Books are a topic regularly discussed on our Worthing Mums and Dads Facebook page; but what type of books are good for which age groups of children?
We wanted to have one place for you to refer to throughout your child’s school years for different types of books and authors they can look to, whether it’s books for them to read by themselves or for you to read to them.
Every family has family favourites and we’ve combined some of your favourites and recommendations with some of ours too. We’ve also given some extra information about reading in each section so you can see what you can do with your child around each age range.
Younger Children (0-5)
It’s never too early to start to read to your child. Reading to your children from such a young age, even as a baby, will help them get used to language. They can learn a lot from listening and interacting with you through a storybook. They will also get to learn your voice, the tone and the rhythm you use.
The colours and shapes used in baby books are specially designed to help your children focus on different patterns and allows their eyes to focus on a variety of shapes they will start to recognise.
Julia Donaldson is a perfect author to start with, all of her books are perfect for families to read together, The Gruffalo and Zog are two of best-selling books by Julia Donaldson that are recommended a lot on our Facebook page.
Owl Babies is also a much-recommended book for the younger readers, providing reassurance to children through the book. This lovely tale focuses on three baby owls who wake up to discover their mother isn’t there. Without her, they feel scared and vulnerable. But then Mum returns, and they feel comfortable and reassured. Owl Babies is a wonderful book to share with babies and young children to help tackle anxieties and fears about temporary separation.
Giraffes Can’t Dance is a very popular book for the younger children and was an absolute favourite of my three when they were little, it’s an uplifting book to read to your children with fantastic funny pictures and a great story. The story tells of Gerald who would love to join in with the other animals at the Jungle Dance, but everyone knows that giraffes can’t dance …or can they? 2009 sees the 10th anniversary of this bestselling picture book, loved by children everywhere.
The Storm Whale is another amazing book to bring to life with your children. It’s one that will pull at your heartstrings however it’s a wonderful story about friendship, with beautiful illustrations to discuss as you read.
Infant school (5-7)
Once your child starts school they will start to learn to read with their teachers very quickly, and will also bring some books home from school to read with you.
Start by listening to your children read as well as reading to them; they’ll enjoy showing you what they can do and you will be amazed that within a few short weeks, they will be reading pages independently! Remember that even into their teenage years, your children will still want you to read to them, even when they are perfectly capable of reading to themselves. It’s a special time of day, and one that should be cherished as long as possible.
We love Tom Fletcher’s books (yes the former McFly frontman!) which are well known and full of great stories and pictures. Some of his more popular titles are There’s a Superhero in your Book, There’s a Monster in your Book and The Creakers.
Aliens Love Underpants and the other stories in the collection are incredibly funny books for children, they are full of colourful pictures with words that children can follow along with you and try to read too. And let’s face it, which child doesn’t like talking about underpants!
Once your children are a little bit older, introducing longer books with chapters are great and reading a couple of chapters a night will give anticipation about what will happen next.
A lovely book to start this with is the Magic Faraway Tree, a book that’s been loved by children and adults alike for over 75 years. Enid Blyton’s booked are full of adventure and excitement and there are so many to choose from. The language can be a little old-fashioned for some, but my three always loved reading this series together.
It’s hard not to adore anything written by Roald Dahl, a well-loved children’s author and although the books have now been around for generations, they are still family favourites. When I asked my 11 year which one his favourite was, he told me it was George’s Marvellous Medicine!
Junior School (8-11)
By the time children reach junior school they will be more inclined to read books themselves, although many still love a book read by their parents at bedtime too.
Michael Morpurgo’s books have become a firm favourite with many children, he has so many great books to choose from, but the Butterfly Lion is always rated very highly and seems to be extremely popular with children in our local area too.
Celebrity David Walliams started writing children’s books back in 2008 and since then he has become a great choice for so many children, with fantastic books such as Gangsta Granny, Billionaire Boy and The Worlds Worst Parents.
There are also some great books for parents and even grandparents to take a trip back in time.
The Milly Molly Mandy stories have been great reads for many years and children still love them today. The stories are full of adventures that happen in Milly Molly Mandy’s small village.
Dick King Smith is a wonderful author and although his books have also been around for a long time, they are not to be missed by the next generation of children
Older children (12+)
Although older children will most likely share their favourite books with each other, sometimes looking for a gift or finding new titles can be exciting. We’ve found some great books that you may not have heard of, which are suitable for those aged 12 and above.
How I Live Now is a book by Meg Rosoff about a 15-year-old girl from the USA sent to live with family in the UK, then war breaks out and their lives change. It gives great description from the mind of a 15-year-old girl sharing her feelings and experiences.
Noughts and Crosses has been taught in schools over the years, it gives insight into relationships that can be frowned upon in their society is a lovely, love story exploring discrimination and stereotypes. This book is the first in the series, followed by a further five.
Although Holes is a relatively new book it has become a modern-day classic already, it’s a very well written book about a boy who’s convicted of a crime he didn’t commit, a book that is well worth a read.
Our final best book is by Sophie McKenzie, Girl, Missing; a story about a girl who finds out she is adopted and her ventures to find out the truth about her past.
We hope you have enjoyed looking into the world of books and the different types available to children of all ages. We’d love to hear your recommendations for children of different ages, why not leave them in the comments below!