World Kid Lit Month: LitCo Recommends.
This week is National Read a Book Week, and it’s World Kid Lit Month!
So, here’s a mixture of contemporary and classic children’s stories we recommend visiting and revisiting this month…
Goodnight Everyone by Chris Haughton.
“The sun is going down, and everyone is sleepy…”
A perfect pre-nap time story, Chris Haughton’s beautiful designs and gentle repetition make this a soothing read to be revisited again and again.
ISBN: 0763690791. Candlewick Press, 2016.
Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell.
“I wrote to the zoo to send me a pet…”
Rod Campbell’s classic is as engaging today as when it was first published nearly 40 years ago, and is a great Say It With Me book for your young learners.
ISBN: 9780140504460. Penguin, 1984.
The Button Book by Sally Nicholls.
“Here’s a button. I wonder what happens when you press it?”
A lovely and fun favourite for EYFS. A singing button, a tickling button, a hugging button… what will the blue button do?
ISBN: 9781783447749. Andersen Press, 2019.
Peace at Last by Jill Murphy.
“Oh NO! I can’t stand THIS!”
Mr. Bear can’t sleep. Whether it’s Mrs. Bear’s snores, the ticking of the clock, or even Baby Bear up way past his bedtime – this book is full of wonderful onomatopoeia allowing your young readers to join in as you read.
ISBN: 0333631986. Macmillan, 1980.
I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen.
“My poor hat. What if I never see it again?”
Bear has lost his hat. If only he could remember where he’d seen it last… Delightfully funny and genuinely intriguing, this book will have your audience using their detective skills to help Bear find his hat.
Also in Klassen’s ‘Hat Box’ – This is Not My Hat and
We Found a Hat.
ISBN: 978-0763655983. Candlewick Press, 2011.
A Book of Bears by Katie Viggers.
“Which one is a honey monster, and which
has anti-slip feet?”
This gorgeous picture book allows the reader to discover the world of bears. It shows the lives, habitats and habits of the eight different species of bear from around the world. It is both entertaining and informative with beautiful illustrations.
ISBN: 978-1786272904. Laurence King, 2018.
My Little Book of Big Questions by
“Why am I afraid of what I don’t know? How
do birds see the world?”
A thought-provoking book of important questions. Does happiness mean that you think of nothing but beautiful things? Is it possible to share the same dream? Is the world inside or outside of me? This beautifully illustrated book will have you thinking and debating.
ISBN: 9783791373768. Prestel, 2019.
Stuck! by Oliver Jeffers.
“And they all got STUCK!”
Meet Floyd. Floyd’s kite is stuck in a tree. Soon, everything is stuck in the tree. A genuinely laugh-out-loud funny book with charming illustrations and absurd escalation.
ISBN: 9780399257377. Philomel, 2011.
Triangle by Mac Barnett.
“Now I have played a sneaky trick on you!”
Triangle lives in a triangle house with a triangle door and a triangle picture framed on the wall. His friend is Square. Today, Triangle is going to play a very sneaky trick on Square. Delightfully silly in its simplicity, visually beautiful and full of wry, dry humour.
Also in Barnett’s Shape collection – Square and Circle.
ISBN: 978-1406376678. Walker, 2017.
Every Child a Song by Nicola Davies.
“When you were born, a song began. It was there in every heartbeat, every breath.”
This gorgeous picture book celebrates kindness and childhood, while considering the Rights of the Child, as detailed in the UNCRC, and presenting those rights in a unique and creative way.
ISBN: 978-1526361417. Wren and Rook, 2019.
River Stories by Timothy Knapman.
“Let’s paddle down the river and hear its stories.
There is magic in these murky waters and, sometimes, dangers…”
A beautiful book that takes you on a journey along five of the world’s mightiest rivers: The Mississippi, Amazon,
Yangtze, Nile, and Rhine. As you sail along each river, the giant fold-out pages reveal incredible stories from history, mythology, and modern times. The details given about each river are incredibly engaging, filling you with both facts and intrigue: is it true that only the Mississippi river knows about the lost city of Cahokia?
ISBN: 978-1405292542. Egmont, 2020.
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak.
“’And now,’ cried Max. ‘Let the wild rumpus start!’”
Max dons his wolf suit and wreaks havoc of one kind or another. He is sent to bed without any supper, but soon his bedroom turns into a jungle, and he finds himself in the land where the Wild Things are. A classic story as enthralling and subversive now as when it was first published over 50 years ago, reminding us that anger and boredom are natural parts of the childhood experience, and it’s what we do with those emotions that matters.
