Welcome to Our Top 10 Favourite Kids Books which includes – a purple Rhino, a ginger-haired Witch, a very greedy Rat, a monster with turned out toes and an incredibly out of season Christmas book.
We love reading in our house. Well, I say “we”, I actually mean “I”, I love reading and basically force it on everyone else. I kind of missed the boat with my teen, who’s actually my niece and came to live with us full time four years ago (long story). Although I try, I struggle to persuade her that books are far more than something to rest your drink on (eye roll). Which is how I find most of her school books.
My toddler, on the other hand, has been read to since before she made a rather brutal exit from my womb.
She has tons of books. And, the best thing is… She loves them! It really warms my heart when I find her huddled in her T-Pee with a book in hand, reading away to herself. Don’t get me wrong she’s not even two yet, so her reading is pretty much gibberish. But the intention is there.
Mr O is a lost cause. He reads to our toddler but all other reading is via news apps or articles on scientific researchy stuff like Black Holes and Dark Matter (or is it Black Matter?… Mind blown💥) on his phone but you won’t catch him reading actual books. Although to be fair to him, he does know a lot of sh*t about a lot of sh*t. A photographic memory will do that.
Why a Top 10 favourite books post?
I wanted to create this top ten more for documentation reasons really. When my toddler reaches her teens or even 20’s, i want to be able to look back at her favourite books and remember us reading them together. The words or phrases she leant from them and the way she already reads her gibberish with different pitches to her voice to emphasis different parts of the sentence.
A new age
Its also about the age we’re heading into. Teens, these days, are just not into proper books. They probably see them as being antwacky (clearly not likely to use the would antwacky). They’re more interested in the internet. With YouTube, WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram and everything else that has become the ‘norm’, why would they bother reading books unless told to.
So when that dreaded day comes when my 22-month-old toddler reaches 13, 14 or 15 and needs to be reminded of the importance of books, this is one of the things I’ll show her.
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So without further ado here is A Review of Our Top 10 Favourite Kids Books
Written by Usbourne
I love all of the Usbourne Touchy-Feely books and I feel bad for ranking this one a 10 on the favourites list but sadly, my little girl has outgrown it. But, it still deserves a spot in the top ten.
From around 6 months old, this book was a huge hit. With captivating pictures, each page contains a touchy-feely section with a different texture your little one can scratch or touch.
There are many books in the ‘Touchy-Feely’ collection, each one with a different animal. We also have the Unicorn, which was given to us as a gift set and included a unicorn soft toy.
The fact it comes as a board back means it can take a lot of wear. Overall a great interactive book.
Written by Petite Boutique
We’ve had this book since our toddler was born and I remember reading this to her as a baby and using the included mirror to show her the silly faces it talks about in the story. This book encourages younger ones to use facial expressions and gestures like smiling, pulling funny faces & waving “bye-bye”.
My little monster still reads it now and especially likes just looking at herself in the mirror (vain like her daddy).
With its brightly coloured animals on each page, it’s a great interactive book that can really get you laughing along with your little one.
Illustrated by Daniel Howarth
I bought this book as a gift for Mr O on Fathers day. It was a huge hit! There’s a little section on the first page that allows you to write a ‘To’ and ‘From’ making it the perfect gift for any Daddy.
Each page is filled with great graphics of different Animal Families and a different reason they love their daddy.
It would make a fab keepsake that you can look back on in years to come.
7. Who Goes Moo
Written by Petite Boutique
6 months ago this would have been ranked higher in the top 10 favourite kids book list. But, as my toddler has gotten older, it isn’t as loved as it once was. Between the ages of 12 – 18 months she couldn’t put this one down. For the moment it has to feature in our list somewhere though, this is where my little monster learnt to wave, say Bye Bye, “Moooo” and “quack quack”, making it one of my favourites too.
It’s great for teaching animal names and the noises they make too. The aim is for them to learn each animal and then remember which one ‘goes moo’ at the end. Great colours and graphics, especially with the animal face tabs at the edge of the book which allows you to head to their favourite page.
Written by Anna Kemp & Sara Ogilvie
Making this one number 6 in the list was surprisingly difficult. I’m still not sure it should be number 6, to be honest.
The story of Rhinos Don’t Eat Pancakes is a real lovely one.
When a little girl comes across a Rhino (randomly) in her house, she tries to tell her parents on different occasions but they just fob her off as they’re busy doing other things. Until they visit a zoo and realise a Rhino matching the same description is missing.
You’ll have to read it to find out what happens but i will tell you, it’s a great ending.
It’s humorous but also highlights a great message to all parents. It’s a reminder that sometimes we allow ourselves to get carried away with the business of our everyday lives and that means we might find ourselves too busy for our own kids.
