5 Books to Read With Your Kids Before They Start School
It’s so nice to be able to stop at the end of the day and read with your kids. I’ll be the first to hold my hands up and say I haven’t read to my son as often as I should have. He’s all about playing and having fun and rarely wants to listen to stories. When I was pregnant I said I would read to him every day from the day he was born. I was hideously unprepared for how much other important stuff would need doing.
My son is now a bit older and he has started taking some level of interest in books, particularly those with a solid rhyme scheme and a lot of repetition. I’m no expert but I think the anticipation of me repeating a line or phrase that he knows is really exciting. He often squeals with delight when he knows what the next line is.
Of course, chosing just five was no easy task. There are so many truly brilliant books for kids out there and the list does keep growing. I have included books that we keep coming back to, books that he brings to us to be read and a firm favourite from my own childhood.
1. How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? By Jane Yolen and Mark Teague
This is part of a series of books and we love them all. This was the first one we got and we found it dishes out just the right amount of excitement to keep our little guy interested and giggling before it winds right down to a beautiful “…goodnight, goodnight little dinosaur” at the end. As he gets older I hope he also starts to take lessons from these books, which are not so subtly filled with behavioural advice for ‘little dinosaurs’.
2. Someone Bigger By Jonathan Emmett and Adrian Reynolds
A slightly more recent discovery on our part but it has quickly become one of our son’s favourite books. He ‘reads’ it himself a lot and brings it to us regularly. I suspect it’s because there is a fire engine in there about halfway through but the book has a gentle rhythm that keeps him captivated. The repeated line “This kite needs someone bigger” never fails to get a laugh.
3. The Goat that Gloats by Joelle Dreidemy and Leyland Perree
We got this book when I was pregnant in a second hand book shop and we have loved it ever since. The whole book follows a very clear and bold rhyme scheme and although he’s not old enough to appreciate the moral of the story yet we hope our son is absorbing it all. It’s a very fun read filled with light humour – this one is for the parents as much as the kids. A perfect book to read with your kids.
4. One, Two, Flea! By Allan Ahlberg and Colin McNaughton
My first experience with this book was several years ago when my oldest nephew was given it at the end of his first school year by his teacher. He read it to us and we read it to him and we all howled with laughter. At seven, I found him reading it to his younger brother, both were in hysterics. Fast forward again and my little boy thinks it’s brilliant. Having almost forgotten about it until it turned up in a jumble sale box, I was so exited to share what has now become a bit of a family tradition
5. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury
Here it is, the old favourite. I used to make my mum and nan (or anyone who would dare to enter my house really) read this to me over and over until none of us even needed the book in order to recite it in its entirety. It’s such an adventure and it needs to have the actions and the sounds to go with it. This isn’t a book, this is a script for a performance. A classic story to read with your kids and love for generations.