Ten books to enchant and delight the young

Realization that today (2nd April 2018) is International Children’s Book Day, has infused me with just the right amount of motivation to compile the list of books that have been a source of joy and entertainment for my kids and me. So it felt like the perfect day for sharing our favourite set of books starting with an age group of 2 – 8 years. These books are great as read-alouds or as independent/assisted reading. Inviting you to explore.

The age appropriateness is more of a suggested guideline to specify the minimum age limit, based on my personal experience. There is no upper age limit for reading them of course, as books like this are of a timeless nature.

  1. The Very Hungry Caterpillar – by Eric Carle

It is an internationally acclaimed book, considered to be one of the greatest childhood classics. With a simple theme it interactively and innovatively covers the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly. It captivates the young audience with a blend of words, look and feel and invites the child to explore. The progression to a butterfly is depicted in a light and humorous manner that will engage the child’s curiosity and interest. Preferably get the board book format, so that it can stand the wear and tear that can be expected with a book of this nature.

Great as a read-aloud for kids, 2 years and above or independent reading from 3 years.

HC

 

  1. Owl Babies – Written by Martin Waddell and illustrated by Patrick Benson

A tender, soothing and simple story, that touches on a rather familiar theme of a child missing his/her parents, during the parents’ temporary absence. It is about three owlets that wake-up at night to find their mother owl, missing from the nest. They express their worries about her absence and are happy and relieved when she finally returns from her flight. This is a feel-good book and makes for a warm read-aloud at bed-time or for that matter any at time of the day.

Great as a read-aloud for kids, 2 years and above or for independent/assisted reading from 4 years and above.

OB

  1. The Rainbow Fish – Illustrated and written by Marcus Pfister

This is a set of five colorful books, with vivid and sparkling illustrations. I own it as a compact boxed set with the board books neatly stacked inside.

Rainbow Fish to the Rescue

Rainbow Fish and the Big Blue Whale

Rainbow Fish and the Sea Monster’s Cave

Rainbow Fish Finds his Way

Rainbow Fish Discovers the Deep Sea

Apart from being engrossing with an adventurous theme, it does carry subtle yet meaningful messages about self-awareness, overcoming fear, acceptance, happiness, humility, sharing and friendship. Of course there are some debates around the book sending the wrong message of giving up individuality or sacrificing or compromising. But then it also depends on the parent, care-giver who helps the child interpret the story.

RF

Great as a read-aloud for kids, 3 years and above or for independent/assisted reading from 5 years and above.

  1. The Berenstain Bears by Stan and Jan Berenstain

This is a series that can be read in any order. It covers various common themes that children and parents can easily relate to and each story delivers a useful message. Each story is an easy read to impact a basic life lesson. For example why it is important for kids not to wander away from parents in a public place, why bullying is bad, or why sharing your toys is important to make friends, or why telling lies is a bad idea and many others. All these messages are effortlessly weaved into interesting stories revolving around the Berenstain bears’ family and their friends and the environment around them.

Great as a read-aloud for kids, 2 years and above or for independent/assisted reading from 5 years and above.

TheBerenstainBears

  1. The Gruffalo – written by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Axel Scheffler

The lyrical and gripping flow of the story apart from the engrossing story line can engage the kids apart from inspiring a love for words and encouraging the right enunciation.  The beautiful illustrations add to the enchanting effect. It is told from the view point of a mouse. A mouse that ventures into a forest filled with dangerous predators. It navigates through the forest, evading each and every creature with a charming retort and cunning move till it finally comes across the legendary and terribly dangerous Gruffalo. With sparkling wit it saves itself from this monster and in the process creates a legendary status for itself too.

Great as a read-aloud for kids, 3 years and above or for independent/assisted reading from 5 years and above.

TG

  1. Goodnight Moon written by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Clement Hurd

It is a book that can quite easily become part of a child’s bedtime ritual. The narrative is like a sweet lullaby that creates a hypnotic effect and induces a feeling of assurance and comfort to relax and give in to sleep. The pictures have a soft, dreamlike quality to them.

Great as a read-aloud for kids, 1 year and above or for independent/assisted reading from 4 years and above.

GM

  1. Where the wild things are – by Maurice Sendak

This is a classic and an enchanting tale that can create an instant connect with the young and the old. The story line is fantasy, adventure with a touch of humour which can be a little edgy, depending on the interpretation. Max is a little boy who is sent to bed without supper by his mom, on account of his mischief. He falls asleep and his room transforms into a dream forest. He embarks on a journey in a boat, to find himself landing on a strange faraway land. There he comes across the monstrous inhabitants called Wild Things. He fearlessly tames them and is crowned as their king. Finally a hot delicious supper back home seems to draw Max back to the real world.

Both my kids found the theme funny and entertaining rather than frightening. But some mothers have given me their feedback about their kids finding the illustrations and the story line a tad bit creepy.

Great as a read-aloud for kids, 2 years and above or for independent/assisted reading from 4 years and above.

WT

  1. The Emperor of Absurdia by Chris Ridell

Join a little boy on a smooth flowing dreamy fun-filled adventure, as he tumbles out of his bed into a strange fantasy world of dragons, wardrobe monsters and more. Your kids and you are in for an amazing treat with this one! This book has an easy flowing, bizarre yet interesting story line generously laced with humour, and has vivid and colourful illustrations to match the theme.

Great as a read-aloud for kids, 2 years and above or for independent/assisted reading from 5 years and above

EA

  1. Cat in the Hat by Dr.Seuss

It is a story that is a wild, wacky and funny read with easy rhyming sentences that make it a popular one. The theme is light-hearted with a mischievous cat wearing a curiously tall hat, that pays a visit, when the mother is away and the little brother and sister, are home alone. The cat encourages them to join in and create some havoc around the house even as their pet goldfish responsibly keeps warning them. The cat also summons two bizarre and funny creatures, called Thing1 and Thing2 to help with the mischief.

Great as a read-aloud for kids, 3 years and above or for independent/assisted reading from 5 years and above

CH

  1. Gruffalo Child

This is as delightful and lyrical as its precursor story, The Gruffalo. This story is narrated from the point of view of the Gruffalo’s child, who wanders into the forest one night, without the parent Gruffalo’s knowledge in search of the legendary mouse, considered to be terribly dangerous. On the way it meets the various forest creatures who warn it about the legendary mouse. Finally it encounters the mouse and is outwitted by the little mouse and believes itself to have escaped from a terrible fate and returns to the safe, secure and cozy comfort of its dwelling. A memorable and enjoyable read, that will have you return to it several times.

Great as a read-aloud for kids, 3 years and above or for independent/assisted reading from 5 years and above

GC

Hope this list helps you reconnect with your already favorite reads or aids you in discovering books to captivate and enchant you and your kids with many hours of joyful reading and bonding. Do leave a comment if you found the list useful.

 

2 Comments

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s