Yes, we’re aware of the existence of Nintendo, and iPad and their army of bleeping electronic heroes and heroines. But if you really want to fire up the neurones and light up your child’s imagination, there’s a time-tested remedy that never fails: a brilliant story.
From Hungry Caterpillars to Harry Potter, Wimpy Kids to Fantastic Foxes, children’s literature launches your kids on journeys more magical and memorable more than any sonically powered hedgehog ever could.
So, in celebration of World Book Day, avoid all those tricky ‘are we nearly there yet’ questions (when you’re just about to board the ferry at Portsmouth) and embark on a proper adventure. One that they’ll never want to end…
Books for 0-3 year olds
Humorous, warm and beguiling, this is a heartwarming tale that’s been cherished by generations, and is just perfect to read aloud to tiny tots at the end of the day. If you’re not nodding off at the end of it, you’re reading it wrong! Pic right.
My Bus is a lively celebration of vehicles and transportation, occupations, pets, and even basic maths! A the busy driver picks up the cat and dog passengers and drops them off, your kids can get some rudimentary lessons on adding and subtracting en route! And there’s a nice surprise ending in store too.
Books for 3-6 year olds
Following a global smash isn’t easy – but Drew Daywalt (and brilliant illustrator Oliver Jeffers) has managed it with ease, as he tells what happens after The Day The Crayons Quit, and the waxy colouring utensils come home again. It’s as brilliantly funny, kid-friendly and bonkers as ever. We love it (big kids that we are). Main pic above.
Who doesn’t love a pirate? Sailing the seven seas in search of treasure, Captain Blue and his friends are unexpectedly sunk in this, the fourth book in a bestselling and brilliantly conceived series. Picture books rarely get as engaging and swashbuckling as this!
Books for 6-9 year olds
Dot loves super-sour apple sherberts, running fast and puzzles – especially if they’re fiendishly tricky. And with the help of her trusty sidekicks Beans and Top Dog Mcclusky, she’s always ready to solve a mystery. We love this fab new mystery series, and we’re sure your junior detectives will sniff out a hit too.
When Neil Andertol and a motley crew of video-gaming whizzes accidentally download top-secret training software and are recruited by the military to restore a botched aircraft mission, they’re playing to save the world! No pressure then! This is a madcap adventure that game-loving kids will love.
Books for 10-13 year olds
This is the story of how a boy called Bob meets a blobfish fish called Blob. And, of course, it could only have come from the mind of the brilliant David Walliams – the Roald Dahl for our ages? We think so. This is a warm, hilarious and totally unique tale of one very unusual friendship. Pic right.
Writer and comedian David Baddiel’s fast making a name for himself in the kids’ book world, and with tales as witty and wise as this, it’s no surprise. Malcolm, our hero, doesn’t ‘do’ animals. Until a fateful school trip to a…farm. Expect hilarity and a heartwarming lesson or two along the way. Lovely illustrations by Malcolm Sutherland.
Books for over 13s
Gripping and scary, this tale from the master storyteller Morpurgo is inspired by the true story of one man who might have stopped World War II. It starts with a young soldier in the trenches of World War I who, on the spur of the moment, had done what he thought was the right thing. It turned out to have been the worst mistake he ever made…
Seventeen-year-old Violet has always been expected to sit back and let the boys do all the ‘important stuff’. It’s the code her father, a member of the Reign of Terror motorcycle club, raised her to live by. Yet when her dad is killed Violet knows it’s her turn to step up and protect herself and her younger brother. An empowering, fast-paced read that discusses the power of love, friendship and forgiveness.
WIN A BUNDLE OF GREAT BOOKS
Our friends at Harper Collins have collected a brilliant bundle of books – including many of the great titles here – to keep kids happy all summer (and all journey) long! Simply head over to our Twitter or Facebook pages, and share this post. And tell us what your favourite kids book is, in the comments below. Happy reading, everybody! And, if you’re at our parcs this summer, watch out for your favourite Harper Collins kids’ book characters getting involved in our own Kids Clubs activities!