Reading to your children at bedtime is not always like you see in the Movies, with well-behaved children lying snug as a bug, deeply enthralled in the story you are telling, then blissfully nodding off as you close the book and kiss them on the head. It almost always involves repeat readings of the same book for weeks at a time. This leads to being constantly corrected by your child (who can't actually read) because you changed a word or used the wrong voice. So with this in mind, it is wise to only introduce books to your children that you are happy to read about 327 times. Below is a good base of children's classics that you might even remember forcing your parents to read to you (your parents knew this day would come).
The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle – 1969
What a book. You would be hard-pressed to find someone who does not know this absolute classic. The story follows a well.. very Hungry Caterpillar as it eats its way through a range of foods from fruit to cake growing bigger with each page. The holes go through each page as though the caterpillar had eaten through it. It is colourful and bright and the words are minimal. Most importantly it ends with the caterpillar turning into a beautiful butterfly. Who doesn’t love a happy ending?
The Cat in the Hat, Dr. Suess - 1957
This tale of a Cat in a red and white striped hat who comes to visit two children while their mother is out is so much fun to read. The cat wreaks havoc and the children get nervous that their mother will be upset by the mess. The cheeky feline intruder makes good on his promise and tidies up just before their mother returns. The entire book is written in rhyming verse and kind of sweeps you along. It actually has an awful lot of words (1,626 to be exact) but the sing-songy rhythm makes it a favourite for kids and parents alike.
Babies Around the World, Puck - 2017
Teach your children about the world around them in this joyous trip around the globe including India, Japan and Egypt. Each page shows a baby and their family going about their usual day. It is an adorable book that not only teaches children about other countries and cultures but also gives them a taste of other languages with simple greeting on each page.
Piranhas Don’t Eat Bananas, Aaron Blabey - 2015
This is a truly ridiculous book, it is guaranteed to have any toddler in stitches, mostly because it has the word ‘Bum’ in it (twice). It is a quick funny rhyming read about Brian the piranha who tries to convince his piranha friends to broaden their diet. Your kids will love it.
So now you have a few go-to’s, go forth and impress your little audience. Remember a bedtime story is a perfect signal that it is time to sleep. As you are fending off requests for just one more book, take a moment to think how happy seeing this would make your parents.
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