Our favourite pastime! The wonderful world of Children’s Books! 

When most people find out they are pregnant they start stockpiling the useful stuff- baby clothes, nappies, maybe going out and buying the little bean a special ‘first’ teddy. For me however the news we’d waited so long to hear gave me a ticket to indulge in one of my favourite passions- Children’s books! I have always loved reading and that past time for me started as a child when our parents would take us to the library or read us bedtime stories; it was the era of the wonderful Mr Dahl and I remember night after night of being transported to friendly giants caves or the bedrooms of forgotten genuis girls or the burrows of the fantastic mr fox! So by the time George was born he had more books than baby grows and was read to from the point of being able to vaguely support his own head! In the same way that some husbands fear the credit card bill coming when they see bags from designer shoe shops, Jon starts to twitch if I go to Waterstones unsupervised! 

One of my favourite Christmas traditions is our advent book box. I buy books over the course of a year and also find ones at the back of the shelf that we haven’t read in a while and wrap them up. We open one a day and have a special Christmas blanket that we snuggle under and read our new book together. Sat next to the twinkly lights on the tree and it makes me feel very Christmassy! Our favourite thing to do is to snuggle down as a group and read a story! It’s probably the only time our children are genuinely still and they will literally sit for hours listening. 

So because I’m a book geek, I put together a top ten of our favourite books to look back on with nostalgia in years to come (and also because I love a recommendation for books!) However, ten became 25! In no particular order, here goes! 

1. Dear Zoo: Rod Campbell

A staple favourite in our house! It’s a right of passage and they all get one bought at birth from nana! We have multiple copies- most of which have a torn lion cage! Watching George and Esme read it to Ted last week melted my heart!

2. Kitchen Disco; Clare Foges and Al Murphy

A book about fruit that comes alive over night and throw a massive bender in your kitchen! Pissed up Pineapples- what’s not to love!?

3. Pants: Giles Andreae and Nick Sharratt 

A book all about pants- the kids love it! 

4. The Lion Inside: Rachel Bright and Jim Field

A lovely tale of a mouse who needs to find the courage to be brave and makes an unlikely friend in a lion. 

5. The story of the little Mole who knew it was none of his business: Werner Holzwarth

A mole wakes up one day with a poo curled on his head and sets off on a mission to find out which animal so rudely woke him up! A walk through the farmyard investigates all the different animals and their poo! A book about excrement… of course the kids love it! 

6. Oddsocksosaurus: Zainab Mian

A must for any dinosaur lovers. A little boy takes you through all his different moods and the kinds of dinosaurs that he becomes- a good one for getting children to recognise that its ok to have different moods! 

7. How to wash a woolly Mammoth: Michelle Robinson

A lovely set of instructions about bath time! Lovely illustrations and always makes ours giggle. 

8. Where the Wild Things are: Maurice Sendak

An oldie but a goodie! We like to practice roaring our terrible roars! 

9. Grandad’s Island: Benjamin Davies

Don’t read in an emotional state! It’s a lovely book about a little boy who loses his grandfather but is told in a gentle story of travelling to an island and Grandad choosing to stay there. It would be a great book for helping children deal with a bereavement but it is also just a lovely story of a relationship with grandparents. 

10. Jack and the Flum Flum Tree: Julia Donaldson

Probably my favourite Donaldson. Great rhythm and rhyme throughout and the kids love it! Gets us bouncing every time! 

11. Where’s my Teddy: Jez Alborough

Eddies Teddies name is Freddie- and he’s lost! A fab book of confusion and lost bears! We love this! 

12. There’s a Bear in my Chair: Ross Collins

If you go to the BBC IPlayer, Tom Hardy reads this one. You may need to watch it, 30 or 40 times to truly understand the plot line!! ;0) A funny story about a bear who steals the angry little mouses chair! 

13. Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam: Tracey Corderoy

A great story of two naughty robber dogs who see the error of their ways and turn to baking! Great follow up too- The Cat burglar is actually even better! 

14. And Tango Makes three: Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell

A beautiful story based on real life. The keeper in Central Park zoo noticed that two of the male penguins had fallen in love and were mimicking the other penguin couples by sitting on a stone to try to hatch it. They give them a spare egg to adopt and Tango is born. A great story to get kids to realise that not all families look the same! 

