Books that could change your child’s life

Roald Dahl Day is on 13th September and his most inspiring character remains for many, the wonderful Matilda, who takes herself to the library and starts reading all the children’s books until she has read them all. Thankfully, these days, children’s publishing is thriving and we are therefore unlikely to run out of books! In honour of the most famous of all bookworms, Library Mice has put together her top ten books to inspire children to become lifelong readers and storymakers.

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“Books Always Everywhere” by Jane Blatt & Sarah Massini 

Particularly suited for the youngest of readers, this book offers a joyous celebration of enjoying books whenever, wherever and in whichever way, which is the perfect message to convey to toddlers and pre-schoolers. Wearing books as hats, or building houses with them is all part of learning to enjoy books and reading. Beautiful illustrations and sparse text also make this a perfect short bedtime story for toddlers.

“Again!” by Emily Gravett

Cedric the dragon loves bedtime stories, and especially one specific story; he wants it read to him again, and again! When his mother gets fed up with reading, Cedric gets really cross with rather sizzling consequences! Parents will chuckle at the familiarity of the situation. This is a book full of humour which won’t dissuade little people to continue to ask for the same stories!

“The Snatchabook” by Helen Docherty & Thomas Docherty

This tale of a little creature desperate for a bedtime story is an ode to this very special part of the bedtime routine when parents and children snuggle together around a book to read a story or two. Written in verse and illustrated with warm comforting colours, this book carries a powerful message about the importance of bedtime stories.

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“Recipe for a Story” by Ella Burfoot

Using the analogy of baking a cake, Ella Burfoot explains the creative process of story-writing in an attractive and smart way. With an engaging rhyming text and wonderfully child-friendly artwork, this engaging book will tickle young children’s imagination and creativity.

“Her Idea” by Rilla Alexander

In this celebration of artistic minds for slightly older readers, we follow Sozi in her creative process as she tries to write a story: from finding an idea to procrastinating, from giving up to finally getting it right. The exuberance and dynamism of the artwork is a feast for the eyes and will delight readers.

“The Little Bookshop and the Origami Army!” by Michael Foreman 

When Joey finds out the local bookshop is being closed down, he enrols the help of Origami Girls and an army of classic book characters to stop it. Full of action and adventure, what is particularly touching about this tale is how people from different generations and walks of life are portrayed to all have something in common: the stories and characters they remember from childhood.

“The Jacket” by Kirsten Hall & Dasha Tolstikova

Told from the point of view of a book, this beautifully packaged tome depicts the special relationship between a book and its owner and describes the joys and hazards of book ownership. It even includes instructions on creating a new book jacket for well-loved books in need of new covering.

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“We Are in a Book” by Mo Willems

This short book for newly independent readers creates an interactive relationship between the characters and the reader as Gerald and Piggie realise they are inside a book and can make the reader read things out loud. Perfect as a read-aloud as well as a first independent read, it highlights all the fun that reading and stories can be, and that amazing things happen when you read a book.

“For the Love of Books: A Book Lover’s Guide for Those Who Don’t Much Like to Read” by Françoize Bouche

Aimed at junior school readers onwards, this tongue and cheek exploration of what makes books such fun is particularly well pitched at those children who might indeed be reluctant to read. Created in a cartoony doodle style, it is fun, sometimes very silly, but at its heart lies a very clear message that there is indeed fun to be found amongst the pages of books.

“Inkheart” by Cornelia Funke

What would happen if you had the power to bring book characters to life? Meggie, a bookworm, realises that the boundary between reality and stories might not be so straight-forward when a stranger appears at her door looking for her father. This truly magical, fantastical adventure for readers aged nine onwards expresses perfectly the magic conjured up by reading.

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