As a parent, reading with your children is the perfect opportunity to spend some quality time with them and not to mention that it is a great way of getting the little ones to sleep. Don’t forget though, reading to your kids doesn’t just have to be a one-sided affair, getting them involved can be a great way to improve their reading skills and it can give them a reason to enjoy reading.
But what are the best books to read? There are thousands of books to choose from, so, to make your life a little easier we have put together a short list of some of the books that we think are the perfect picks. We have broken the list up into sections that cover a selection of titles across some reading ages groups.
First, we have a selection of books designed for the little ones. Each of these books has a beautiful story and incredible illustrations so everyone can follow along with the story regardless of reading ability.
The transformation from caterpillar to butterfly has rarely been told with such marvel and vibrance as it is in The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Easy reading combined with eye catching illustrations make this book essential to any new parents.
This wonderfully fanciful tale of the tiger who joined a little girl and her mum for tea has been adored by numerous generations. The gleeful imagery and cheerful story create a fantastic platform to introduce your children to reading.
The Gruffalo is the perfect bedtime story that tells the tale of a brave young mouse that scares away all the predators in the woods by warning them about the big scary monster that lurks there. But what happens when the mouse's fictional monster turns out to be real? The Gruffalo has been voted England’s best bedtime story and has even been performed on Broadway!
The tale of a most endangered bear from deepest darkest Peru with a love for marmalade. Of course, it’s the Paddington bear, fondly named after the station in which characters Mr. and Mrs. Brown first found him. This much-loved classic is a bubbly book that is packed with adventure and excitement.
With a legacy that spans generations, Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit is a creature that will go down in history as one of literature's most beloved characters. The tale is one of daring and mischief as Peter and his friends do exactly what they are told not to when they pay the angry Mr. McGregor and his garden a little visit.
Next up, we have a selection of books that are perfect for children that are just starting to build up their reading ability and beginning to take on slightly more complicated books.
An insightful and curious string of adventures falls upon Barney after he stumbles across the rough and ready cave dwelling of a rather scruffy-looking boy called Stig. After learning how to understand each other better they quickly become good friend and before long they find themselves embarking on all sorts of exciting and often very practical adventures.
The tale of Watership Down is one of adventure, sadness, and hope. It follows the daring escape of a family of rabbits to a mysterious promised land after hearing the news that their home faces certain destruction.
Published all the way back in 1906, The Railway Children has been a family favourite for over 100 years. The story follows the exploits of a small family that is broken apart when the father is wrongfully accused of spying and taken away to prison. The remaining three children and their mother are forced to move out of the city and live a much poorer life in the country.
After spying a rabbit pop a watch into its pocket, Alice decides to investigate, but unbeknown to her, this moment of curiosity sparks a whole sequence of adventures and surprises. She is soon swept off to wonderland where she encounters an invisible cat, talking cards, and, of course, the mad hatter.
This beloved tale of Christmas cheer is one that everyone knows, but that is not to say that it should be missed off our list. A Christmas Carol tells the tale of Mr. Scrouge and his encounter with the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come.
Finally, we come to our top picks for books to read with or to children over the age of 10. In this list, we have a selection of books that will challenge your children’s reading ability. We might even recommend that you read the book alongside your child, that way you can share your ideas and thoughts as the story progresses.
Little Women tells the story of 4 sisters and their struggles as they grow up and find their own way in the world. Each sister has their own strengths and their own weaknesses, and each must make something of themselves in a harsh world. Little Women is a classic and has been highly regarded since it was first published back in 1868.
Regarded as one of the greatest works of fantasy fiction, The Hobbit is an adventure that never gets old. The story is that of a small unsuspecting Hobbit who finds himself on a great adventure where he encounters a great many things from trolls that turn to stone in the sunlight to a dragon that slumbers upon a mountain of gold. The Hobbit is an excellent read for children of around 10 years and over because of its vibrant use of descriptive language and gripping plot line while still being easy to digest.
Of course, Harry Potter is a must-read for any child, and the reading difficulty is well suited to most reading abilities. The story follows Harry Potter and his friends as they start out their wizarding lives at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. We recommend starting out at book one so your child can follow Harry and his friends as they grow up and embark on new adventures.
Goodnight Mr. Tom tells the heart-warming story of a young boy (Willie Beech) who gets moved out of London to the countryside to escape the Blitz during the Second World War. He is placed with Mr. Thomas Oakely, a rather grumpy man who is at first reluctant to take on the boy but as the story progresses, the two build an unlikely relationship that eventually helps Willie escape his dark past and find happiness. A great read that pulls at the heartstrings and provides a small glimpse into what life may have been like for a child during the Second World War.
This book is one that can be enjoyed by children and adults, all that is needed is a love for adventure and the curiosity to go out and find it. Swallows and Amazons is the first in Arthur Ransome’s classic series and it follows the lovable Walker family with Nancy and Peggy Blackett as they make full use of the small yet sturdy vessel Swallow to branch out and find new adventures.
So that completes our guide on the best books to read with your children. we have tried to compile a diverse list so there is something on there for everyone, from easy picture books with simple text to longer novels with no words at all. If you think we have missed a boom and you would like us to talk about it, please let us know on our Facebook.
If you’re looking for some more book recommendations whether for personal use or to give as a gift, have a browse through our other content on our blog and find your inspiration. Have your kids outgrown the old books? why not try and get some money back on them by selling them through the WeBuyBooks App?