We have mountains of books in our house, walls in actual fact! I’ve started using my iPad to download books, but really, I love the smell, texture and the “real-ness” of books. We read a lot in our house too; at the minute, we have a good hour reading session in the morning, before we even get out of bed. James wakes, spends a few minutes snuggling and trying, seriously, to climb back inside (I sometimes think he feels if he squishes his face into me enough he will burrow in) While I am being loved to death, Grace is selecting a large pile of books, and soon the two older boys jump in (and sometimes even Thomas!) and we start. Nighttime calls for another reading session, and throughout the day when a beloved book is found and thrust at me complete with a delighted bouncing child…
I thought I’d talk about some of the books that are perennial favourites in our house. We have a specific basket of books upstairs which every few months I change around (Grace regularly will get me to re-read the same stories, especially when she is tired. She likes the peace and repetition of the words) We were trying to purge some books this week from our wall of books in the sitting room (we are moving things around a bit) and found loads of old favourites, so we did a quick freshen up of our book basket: it always leads to major reading sessions and great excitement “Remember this one? When Alfie was a boy at a wedding and Annie Rose joined in too!” “And remember this one? The mouse and the Gruffalo!”
Some of our absolute favourites in this house are the Julia Donaldson-Axel Scheffler combination. In fact, any Julia Donaldson book is welcomed with open arms.
Usborne also publish a fantastic range of books: these Phonics Readers have gone through all our children; The stories are usually fairly ridiculous, but amusing, and the illustrations are clear and lovely. The Farmyard Tales stories (not pictured) about Apple Tree Farm are undoubtably James’ favourite: I rarely will get away with reading just one or two, we have a collection of stories and if that is landed on my lap, I need to be prepared to read most if not all of them (I can practically say them off by heart by now!)
We go through Oliver Jeffers phases: I LOVE the illustrations and the stories, but they are a little quirky, and sometimes the little ones need to be in the mood.
Alfie and Annie Rose by Shirley Hughes are just gorgeous: the illustrations are so beautiful and detailed, the little ones love pouring over them, and when I read them, the older ones always spot things happening in the background, or something relating to one of the other stories or poems. We have a couple of collections of Alfie and Annie Rose stories and poems, I would highly recommend them.
When I read to the older boys, Diary of Wimpy Kid is usually top of the list (they are so hilarious, it’s hard to stop reading or laughing) or Laura Ingalls Wilder or often some of Enid Blytons adventure stories (I just found a circus story so I’ve that earmarked) I have many books that I had when I was small, so it is lovely to re-visit them, decades (eeek!!) later 🙂 Even our fluid and confident readers love being read to; I often feel I’m not reading to the older ones as much as I would like, but like everything, this goes in phases too.
I’m sure I have forgotten a few classics…! I might add to this list yet! What books are favourites in your house?
Also a big fan of the gruffalo here.
My favourites to read to a toddler or preschooler are Chris Haughton’s books, especially A Bit Lost.
Love this Emily! Gonna hit amazon now! We were big readers with the girls, but Mark has the attention span of a gnat, if we get to page two it’s a miracle! But maybe boys need a different take! Thanks for the suggestions! X
Lisa, haven’t come across that yet… I’ll check them out straight away. Woo hoo! New ideas!! Thank you xx
Deb, James wouldn’t sit still until very recently for anything except the Farmyard tales. He is still a bit disruptive as he wants to talk about every picture, but his fascination adds to the delight of reading it!
My two girls are deeply caught up with The Folk of the Faraway Tree at the moment, they talk about it on every car journey now, and are very worried that the bad trolls are destroying the tree (I had to reassure them!) So we need some new books soon – I’m thinking more Enid Blyton since we’re in the mood. I love all the Julia Donaldson books too. My little boy is 21 months old and seems to like looking through books but we don’t read to him enough, so I need to fix that.
I love that you have a reading session in the morning, that sounds so lovely!
I LOVED the Folk of The Faraway Tree when I was small… I came across it recently, I must start reading that to them too X
Emily, it such a precious thing to have a reading culture in the home…I love the fact that all of yours go on board for the journey, sounds so lovingly snuggly!…..repetition is fantastic for the little ones…..it is like a comfort thing……..some of the happiest memories come from stories! My brother still has a vivid memory of the summer we spent with me reading Watership Down aloud to him every night. We love Julia Donaldson here too ..Ferdia loved the Gruffalo but when we accidentally came across the film which made the Gruffalo more scary and dark than was originally in his imagination he was a bit put off………., I got the most amazing book out of the library last week with a beautiful story that really spoke to both of us…A Friend for Little Bear by Harry Horse…..sometimes I am so fascinated by what ‘stories’ work and which ones seem not to touch a chord at all…….if I come across one and it really grips Ferdia and is beautiful and magical at the same time I always marvel at the author! Going to check out the Usborne Phonics now and the Folk of the Faraway Tree……..books really open up the world..if there was 1 thing I ‘d like to give my child it’s a love of books because he’d never have to rely on anyone to ‘teach’ him ever..he can discover the world for himself! Looking forward to Diary of a Wimpy kid!! Thanks Emily…great post
Thanks Alison for such a lovely comment! I am always fascinated too, at what they love to hear. I have a rule though; if I don’t like reading it, I don’t read it often: it’s rare, but there are books which I dread to see coming. I think that’s why I love Julia Donaldson, they are a pleasure to read! X
Ditto!! I do a clean out every now and again too and recently found an old favourite called Max the Little red Tractor. 2.5 yr old is currently enjoying a mad tractor phase so I can’t wait to take this one out for him. Thanks for the Apple Tree farm reminder. Barn on Fire was coming out of my ears a few years back. Must dig that one out too. I could talk all day about The Gruffalo. P.S. Love the new look!!!
Lovely post Emily. Apple tree farm and all the J D and AS books a great hit here too. The tiger who came to tea a current hit. Also recently joined library and enjoying books from the tiger press.. bears and the big storm. And good night little one. . All about little fox who doesn’t want to go to bed, has really settled my little nearly 3 yr kld DS.
@Linda, I’ve never been a fan of Dr. Seuss either…
Thanks Gwen 🙂 the New Look is a very long, slow process!!!
Brid, I think the Tiger who came to tea is next on our list… We haven’t come across the bear books! I’ll check out our library soon too! Thanks for the comment x
This is a lovely post. I read to my son almost from the day he was born until a few years ago when he started reading on his own. He’s now 14 and an avid reader.
Be careful or we’ll all be calling to your house in the mornings for the reading sessions, sounds absolutely fabulous and just right. What a lovely post.
I read to all of mine until they were about 10! But sadly they now find the lure of the screen too strong 🙂
Only that I have strict time allowances for screens and no tv, that would be exactly the scenario in our house!!
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