Bookshops (whether online or on the high street) can be overwhelming so if you’re stuck with which books to choose for your little ones, then take a look at this list. They are by no means my top ten books but they are, without a doubt, the ones that my 4 year old girl and one year old boy love! You’ll probably recognise a few of these classics from your own childhood too.
1. Any Julia Donaldson story – Every single story has been a hit so far and it's probably no surprise that Donaldson is on this list. The favourites include Monkey Puzzle, The Gruffalo and Stick Man. Fantastic rhythm and rhymes, you can’t go wrong. And if they're still not sold on the books then I also recommend the animations for 'The Gruffalo' ,'The Gruffalo's Child', 'Stick Man' and 'Room on the Broom' on Amazon Prime.
2. Any nursery rhymes collection – Just timeless. Experts in literacy and child development have discovered that if a child knows eight nursery rhymes by heart by the time they are four years old, they are usually among the best readers and spellers in their class by the time they are eight years old.
3. Giraffes Can’t Dance – Gerald's long, thin legs and crooked knees make dancing pretty hard... Luckily, Gerald meets a wise cricket who teaches him to dance to his own tune, leaving the other jungle animals in awe. Giraffes Can't Dance is a humorous children's book with a very important moral to the story. Highly recommended - it's definitely one I enjoy reading over and over again.
4. The Tiger who Came to Tea – I have a confession to make… I found this book quite boring upon first reading. But I have since been finding out more about the author, Judith Kerr. Once I started to read the book, remembering that it is focused on the child's view of the world, it became much more enjoyable.
5. Funnybones – Nostalgic for me, hilarious for them. I will never tire of reading this book and I don't think my children will ever tire of hearing it. In fact, they love it so much that they often make up their own versions of the story when we're in the car.
6. There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly – Another one they will love to hear over and over again and that they’ll soon be joining in with. A ridiculously silly version of a traditional poem, which is just asking for the audience to join in with making up their own rhymes.
7. Five Minutes’ Peace – There’s a whole series of these books which I just love and are the perfect length for bedtime reading. I am pretty sure any parent will absolutely relate to the characters in these books!
8. The Day the Crayons Quit – This is a much more recent offering but just as brilliant. It is possibly one to read over a few days for preschoolers but a lovely little tale from the perspective of crayons. A must-read for children of any age!
9. My Cat Likes to Hide in Boxes – Introduced to use by my daughter's nursery, this story has my children in stitches every time as we add in the actions and voices for each character. This is definitely the sot of story where you need to channel your inner children's television presenter.
10. Where’s The Poop? or Princess Polly’s Potty – Definitely my least favourite books on this list but, let’s face it, any books involving poo are bound to be firm favourites so I do have to include them.