At Better Reading, we definitely believe that children’s books are not set by ages. What can be enjoyable to a child of one age can still be loved by a child who is older or younger. There is also the joy of having a book read to you, and then being able to read it yourself. And of course, some of the best children’s books can be appreciated by adults!
Sometimes though, when you’re in gift buying mode, it’s handy to have a bit of a guide and some recommendations. With this in mind, here are some of our favourite books for kids from one to twelve.
One year olds. It’s sometimes a bit difficult to buy a book when they are this little! But a good choice is Sophie’s Busy Day. This is a book based on the extremely popular toy, Sophie La Girafe, who is very well known to parents worldwide. This is a touch and feel book, perfect for encouraging tiny fingers to explore and tiny minds to develop.
Two year olds. An age when many kids really love being read to, Dear Zoo Noisy Book may be the one for you. This is the classic tale that’s been around for more than thirty years, but this edition also comes with sound buttons, perfect for little hands to press. Maybe a good idea to give this one at the end of a visit, you’ll be hearing those sounds again and again!
Three year olds. So many books these days come with a toy of the main character, and one of our favourites is the Very Cranky Bear Plush Boxset. This is a great book all on it’s own anyway, and toddlers will love the plush that makes a roaring sound. Just the thing to play in the Jingle Jangle Jungle.
Four year olds. Pig is one of our favourite characters, and this time it’s Christmas – and nobody likes Christmas more than Pig. He’ll stay up late to get all the presents… This edition of Pig the Elf also comes with a reward chart and stickers inside, great for little kids.
Five year olds. How the Grinch Stole Christmas is a classic at any time of year, but particularly at Christmas. When the Grinch hatches a dastardly plot to steal Christmas, he’s in for a big surprise. The hilarious rhymes and beautiful illustrations are timeless, and great for kids who have learnt or are learning to read.
Six year olds. Kids of all ages love animals and the Discover the Animals of the World book is full of some absolutely gorgeous illustrations. With some fascinating facts about animals from many different countries, this will both inform and amaze those longing to learn about all creatures great and small.
Seven year olds. With the movie recently released, now is the perfect time to get kids into the Captain Underpants series. George and Harold create a superhero, and they’re going to bring him to life! This series has text and pictures on each page, perfect transition for kids who are just working their way up to chapter books.
Eight year olds. Did you know David Walliams of Little Britain fame is also a genuine bestselling author? His latest book is Bad Dad, a heart-warming and hilariously brilliant story of a cops and robbers story and the best father and son adventure of all time. Still with the occasional picture on the page, this irreverent tale is one kids will love.
Nine year olds. It’s never too early to get children into the genius that is Roald Dahl, and Matilda is as brilliant as you remember it. The story of an extraordinary child who takes on the evil child-hating headmistress Miss Trunchbull for her beloved Miss Honey. Kids will love the story of a child taking on a mean teacher – and winning.
Ten year olds. When Bronte is ten, her parents are killed by priates. Except this doesn’t really bother her, as she hardly knows them. However, they’ve left some extremely detailed (and bossy) instructions in their will, meaning Bronte will be going on an adventure whether she wants to or not. The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone is absolutely recommended.
Eleven year olds. Morris Gleitzman is one of Australia’s bestselling authors, and you could go with any one of his books. One of our favourites is Two Weeks With the Queen, where Colin is on a quest to go to London, see the Queen and find the best doctor in the world to help his sick brother. Perfect for introducing kids to serious issues while still managing to be hilarious.
Twelve year olds. You may have been hearing a bit of buzz about the book Nevermoor recently, and rightly so. Billed as the next Harry Potter, and absolutely living up to the hype, this is the story of Morrigan Crow and Nevermoor, a secret magical city. This is one that’s definitely not just for kids, so make sure you borrow it back once they’re done!