Reading was very important in the house where I grew up, my mum often had her nose buried in a book but bedtime stories were my dad’s domain. I shared a bedroom with my brother, consequently our dad read us the same stories. Here are some favourites:
Anatole by Eve Titus ~ Instead of stealing cheese to feed his family, Anatole starts to leave tips to improve the flavour of the cheeses. Who is this mysterious critic?
Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion ~ Harry hates to take a bath, so he spends all day avoiding the soap and water til he’s unrecognisable
How Tom Beat Captain Najork and His Hired Sportsmen by Russell Hoban ~ Tom’s aunt disapproves of him spending time mucking about and getting dirty. She calls in some disciplinarians to change his ways, but can Tom prove fooling about is a serious business?
I loved Jackanory – a children’s television programme where an actor read installments of a book spread over the week. Some books it featured became firm favourites of mine:
Arabel’s Raven by Joan Aitken ~ a young girl has a rather crazy family which easily welcomes a raucous raven into their life this kissing goodbye to any hope of normality!
Clever Polly and the Stupid Wolf by Catherine Storr ~ Polly’s a very savvy young girl. The big bad wolf would like to eat her but she keeps one step ahead.
Lizzie Dripping by Helen Cresswell ~ Lizzie saw a witch in the graveyard, but nobody listens to Lizzie, she’s always got her head in the clouds. With a witch as a friend, Lizzie’s life just got interesting.
By the time I had children of my own, a plethora of new books had been published. I read some old favourites at my kids’ bedtime, but they found new favourites to up-date my list.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Earle ~ get the board book so your little ones can wriggle their fingers through the bite holes the hungry caterpillar makes in the various fruits we count as he eats.
Stone Soup by Tony Ross ~ The Bad Wolf wants to eat Mother Hen and steal her goodies, but she assures him stone soup is more tasty. She teaches him how to make it in return for a few chores.
The Little Reindeer by Michael Foreman ~ I would save reading this for the Christmas build-up. Sometimes I’d get a bit choked up, because it’s message is very sweet.
Horrid Henry by Francesca Simon ~ These are the perfect mix; there are hi-jinx and terrible pranks from an irrepressible boy & his friends, set in high contrast to his angelic brother and his despairing parents. Beware, this hilarious book series may give your children bad ideas!
I have more children’s books to recommend, but the next post will be pitched at older readers.