Reading is an important activity in your child’s development. From success in schools to building a relationship between yourself and your child, there are a host of benefits to taking a little time to enjoy the written word.
One of the biggest benefits is supporting cognition. Kids learn all kinds of things at school and to have that reinforced at home helps them come to grips with crucial concepts like counting and language. Reading also shows how learning can be fun. Reading can also improve language skills as your little one learns about new words and ways of saying them. This can prove incredibly important later in life as phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, reading comprehension and fluency are all cornerstones of academic success. With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of books perfect for children of varying ages and abilities. Find your tyke’s favourite and settle in for a tradition that you will both enjoy for years to come.
1. The Boy At the Back of the Class
Written by Onjali Q. Rauf and illustrated by Pippa Curnick, this future classic tells a story of friendship, kindness and hope. The story follows a new boy who joins a class. His classmates soon learn that he is a refugee who has been separated by his family. While none of the grown-ups seem to be able to help, his friends come up with a daring plan to help him find his family.
This novel is full of heart and humour and comes from the founder and CEO of the human rights organisation Making Herstory, Onjali Q. Rauf. Using her years of experience this talented author has written a book that is timeless and one that generations will look back on fondly.
2. The Very Hungry Caterpillar
This classic children’s story has sold over 45 million copies worldwide and been translated into 65 languages. The colourful collage illustrations and story of hope have even made it the most read children’s book in Britain. This sturdy book is ideal for babies and toddlers with its die-cut pages and finger-sized holes perfect for touching, feeling and exploring.
Written by Eric Carle, this book is one of a series he has written. If your little loves The Very Hungry Caterpillar then why not try a few more of his titles and keep reading exciting.
3. The Girls
The Girls is a celebration of individuality, friendship and differences. Written by Lauren Ace and illustrated by Jenny Lovlie, this book follows four friends from childhood to adulthood. Each girl learns, grows and develops into their own identity while maintaining the friendship which keeps them all together. This read is sure to inspire your little one and reassure them that their identity is nothing to be ashamed of.
The Girls is one of the three finalists in the Waterstones Children’s Book of the Year 2019 and sure to be a family favourite in any home.
4. Where the Wild Things Are
The creation of Maurice Sendak, this classic was first published in 1963. Over the past 56 years, this simple tale about Max’s adventures to the land where the wild things are grows in imagination on each reading. Beautifully illustrated, the images of this fantastical world is sure to entertain your little one for hours and give them the space to imagine their own worlds, characters and stories.
Ultimately, this story is about the power of home and how even when the adventure is said and done you can return to a family who loves you dearly.
5. Ten Little Robots
Author Mike Brownley and illustrator Simon Rickerty’s sturdy board book, Ten Little Robots is the perfect aid for counting. Counting is a skill that all babies and toddlers need and this book about exploring a fantastical factory of fun robots helps your little one learn to count to 10. The sirens, engines, gadgets and buttons within also ensure learning is fun and exciting.
If your little one isn’t a fan of robots Brownley has adapted the story with other characters including monsters, dinosaurs and pirates. Whatever your child’s interests there’s a Ten Little book for everyone.
6. The Cat in the Hat
Dr Seuss needs no introduction. His iconic books are in every home, library and school around the world. The fantastical illustrations and simple rhymes are perfect for early readers and babies making this a book to cherish for years. The Cat in the Hat follows the adventures of Sally, her brother and the Cat in the Hat as they cause untold madness and mayhem on a dull day. All while showing the importance of family and love.
Dr Seuss is a staple for good reason. His books have been reviewed and revered for decades and deserve a spot in any home.
7. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Roald Dahl is renowned for his fantastical children’s stories. One of the most popular is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. This cautionary tale follows Charlie Bucket, his grandpa, and the other visitors on their tour of Willy Wonka’s magical chocolate factory. This simple story is imbued with Dahl’s creative genius and has become a worldwide success with two movies to its name and millions of adoring fans.
Your little one will love the story as well as Quentin Blake’s amazing illustrations. Just be ready to reread this one several dozen times.
8. Where’s Spot?
This beautiful board book is great for babies and toddlers. Explore where Spot is hiding with lift-the-flap pages that will keep your child engaged and intrigued with colourful illustrations. Curiosity and self-discovery are important skills in the development of children and this book is the perfect way to get your little one to take the initiative.
Eric Hill has written a wide-ranging series of Spot books including his first walk, birthday party and Christmas so be sure to see what new titles you can add to your collection.
Reading is a must for early child development. Try a few of these books and you’ll find your little one will develop good reading habits to stand them in good stead for years to come.
At Stepping Stones we love watching our students learn and grow. By reading at school and at home we can show children that learning is an ongoing experience. Happy reading!