ISBN: 978-0099408390. Harper and Row, 1963.
The Train to Impossible Places by P. G. Bell.
“Information is a treasure, Captain – more precious
than gold and more dangerous than magic. It can
reshape whole worlds, in the right hands.”
Suzy is a kid like any other: curious, intelligent and
passionate. There is one thing, however, that makes
her a little different – there is a troll building a railway
line right through Suzy’s house, and soon she finds herself
on board a train and the newest recruit of The Impossible
Postal Express. Exciting, action packed and adventurous,
with trolls, witches and lords, this story is a joyous, funny,
and thought provoking read.
ISBN: 978-1474948616. Usborne, 2018.
Race to the Frozen North by
“A light. What could it be? The sun was behind us. I leaned out over the rail…”
Race to the Frozen North tells the true story of Matthew Henson, who escaped his troubled life and became the first person to reach the geographic North Pole. Back home, he struggled to get the recognition he deserved because of the colour of his skin. This is a fantastic book about a forgotten figure from history.
ISBN: 978-1-78112-840-4. Barrington Stoke, 2018.
Stig of the Dump by Clive King.
“And today was one of those grey days where there was nothing to do, nothing to play, and nowhere to go. Except to the chalk pit. To the dump.”
This lovely story about the unlikely friendship between Barney, a young boy spending summer with his grandparents, and Stig, a caveman living in the chalk downs of Southern England, is a charming and gentle classic.
ISBN: 978-0-14-034724-1. Puffin Books, 1963.
Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White.
“If I can fool a bug, I can surely fool a man. People are not as smart as bugs.”
This timeless classic is a cornerstone of children’s literature and is listed as the best-selling children’s paperback of all time. With sensitivity, warmth, and humour, Charlotte’s Web is as captivating as it is reassuring in its simple message: change and death are as much a part of life as living.
ISBN: 9780062658753. Harper & Brothers, 1952.
Danny, the Champion of the World by
“Most of the really exciting things we do in our lives scare us to death. They wouldn’t be exciting if they didn’t.”
Danny is ten years old when he discovers his father’s secret: poaching. Together, Danny and his dad work to give mean old Mr. Hazell a pheasant hunt he will never forget. Touching, gentle and very real in its simplicity, this is a timeless story with laughs and life lessons on every other page.
ISBN: 0-14-032873-4. Jonathan Cape, 1975.
The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane.
“Once upon a time, words began to vanish…”
A ‘book of spells’, which encourages children to conjure back the nearly lost magic and mystery that lives in the natural world around us. With gentle coaxing this book tells of the beauty and magnificence of nature, and reminds us all of the important role humans must play in protecting and respecting the life that surrounds us.
ISBN: 9780241253588. Hamish Hamilton, 2017.
The Eleventh Trade by Alyssa Hollingsworth.
“Something jolts the rebab. Suddenly my hands are empty. My eyes fly open. A teenager hurries with the crowd toward the platform…”
Follow the journey of Sami, a twelve-year-old refugee from Afghanistan, now living in Boston, as he searches for friendship, a place to call home, and his grandfather’s most prized possession… Sami must be prepared to accept help to find his grandfather’s stolen instrument: the rebab. This book is both relevant to our current political climate and an engaging read from start to finish.
ISBN: 978-1848126893. Piccadilly Press, 2018.
No Ballet Shoes in Syria by Catherine Bruton.
“There was no sand on the floor, and the sky through the windows was English blue, not Syrian gold, but otherwise Aya could have been back in Aleppo. Back at home – before the war – before everything.”
This beautiful book sensitively portrays the plight of refugees, but also what life is like as an 11-year-old girl who is just trying to fit in. Aya escaped the war in Syria with her family but lost contact with her dad along the way. She is living in her new home in Manchester when she discovers a local ballet class, and it reignites a passion she thought she had lost.
ISBN: 978-1788004503. Nosy Crow, 2019.
The Mouse and His Child by Russel Hoban.
“’What are we, Papa?’ ‘I don’t know. We must wait and see.’”
Equally kind and courageous, mischievous and melancholy, The Mouse and His Child is a must read – not only for your young readers, but for grown-ups, too. Hoban doesn’t shy away from using advanced vocabulary, and he poses questions about family, status, and the nature of existence. This book comforts you as much as it makes you question, and remains a classic staple of children’s literature.
ISBN: 9780571226177. Harper & Row, 1967.
Thank you for reading! As always, we would love to hear your recommendations and reviews. What are you reading in class this week? What are your tried and tested favourites? Any new books or authors we should have on our radar?