Books are an integral part of life in our home. I love reading books, although finding the time to sit down and read for myself sometimes becomes a challenge in our busy life. I do however make sure that time is spent everyday for reading to my children.
I am a firm believer of the importance of reading to children. From the day they were born I have read stories to them. These days at least 30minutes, and often more, is set aside to read to my children as part of their bedtime routine. I find that this time of reading allows them to unwind and relax before bed. Any play must be quiet play and in fact they usually choose to either sit next to me or draw pictures.
Our reading session doesn’t include just one book. We always read multiple books with at least 2 of these being books that are ongoing. By ongoing I mean story books with chapters. With these books, we usually read just a chapter each night, which then leaves time for other books that the children choose themselves.
Our nightly reading routine has meant that my children have been exposed to a variety of books over the years and as a result there are some titles and authors that have become some of our favourite children’s books.
First, and clearly our favourite children’s books, must be anything by Enid Blyton. This renowned author has produced so many titles that in fact it is hard to find out the exact amount. She has sold over 600 million copies and many of her books are still being reprinted to this day. My children’s first introduction to Enid Blyton was reading “The Enchanted Wood”. They fell in love with the magical worlds at the top of The Faraway Tree and the adventures of Silky, Moon-face, Saucepan Man plus the children Jo, Fanny and Bess. After this they were hooked, and our collection of Enid Blyton books has grown over the years. Many a pre-loved bookshop has been scoured searching for Enid Blyton titles. Currently we are working our way through the adventures of Julian, Dick, George, Anne & Timmy in the Famous Five series.
With two girls in our house, Pearlie is another to rate in our list of favourite children’s books. The Pearlie series is written by Australian writer & comedian, Wendy Harmer. The series tells of the life and travels of Pearlie the park fairy who looks after Jubilee Park.
Since receiving a box set on her 4th birthday, our eldest child constantly requests a Pearlie book be read to her. Our youngest is now also firmly entrenched in the Pearlie series and although unable to read, is often found looking through a Pearlie book during quiet time.
Another author/illustrator whose titles have recently been added to our list of favourite children’s books is Oliver Jeffers. We first encountered this author/illustrator when we borrowed “Once Upon An Alphabet” from our local library. My kids loved the way that each letter of the alphabet had it’s own little story. This book was read over and over and was re-borrowed when our time limit was up. After this we then looked for other books illustrated by Oliver Jeffers. The next favourite was “The Day The Crayons Quit”. How we all laughed when reading this story about a set of crayons who write letters to their young owner explaining why they are unhappy about their current situation and suggesting ways he might be able to change things. There are plenty of other titles by Oliver Jeffers and we can’t wait to read the next one.
The above books and authors are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to our list of favourite children’s books. Others include books written by Pamela Allen, Mem Fox, Nick Bland and of course the timeless Dr Seuss. Australian favourite children’s book titles would include Blinky Bill and Snugglepot & Cuddlepie.
Maybe you’ve read all of these authors and books, or maybe this is the first you’ve been exposed to them. Whatever the situation, ensure that your children have access to a variety of titles and authors. Encourage them to have their favourites and don’t be surprised if you are required to read the same book night after night. Embrace their enjoyment of a book and rest easy with the knowledge that their love of books can only enhance their reading and learning abilities in the future.