriculum. Pick up ‘The BFG’, ‘The Witches’, ‘The Twits’ and ‘James and the Giant Peach’ and they will be well away with these high descriptive, amusing and entertaining stories.
It does feel that Walliams may be the new Roald Dahl, but only time will tell if generations to come will be picking up his titles over ‘The BFG’ or ‘The Twits’.