With World Book Day around the corner, I thought I’d ask the kids what are their favourite books and then use it as an opportunity to see how their tastes change in the future as they grow up.
Note: although this post contains links, none are part of an affiliate scheme and have not been added to make any kind of profit or personal gain. They are simply there to make it easier for you to find if you choose to, and to help someone else enjoy the books as much as we do.
NJ (age 8)
To be honest I’m not overly familiar with Tom Gates as they are books that NJ has always read himself. All I know is that there are a lot of them and they are full of fun illustrations and seem easy to read – NJ has been known to finish the books in a day. Although he has singled out this one, which features Tom going on an adventure with his grandparents, I’m sure all the others are just as good.
Well, where to start? You all know about Harry Potter and with seven books (plus a play) I don’t know how NJ decided on one. I love the way the whole series starts off fairly straight forward and easy to read, but becomes more complex and intricately plotted as they go on. It mirrors the characters developing from kids to young adults, and constantly challenges its readers who may have grown up with them. NJ has been through them twice – once being read to him, and once reading them himself. He has even been known to take them to school and read them during his break time.
Like Tom Gates, I have to admit I’ve not read these as NJ reads them himself. It’s sad in a way, because I love reading to him and yet as he grows and becomes more independent, reading is just another thing he doesn’t need his parents for. And also like Tom Gates, this is full of little pictures and broken up text which makes it very accessible for new younger readers. This one is the third book in the series and is about Greg (the wimpy kid) being threatened with toughening up or being sent to military academy.
Roo (age 4)
We love the Julia Donaldson and Alex Scheffler books and this one was adapted into an animated film last Christmas. It is a tale of a villainous rat who steals food and goodies from all the other animals, then finally meets his match. Full of wonderful rhymes and illustrations, Roo turns to this one more than the more popular ‘The Gruffalo’.
Firstly, if you don’t have this book, you should stop reading now and get it straightaway. We all love the Oi series of books, probably me more than the children and a little part of me suspects Roo chose it to make me happy. It is the story of a frog who doesn’t want to sit on a log anymore. It’s hilariously fun and filled with lots of great rhymes and different kinds of animals (See – it’s educational as well!) It is followed by ‘Oi Dog!’ and ‘Oi Cat!’, as well as a short version ‘Oi Goat!’ which was released for this very own World Book Day.
Well I’ve already written a post about the kids books I love and will never get tired of reading here (spoiler: ‘Oi Frog!’ is on there too) However, for some less kid friendly ones, here’s my top three:
This will always be my all time favourite and one that I keep meaning to re-read. Published in 1961, it is set towards the end of World War II and focuses on the bureaucractic absurdity of war. Yossarian, a bombardier who has flown 50 missions, wants out. After all, he must be crazy to want to fly any more and sane if he didn’t, yet if he was sane he had to fly them. The chronology jumps about and is both funny and horrifying, but it is the first novel I read that I truly didn’t want to end.
The premise is simple enough – Eiji Miyake is in Tokyo on a quest to find the father he has never known. But the voyage is surreal and dizzying, humorous and horrifying, as the novel flits between genres, styles and narratives. Although I struggled to get into it due to the opening false starts and dream sequences, the novel ended up being one of the most satisfying and poignant books I’ve read in a long time.
Another book set during the war, but this time largely during World War I. It starts off following Stephen Wraysford in 1910, where he is living in Amiens and falls in love with an unhappily married woman called Isabelle. Six years later he is plunged into the trenches which leaves him forever changed. It was the immersive description of the harrowing battles and the mazes of tunnels underneath the trenches that had be gripped, but it is the emotional power and the traumatic impact on its characters that left me unable to put it down.
What Stories Would You Share?
There are loads more books that could have made the list, but these are our favourites. What are yours, and what would you want to share on World book day?