Reading With Children

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?