Having had a wonderful, nostalgic trip through my own bookshelves yesterday for World Book Day, I thought I’d do something similar for the kids books.
I’m always on the look out for new books and authors for the kids, and it’s always helpful to have recommendations as a starting point – so here are mine!
We have always had lots of books for the children. Even before they understood what a book was we would read to them. We had buggy books and bath books, cloth books and noisy books.
While we didn’t ship any of our own books to the States, we brought all the kids books – so I’ve had a fun hour browsing through their books and finding their favourites!
The first book I can remember my oldest actively asking for is ‘Hug’ by Jez Alborough. This is a picture book, so our telling of the story was slightly different every time (i.e. really fast when we wanted an early night…!), but the illustrations are wonderful and our younger son loved it just as much as his brother had.
The Usbourne books are great. Starting with the ‘That’s not my…’ series, moving on to the ‘This is my…’ books and the touchy feely, lift the flap and noisy books. Then the talk about books – the zoo one was a firm favourite with my boys! And while the noisy books drive me nuts, the boys love them :)
I was also pleased to find that they enjoyed one of my favourite childhood sets of books – the Brambly Hedge seasons series by Jill Barklem.
Other recommendations (from me as much as them!) would be:
Sandra Boynton – in particular ‘Hippos go Berserk’, this makes me smile every time I read it. Her other books are great too.
Michael Rosen – especially ‘Little Rabbit Foo Foo’ which is hysterical and of course ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’… We’re going to go through it…!
Oliver Jeffers – ‘Lost and Found’ and ‘How to Catch a Star’ are both lovely.
Rod Campbell – ‘Dear Zoo’ was a hit with both boys.
Paul Bright – ‘Under the Bed’ is a fantastic rhyming book.
Sarah Hayes – ‘This is the Bear’ is another wonderful rhyming book which we all know by heart now!
Eric Hill – the Spot books were particularly popular with our younger son.
Dr Suess – even the 3yo can recite along with the ‘Cat in the Hat’ now :)
And of course, no kids library would be complete without Julia Donaldson. Our favourites are ‘The Gruffalo’s Child’ and ‘A Squash and a Squeeze’.
My oldest has now graduated on to factual books (dinosaurs and animals in particular) and chapter books. He loves the ‘Beast Quest’ series by Adam Blade and over here in the States has just discovered the ‘A-Z Mysteries’ series by Ron Roy. He has also started to work his way through Roald Dahl – so far his favourite is ‘The BFG’.
I’m just waiting for him to ask to start Harry Potter now!