My six-year-old son, Gabriel, loves to read. We are very lucky that his reading has come on in leaps and bounds over the last year and I feel so happy and proud when I see him reading a book all on his own. But it’s still a joy to share books together cuddled up on the sofa, with his little brother, Tom, loving every word too. Here are a few of our current favourites. Not a definitive list by any means!
The Wombles by Elisabeth Beresford
We absolutely adore the Wombles in all their forms – books, music and television. Ages ago, I stumbled across an old Wombles annual from 1976 in a charity shop and we’ve enjoyed reading the stories so much together that we bought Gabriel this lovely edition of the original Womble stories (from the 1960s) for his birthday. It is beautifully illustrated and the writing is much better than the stories in the annual! The book is divided into chapters, which makes it feel suitably grown-up, and each one is the perfect length for a bedtime story. This edition also includes a CD, with three stories read by Bernard Cribbins.
Winnie’s Pirate Adventure by Valerie Thomas and Korky Paul
There are lots and lots of Winnie books to choose from, and this is a current favourite in our house. What I absolutely love about these books is the incredible detail in the clever, witty illustrations by Korky Paul. I find this makes the books appeal to slightly older boys – the story the pictures alone can tell is completely fascinating. It’s all good fun and makes us giggle.
The Jolly Postman by Janet and Allan Ahlberg
This is an absolute classic, which I adored as a child. Like all of the Ahlberg’s books, this has wonderful illustrations and –even better – it contains lots of real letters, to be unfolded from envelopes and little books to read. It’s a real story-within-a-story. Unfolding the little notes and letters needs care, and I’m delighted that Gabriel is finally old enough for it. It takes a long time to read everything included though, so be warned that this isn’t a quick read and needs a good half an hour!
The Twits by Roald Dahl
A classic, full of the kind of details that little boys find amusing (and girls too, I loved this one as child!). Disgusting beards with maggoty green cheese? Plucky little monkeys? You’ve come to the right place! It’s all a bit weird and disgusting, but in the best possible tradition. If your boy is a confident reader he will do well reading this on his own, but I think Roald Dahl books are meant to be shared together and work so well when read aloud.
The Lego Ideas Book
We have quite a few of these Lego books, published by Dorling Kindersley. You can usually pick these up for a good price and they are crammed with ideas for quirky Lego making. No instructions are given, but it’s certainly inspirational. Gabriel will pore over this and then run off to make something amazing that I could never manage! This is a great book which they can enjoy whatever their reading level, as the pictures do most of the talking.
We are always looking for new discoveries, and I would love to hear about the books your children love! I will share some more of our favourites soon.