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Thursday, January 22, 2009

My FIVE Favorite Books for children aged 0 to 11

Ages 0 to 3+

1. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Eric Carle artwork, created by layered collage of hand painted papers, made this book an instant classic. The holes in the pages are exciting for little people to peek and poke fingers through, and ushered in an era of experimentation in book formats for children.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

2. Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
Ever feel angry and frustrated? This classic explores those feelings. It begins with some mischief, then Max, the hero is sent to bed by his mum and he manages to conquer the wild things of his imagination.

Where The Wild Things Are

3. The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson
When a little mouse takes a walk in the forest he meets an owl, a snake and .... a guffalo. A hugely popular modern classic.

The Gruffalo

4. One Fish Two Fish Red Fish by Dr. Seuss
Is there any more joyful use of the English language than that found in the pages of a Dr. Seuss book? Reading them is such a pleasure, so read them early and often. Experience as many Dr. Seuss books as possible.

One Fish Two Fish Red Fish

5. Window by Jeannie Baker
This is a picture book that defies age categorisation. Kids will get different things out of it at different ages. It shows the changing landscape in a view form a child's window as he grows up, with many layers of meaning about change, time and the world around us.


Ages 3 to 5+

Green Eggs and Ham

1. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
And The Lorax, and There's a Wocket in My Pocket! and The Cat in the Hat. There are so many Dr.Seuss titles with something to offer.

The Little Engine That Could

2. The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper
This is an enduring story with an inspiring moral about being determined and believing in yourself.

The Muddleheaded Wombat

3. The Muddleheaded Wombat by Ruth Park
He really is a stubborn fellow, and that's something kids of this age can relate to. Filled with humour and muddleheaded spoonerisms.

The Magnificent Nose and Other Marvels

4. The Magnificent Nose and Other Marvels by Anna Flenberg
Fantastic adventure stories set in locations around the world.


5. Winnie-the-Pooh by Emest H. Sherpard
The adventures of young Christopher Robin Milne and his teddy-bear friend Winnie. The characters are a perfect ensemble: Pooh of little brain, piglet with his tizzies, Owl all pedantry, Ravvit Kanga, Roo and poor old Eyeore.

Ages 5 to 7+

1. The Wind in The Willows by Kenneth Grahame
The incorrigible Toad is playing right into the hands of the Weasels, and Ratty, Mole and Badger are doing their best to protect him and their riverside homes. All seen through the eyes of timid little Mole. who is capable or more than he realises when it comes to sticking up for his friends.

2. Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney
Guess How Much I Love You

How to you quantify the love a child has for a parent or a parent has for their child? Little Nutbrown Hare and his dad try to find the words.

3. Eloise in Paris by Kay Thompson
Eloise in Paris

If there's something going on, Eloise know about it. The spirited young girl shares all sort of semi-scandalous observations. For kids, her autonomy and Independence is a delight, and for parents, the wit and child's eye view is brilliant.

4. The Peasant Prince by Li Cunxin
The Peasant Prince

Stunningly illustrated, this is an amazing autobiographical tale of a Chinese boy who rose from extreme poverty and become a world famous ballet dancer.

5. Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen
Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales

The Little Match Girl. The Ugly Ducking, The Red Shoes, The Princess and the Pea, The Emperor's New Clothes: some to these tales are perfect for the very young now, and save others for later.

Ages 7 to 9+

1. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol
Despotic queen bent on decapitating people, odd growing and shrinking experiences, and bad advice from very strange strangers; Alice's experiences as she chases the white rabbit are the essence of a strange dream, but she keeps her head in the end.

2. Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
The story of the friendship between the little pig Wilbur, the runt of the little, and Charlotte the spider, who saves his life by spinning words into her web. Its filled with humour, sincerity, sadness and most of all, love. This is a book that will never be forgotten.

3. Tom's Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce
Tom's Midnight Garden

This is a haunting story about a child who stays with his uncle and aunt in a strange house and meets another lonely child from a different time. It won the Carneige Medal in 1958.

4. The Borrowers by Mary Norton
The Borrowers

An enchanting tale of tiny people who live beneath the floorboards and borrow everything they need from the humans living above them.

5. Comet in Moominland by Tove Jansson
Comet in Moominland

In a series of nine books and five picture books, the shy moomins, the Hobgloglin and the Hattifatteners have all sort of creative adventures. These books, originally written in Sweden, have become cult classics throughout the world.

Ages 9 to 11+

The Hobbit

1. The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien
The epic fantasy story novel that introduces Bilbo Baggins. Rich with fully realised mythologies precise languages ans dark geopolitical struggles, the story of Bilbo's quest becomes a part of you forever. It opens the door to Tolkien's The Lord of the Ring trilogy, a world to explore with your kids in years to come.

The Little Prince

2. The Little Prince by Anotine de Saint-Exupery
A sweet tale of the little prince, a visitor from Asteriod B612 who meets some characters and finds answers about friendship and love while on an incredible journey. It's a simply told story filled with beautiful sentiment that will become a favourite.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

3. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S.Lewis
The first in the Chronicles of Narnia and one of the top children's bestsellers of all time. Four siblings find a hidden universe in the back of a wardrobe and enter, fulfilling an ancient prophecy to help the lion Aslan in his struggle to restore the land of Narnia.

The Wizard of Oz

4. The Wizard of Oz by L.Frank Baum
This classic book is not widely read. It's a US fairytale with wonderful characters and a great journey - expect many differences between this and the Judy Garland film.

Anne of Green Gables

5. Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
Reading this book is like sharing Anne's friendship through childhood and early adolescence. Her frustration and her remorse, her developing bonds with her new family and neighbours and her rivalries with schoolmates are wonderful reading for kids to enter high school.

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