Although this one is close to my heart, my little monster does not do well with paperback and it’s not one she can read herself – which she absolutely loves to do. I’ve had to mend the front and back covers many times with sellotape, so just for now, this one has been put on the top shelf until she gets a little older or i find a board book version.
If you don’t have this one, you really should get it.
Written By Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler
Our version of this book came in a ‘Board’ Book Box Set and accompanied Stick Man which, you will find, also features in our Top 10 Favourites Kids Books list. Actually, you will find many of the remaining books were written by the same author as The Highway Rat. We are huge Julia Donaldson fans in this house! She really is the dogs danglies of children’s books.
The Highway Rat is a ‘Good’ trumps ‘Evil’ story (kid-friendly, don’t worry).
The Rat is a greedy selfish bully, who steals everyone’s food for himself. However, a clever little duck stitches him up and by the end of the book, he gets his comeuppance.
The graphics are fabulous and I love how you see some of the same smaller animals from the other books by the same author, like Owls, Squirrels and the Birds.
Written by Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler
This is fairly new to us (i know, where have we been?). We bought it from a market stall in a little village near to where we live for £2.00, what a bargain! We love it too and it has become one of the ‘go-to’ bedtime books. I love how the story rhymes and the fact that the Witch has ginger hair just like my little monster.
The Witch has a fantastic broom which by the end of the book, ends up housing all sorts of animals. But not before she has a run-in with a rather scary dragon. The best phrase out of the whole book – “BUZZ OFF! – THAT’S MY WITCH!”
3. T’was the Night Before Christmas
The is a collection of Christmas Stories and Rhymes and although it’s completely out of season, my little one does not care. She sings along to ’12 Days of Christmas’ loud and proud. And obviously, I have to too.
It has a very traditional feel to it with its ribbon marker and old fashioned graphics and stories. Some of which i hadn’t even heard of before this little book, like The Little Match Girl (how had I never read The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Anderson??)
As much as this is a Christmas book, it has really got my little one using her voice for singing. There are some lovely stories and the particularly tear jerker at the end.
I wanted to include a link for all of the top 10 books but i haven’t been able to find this one online. It was given to us by a family friend who has had it for a long time so i don’t know if it’s available to buy anymore. But, if you’re able to find it (I’m sure there are different versions of it), it’s definitely one you will want to keep in the family for many years.
2. Stick Man
Written By Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler
This is another great example of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler.
Stick man goes out for a jog and gets swept away from home. He spends the rest of the book trying to get back to his family after getting taken on different adventures.
This book really puts value on Family and it’s a huge bedtime favourite in our house. My little monster reads along with me and shouts out the words that she actually knows how to say like “Ho Ho Ho Ho. I’m stuck get me OUT!”
This is number two on the list because we read it a lot! (I really don’t need the book to read it anymore) It really is one of the most ‘go-to’ books we have. It’s also given me a determination to find somewhere to play ‘Poo Sticks’ with the kids.
And that leaves us with… Drum role please……..
Written By (once again) Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler
As children’s books go, this has to be one of the most popular in many homes. The same is true for our household. And before you say it, yes, i know there are two books here. But come on, you can’t read one without the other. Even if i wanted to review them separately, choosing between the two would be impossible.
The first of the two – The Gruffalo, starts with a little mouse being approached by various larger predators. Throughout the book, the mouse uses his brain and outsmarts all of these creatures and avoids becoming dinner. Then comes a much bigger, scarier creature, the Gruffalo. And once again, the mouse outsmarts the Gruffalo and in doing so, sends this big mouse eating monster running for the hills.
In the second of the two books – The Gruffalos Child, we see the Gruffalos child being told tales of the ‘big bad mouse’. Curiosity gets the better of this little Gruffalo and he sneaks out of the cave on the hunt for the mouse. While on his travels, he bumps into all the creatures that have already been seen off by the ‘big bad mouse’. By the end of the book, the Gruffalos child comes across the mouse but is soon outsmarted by this clever little creature and runs off back to the safety of his cave.
The two books flow from one to the other wonderfully and are a great lesson for children and adults… It doesn’t matter how big and scary something/someone might be in comparison to you, wit and brains will always triumph over big and scary. Unless of course big and scary also has brains and wit, then I’m afraid you’re screwed!
We’ve had this book box set from before our toddler was born. And although it’s certainly showing signs of wear, the fact it’s a ‘board’ book means it withstands the rough treatment by a boisterous little monster.
We’ve come to love all the individual characters within the story and have a few cuddly toys to match too. For us, this is the best out of all the Julia Donaldson books we’ve read and fully deserves the No. 1 spot.
If you’ve enjoyed reading about our Top 10 Favourite Kids Books and have few suggestions of your own favourites, i would love to hear them.
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