15. Blown Away! Rob Biddulph

One of our absolute favourites and an author I’m desperate to hear more from! 3 penguins, a seal and a polar bear inadvertently hitch a lift from the North Pole to the rainforest on the end of a kite string. Love the illustrations too. 

16. GRRRRR! Rob Biddulph

A contest is held each year to find the best bear in the woods- Fred Bear is the undisputed champion but Boris is a new bear in town and has a sneaky trick up his jumper! Love Love Love this! 

17. Giraffes Can’t Dance: Giles Andreae

Just because someone tells you you can’t dance, doesn’t mean you have to listen to them! A story about growth mindsets and trying hard! 

18. Sloth Slept on: Fran Preston Gannon

A curious creature appears in the garden- who is he and where does he come from? Great comedy through the pictures. 

19. Silly Billy: Anthony Browne

A book about worries and worriers! A great one to use for times when children are unsettled- starting school etc. 

20. Smartest Giant in Town: Julia Donaldson

Another of many of the Donaldson franchise that I could have included! A kind hearted giant that helps out animals at the cost of his new outfit. A quirky little song runs throughout that you are guaranteed to get stuck in your head! 

21. The Day the Crayons Quit/ The Day the Crayons Came back: Drew Daywalt

 A series of letters from a set of disgruntled crayons who are over worked, under used or left to melt in the sun! Hilarious! 

22. Supertato: Sue Hendra

Front the author of Barry the Fish with Fingers, supertato is a brilliant trip through a supermarket where there is an escaped Pea on the lose. Some vegetables are frozen for a very good reason! 

23 and 24. Oi Frog! And Oi Dog! Keys GRay and Jim Field

Frogs sit on Logs and Cats sit on mats! But Frog has decided its time for a change! We love these a lot! Even Ted chuckles at these! 

25. Never Tickle a Tiger: Pamela Butchart

Izzy is forever wriggling and Jiggling! She wanders off on a school trip, tickles a tiger and sets into action a series of unfortunate events!   

Recommendations welcome in the comments below! I’ll start saving up for a splurge! X

8 thoughts on “Our favourite pastime! The wonderful world of Children’s Books! 

  1. I’ve missed loads of Julia Donaldson out now I think about it! Paper dolls is my favourite of hers! And snail and the whale and tiddler and tabby and stickman! X


  2. Oooh, controversy! Where the wild things are is pants.

    I love Sharing a Shell.

    Sometimes I Curl Up Like A Ball (I think..
    . It’s a long time ago) is lovely.


    1. I love where the wild things are! But sharing a shell goes on to donaldsons questionable pile for me! Not quite up there with ‘the flying bath’ or ‘spinderella’ which are really rubbish! I’ll look in to the other one x


  3. ‘No matter what’ is great at the end of a rubbish day. Makes me cry every time. Also ‘Interstellar Cinderella’ a great gender balanced modern version where Cinderella is a kick ass mechanic who leaves her socket wrench behind at the ball and turns down the princes marriage proposal in favour of a good job. Beautiful rhyming text and loads of science words to build confidence with space.


    1. Lucy you have just named two books we don’t own! That is an actual miracle! I’m on it! We’re currently having the ‘boy/girl’ debate at our house- despite being very clear from a very young age that there were no ‘girl colours’ or ‘boy jobs’ or ‘boy games’ we seem to have a few comments like these creeping in so I’m always on the look out for books like the one you described! I missed paper dolls off the list (in hindsight I think it was vomited on!! Not sure we ever replaced it!) but that is the one that always brings a tear to my eye! Just the thought of Esme being a mum and teaching her little girl things that I taught her puts an instant lump in my throat!


  4. Well ive just realized what a crap mum o am. Sams books are very short compared to emilys. I need to book shop. Can you give me a list of maybe 5 of George’s favourites lol


    1. Don’t be daft! You’re a fab mummy! I think it’s a boy thing- with most things other than books George’s attention span is VERY short! 😂 anything by sue hendra are good- they look longer but don’t have much writing on each page so it keeps their attention! Barry the fish with fingers, supertato, Keith the car with the magic hat and Norman the slug with a shell are all good! Also look for things that he’s interested in- I’m on a winner with George with any book that has a dinosaur in!x


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