Top 10 children’s book recommendations

Blog, Children's activities, Kids, Lockdown, Parenting advice, Uncategorized


“Reading gives us places to go, when we have to stay where we are”

A very apt quote while we’re in lockdown, right?!  Reading not only provides a different world to escape to, but it provokes imagination and is a lovely way to have some down time, especially while we are experiencing Groundhog Day and can’t go anywhere!

I don’t know about you, but when I was a little girl, I used to love reading books. I remember tucking myself away in my bedroom and reading The Magic Faraway Tree collection, Ronald Dahl and The Babysitters Club (cringe, I know but I was only 11!).

I hope my children develop a love of books (but I’m not going to force it). My 6 year old daughter isn’t a massive fan of reading yet, but my 5 year old can be often found in his room, flipping through the pages of books and looking at the pictures, deep in concentration.

Bedtime in our house is one of my favourite times of the day. Not just because it means that peace will soon be restored in the house (!) but because it also means story time. Over the years we have developed quite the collection of books and after you read the same stories over and over again, you tend to have some favourites. You also start to look out for different books to read to your little ones, so you can have a bit of a change!

So I thought I would share our top 10 children’s book recommendations. We have quite a lot of favourites, so my little ones and I found it really hard to cull it down to only 10. However, we did it and here they are!

Happy reading!

Cheryl x

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1. ‘Ten Little’ Collection – Written by Mike Brownlow & Simon Rickerty

This is a lovely series of books that teaches counting in a fun way. There are lots of different themes to choose from, to suit any little one. I am not sure how many there are, but we have and love:

Ten Little Pirates                                    Ten Little Superheroes

Ten Little Dinosaurs                              Ten Little Monsters

Ten Little Princesses                             Ten Little Monkeys

Ten Little Aliens                                     Ten Little Robots

Ten Little Elves (we always pull this one out at Christmas!)

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2. ‘The Koala Who Could’ and other stories – Written by Rachel Bright and Jim Field

This is a beautiful story about being brave. Kevin the Koala likes to keep things exactly the same and doesn’t like change. When his friends invite him down to join them, he always declines and stays up in his tree – too scared of the unknown. Then one day a wood pecker comes along and starts pecking at his beloved home. Eventually the tree starts to break and Kevin has to let go. It’s then that he realises that life can be great when you let go and try something new!

There are other books in this lovely series that teach children about sharing, working together and friendship.

3. Have You Filled a Bucket Today? – Written by Carol McCloud

This is a heartwarming story that teaches children about kindness and respect, using the concept of an invisible bucket, which everyone carries around with them. Certain actions like giving Mummy/Daddy a cuddle and sharing toys, will fill up people’s buckets and other actions like bullying will dip into buckets.

I started reading this book to my daughter when she was 3 and then my son when he came along. It was then read to them when they started school, which was a nice way to hammer home the concept!

4. The Girls – Written by Lauren Ace & Jenny Loulie

My mother-in-law bought this book for my daughter and it is one of her faves.

This book is a beautiful story about a friendship between 4 girls – Sasha, Lottie, Alice and Leela. It follows their friendship as 4 young girls growing up into 4 beautiful and strong women.

‘The four girls were as different as they were the same, and they were the best of friends.’

The story covers about the ups and downs of friendship and even though the 4 girls have very different personalities, they have a bond that lasts a lifetime.

5. Oi Frog/Cat/Puppies/Duck-billed Platypus – Written by Kes Gray & Jim Field

This is a fantastic and funny rhyming book collection that starts with a frog in ‘Oi Frog’ who learns from a cat that every animal has it’s special place to sit.

‘Cats sit on mats, hares sit on chairs, mules sit on stools and gophers sit on sofas, but a Frog does not want to sit on a log!’

It has great illustrations and my two think the book is hilarious and love remembering ‘what sits on what.’

6. All The Ways to be Smart – Davina Bell & Allison Colpys

I bought this book when my daughter started coming home from school upset that she couldn’t do certain things as well as her friends. It is one I also like to read to my little boy, who at times feels overshadowed by his big sister.

This great book pretty much does what it says on the tin! It teaches children that the traditional way of being smart, is not the only way and there are many other things a person can be ‘smart’ at. My children like it, because it covers a vast range of different activities that are ‘smart’ and are many of the things they like to do.

‘Smart is not just ticks and crosses, smart is building boats from boxes… This book is a much-loved ode to all the unique and wonderful qualities that make children who they are.’

This is a great little confidence booster of a book!

7. Tiger Has A Tantrum and other stories – Written by Sue Graves & Trevor Dunton

There are a number of titles in this Behaviour Matters series, which address many of the different emotions children might experience. The main reason I bought this bumper pack, was because my son has difficulties managing his anger (something I am sure affects lots of children) and there was a book in the series titled “Tiger Has A Tantrum.’

It is about a Tiger who finds it very hard to control his temper. ‘This story gives children the opportunity to explore what makes people feel angry and how to cope when they or a friend get really cross.’

At the back of each book, there is a helpful guide that talks you through what to do before and after reading the book.

Examples of other titles in this series are: Giraffe is Left Out (a book about feeling bullied) and Lion’s In A Flap (a book about feeling worried).

8. The Invisible String – Written by Patrice Karst

‘It’s an invisible string made of love. Even though you can’t see it, you can feel it deep in your heart and know that you are always connect to the ones you love.’

This book is a favourite in our house, because my children have grandparents and an Aunty and Uncle who live overseas and they haven’t been able to see them in a very long time, thanks to Covid.

A mum tells her children the story of how we all have invisible strings that are connected to the ones we love (including those who have turned into angels). It is a beautiful concept and story and I highly recommend it, especially during current times where we are unable to see the ones we love and hug and kiss them.

9. Rosie Revere Engineer – Written by Andrea Beaty

I am like every other mother out there and I want my daughter to know that she can be anything she wants to be and that in life it is important to never give up. So it makes me happy to know that she enjoys this book and others in the series, just as much as I do.

‘This is the story of Rosie Revere, who dreams of becoming a great engineer. Shy Rosie constructs great inventions from odds and ends. Afraid of failure, she hides them away under her bed. [Until her] great-great-aunt Rose shows her that a first flop isn’t something to fear – it’s something to celebrate.’

10. Pirate Love Underpants and other stories – Written by Claire Freedman and Ben Cort

These pirates SO love underpants,

They’re on a special quest,

To find the fabled Pants of Gold,

For the Captain’s treasure chest.’

Both of my children love the ‘… Love Underpants’ collection. Aliens Love Underpants was the first one and since then, there have been other great ones added to the collection:

Pirates Love Underpants

Aliens in Underpants Save the World

Monsters Love Underpants

Dinosaurs Love Underpants

These books tell funny, rhyming stories that revolve around…you guessed it…underpants! The books contain lots of colourful and hilarious illustrations to keep your little ones entertained.