We have many, many children's books all over the house. We have them in most rooms of the house so the children can easily pick up a book whenever they chose to. I have acquired most of the books from school fairs and summer fetes which has meant I have not had to spend a fortune on them. Sometimes, you can manage to get a whole bagful for £1 near the end when everyone's clearing up. If you are looking for cheap books, this is a great option for you. Also, check out car boot sales and jumble sales. I have even bought them cheaply from libraries before, as they sell off old books every now and again.
Anyway, on to the list...
Alfie books by Shirley Hughes
These books have to be my favourites. There is a whole collection of Alfie stories written by Shirley Hughes. I remember these books being read to me as a child so perhaps part of my love of these books is nostalgia, I'm sentimental like that. However, I just love the stories and the way it is written. Also, the pictures are amazing to look at too. These books follow the life of Alfie, a young boy, and his little sister Annie Rose. They are stories about his adventures; camping in Grandma's garden, playing with friends, building dens, walking in the rain and other everyday childhood escapades. Then, there are stories about his experiences; getting locked in the house, the house flooding from a burst pipe and the death of a neighbours cat. There are so many wonderful adventures to read about and enjoy and I really would highly recommend this series of books. These are the kind of books I never tire of reading to my children.
Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
These classic books by Beatrix Potter are another of my absolute favourites. We have the whole collection and I have spoken about my love for these books before. They have even inspired us to do some Peter Rabbit-themed imaginative play recently which saw us building Peter Rabbit's burrow. Beatrix Potter was a fabulous writer and artist creating imaginative stories about woodland creatures which are sure to capture any child's imagination. The pictures are so captivating and stories so compelling, it is easy to see how they've stood the test of time and are as popular today as ever. The language may be slightly difficult for very young children to understand, but these books have been enjoyed by my eldest since she was around three years old. I would thoroughly recommend these storybooks to everyone.
The Trouble with Jack by Shirley Hughes
Shirley Hughes has also written many other great stories. One of our favourites is this one. It is about a boy called Jack and his older sister Nancy. Jack is an inquisitive boy who is always getting into mischief one way or another. He ends up almost destroying his sister's birthday party by messing up the food and decorations just before the guests arrive. Luckily, it was salvageable and Nancy has a wonderful party. I love the quote at the end when Nancy finally accepts that, 'As he's my brother, I've got to put up with him whatever he's like'.
Tyrannosaurus Drip by Julia Donaldson
Julia Donaldson is a well-known and well-loved author, perhaps best known for her book 'The Gruffalo'. We absolutely love 'The Gruffalo' and it's sequel, but we also enjoy lot's of her other books too. One of our favourites is this one; 'Tyrannosaurus Drip'. It tells the story of a dinosaur egg which was stolen from the nest of one dinosaur and dropped into the nest of another dinosaur. When the eggs hatch, the mother thinks there is something odd about this dinosaur as he is different from her other offspring. He doesn't fit in very well with his foster mother and her family but eventually finds his way back to his own species. It is a wonderful story with lots of rhyme and repetitive phrases that the children always join in with. This is another book I never tire of reading to my children.
Love you forever by Robert Munsch
This book is a wonderful book explaining a parent's love for her child. It tells the story of a boy growing up and all the things he gets up to at certain ages but explains how the mother still loves him no matter what. The mother always sings a song to her son every night whilst he sleeps and children will love the repetition of this. The song goes like this, 'I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living, my baby you'll be'. Such beautiful words to say to your child. The story ends with the son singing the same song to his poorly, eldery mother (changing the lyrics slightly) and finally to his newborn daughter. It is lovely to see it being repeated to the next generation. A truly, lovely story perfect for showing the love between parent and child.
Mad about minibeasts by Giles Andreae and David Woytowycz
D was given this book as a gift when she was around two years old and it was an immediate hit. We were soon reading this every night before bed as well as throughout the daytime too. It is not a story as such but an introduction to different minibeasts. It teaches children about these insects and bugs through short rhymes. D quickly picked up the words to the rhymes and soon ended up 'reading' the book to me instead of the other way round! We would often say these rhymes whilst going for walks. This book is a great way to teach children about minibeasts in a fun and interactive way.
Green eggs and ham by Dr Suess
Some people like Dr Suess and others, like my Dad, do not. I love Dr Suess books. They may be a little unusual but I happen to like them and so do my children. The stories are clever, inventive and imaginative. One of our favourites is 'Green eggs and ham'. It is about a person being coaxed into eating green eggs and ham even though he does not want to eat them as he says he doesn't like them. After a lot of persuasion, he finally gives in and tries the green eggs and ham. To his surprise, he finds out that he likes them. It often reminds me of my own children who can occasionally be fussy eaters and I do find this book a good way to explain that if they try some new food, even if they think they do not like it, they may actually love it. I like books that teach meaningful messages like that.
We're going on a bear hunt by Michael Rosen
This book is a classic isn't it? I remember having it read to me as a child and thoroughly enjoying it. As you can see, we have this one in both English and Turkish. As we are a multilingual family, I try to get books in Turkish as well so the children can hear both languages through storytelling. If you are a bilingual family with young children you might like to take a look at this post about bilingual language strategies. The book itself is such fun for young children. It tells the story of a family going on a bear hunt and their adventures along the way. They have to swish through grass, splash through a river, stumble through a forest, as well as other things. I love having this book in Turkish too and finding out (I am not a native Turkish speaker) what the words for 'splish, splash, hoo, woo, swish, swash' etc. are in Turkish. It was educational for me as well as the children. Also, for the children, it was really nice that their Dad could read them a story in his own language. You can get many bilingual books these days, it's wonderful.
So there you have it, my list of the best books for preschoolers. Have you read any of these? Which are your favourite?
This post contains affiliate links.