The books we read in childhood can stay with us for the rest of our lives, teaching us important skills and ideas as well as their stories. It’s never too early to start changing your child’s way of thinking through books, whether that is helping them through a difficult time, enabling them to understand the world, or helping them learn about ideas such as self confidence. We’ve put together a list of 10 brilliant life making books to read to your children, or even have them read to you if they’re old enough!
Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
This imaginative book can be enjoyed by both parents and young children as it tells the tale of Max who is sent to bed one night without his supper. A forest grows in Max’s room where he finds wild things and becomes their king, but is soon lonely and wants to return home. A lovely book for reading together, this short story touches on the ideas of loneliness and love. The illustrations are amazing and this book will stay with children for the rest of their lives as one of their favourites.
The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch
This is a lovely life making book for younger children that has been hailed for its feminist storyline and portrayal of a strong young woman. The reversal of the usual ‘princess and the dragon’ type story makes this an engaging read that both girls and boys will enjoy. The Paper Bag Princess sees a young princess outwitting a dragon and rescuing her use useless prince, a great read that will teach children to see past stereotypes.
Sometimes I’m Bombaloo by Rachel Vail
A great book to help children understand tantrums in themselves and adults too, the story is about Katie Honors who is usually happy and smiley but when she gets angry or stressed becomes ‘Bombaloo’. This books helps children recognise anger in themselves, peers, siblings or parents and understand that it’s ok to be angry sometimes but it is helpful to distance ourselves from ‘Bombaloo’. A wonderful book that will help children in the short and long term as they learn about feelings and emotions.
Girl Who Loves Wild Horses by Paul Gobel
Gobel’s brilliant life making book for children is one they’ll remember due to the beautiful paintings and whirlwind story of a girl who is swept up in a stampede. The wording is simple and easy to understand while the Native American aspects of the story can help you teach diversity and multiculturalism to your little ones.
The Night Crossing by Karen Ackerman
This story centres around a young girl fleeing with her family in the night from Nazi occupied Austria. The Night Crossing approaches the difficult subjects of war and oppression in a way that is easy to understand and isn’t too scary. This life making childrens book is a good introduction to the more difficult areas of history and will give them a reference point for learning more as they grow older.
Feather Boy by Nicky Singer
This a great book for pre-teens that focuses on the topics of self-empowerment, self confidence and the unexpected. School geek Robert makes an unlikely friend in Edith Sorrel at the nursing home he visits and, through the challenge that she sets him, is able to overcome the school bully and confront his fears. A heart warming and life affirming story to read to children of many ages that will stay with them as they grow up.
The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
All seven books in the modern classis Harry Potter series are enjoyable for both adults and children with their mixture of magic, adventure, comradery and excitement. These books also tackle difficult subjects such as death, prejudice and bullying, facing fears and overcoming challenges. The books have a different kind of magic to the films and your child will be eagerly awaiting the next installment.
Matilda by Roald Dahl
A life making classic for children, Matilda tells the story of a young genius who is treated awfully by both her parents and the school headmistress. Matilda triumphs in the end with a special power that sees her overcoming her challenges and living happily ever after. A lovely book for children of many ages that will appreciate the imaginative writing and level of true emotions within this story.
Pumpkin Pie by Jean Ure
Pumpkin Pie is a coming of age book for older children that tackles the difficult subjects of body image and eating disorders. Wanting to be like her thin popular sister, Polly embarks on a slimming diet that quickly becomes too much of an obsession. A life making book to read with pre-teens, this story promotes confidence and acceptance of body image.
Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears
This African fable will turn out to be your favorite as well as your children’s as they grow up to learn some nice things from this beautiful children’s book. This book comes with some nice colorful illustrations that you and your children will equally enjoy!