14 Young Children’s Books Every Family Should Have On The Shelf
Classic British Reads for Babies, Toddlers and Pre-schoolers
We can all recall the books that we loved as kids. When opening an old favourite the characters and illustrations can bring back beautiful and vivid memories from your childhood. Here are the most popular traditional classics and recent bestsellers for babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers, each of which will teach your children valuable lessons and create memories to last a lifetime.
FOR BABIES: A Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Each Peach Pear Plum by Janet and Allan Ahlberg
Familiar fairytale characters make appearances both in rhymes and on-page in this beautifully illustrated classic children’s book. Young kids will love the I-Spy challenge and laugh out loud when they find the hidden characters.
Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram
A heartwarming bedtime story about two hares, one big and one little, expressing their love for one another. The beautiful watercolours will make your baby love this book for years to come.
FOR TODDLERS: The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr
Where’s Spot? By Eric Hill
The first book in the Spot series still remains our favourite. The lift-up flaps let toddlers join in the search for the mischievous puppy when he goes missing just before dinnertime.
I Want My Potty! By Tony Ross
Need help potty training? Let the Little Princess teach your own little princess or prince why using a potty is better than nappies. We’ve heard some great potty training success stories from those who read the book to their brood. Best of luck!
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury
The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler
In this modern classic we follow a mouse through a dangerous forest where he encounters a series of animals including an owl, a fox and a snake who all want to eat him. This is a colourful rhyming tale that teaches kids how to face their fears and triumph with quick wit.
That’s Not My Dinosaur by Fiona Watt and Rachel Wells
Its chunky shape is perfect for little hands to grip and its thick pages are tearproof. This simple and easy-to-follow narrative with its tactile patches for bumpy teeth, slippery flippers, and more will keep even the youngest minds interested. Is it a hit in your house? Try the others in the series.
FOR PRE-SCHOOLERS:The Jolly Postman by Janet and Allan Ahlberg
Remember this book and its letter containing envelopes? These days the concept of writing letters to friends seems like an old tradition, but the contents of these formal letters keep it relevant. Kids will love delivering letters from Goldilocks to the three bears, a postcard from Jack to the giant, and more.
Funnybones by Janet and Allan Ahlberg
“On a dark dark hill, there was a dark dark town. In a dark dark town, there was a dark dark street.” Do you recognise this beginning? Follow the Funnybones skeletons and their dog as they go out to frighten some people, and singing catchy songs about the parts of the body along the way.
Not Now, Bernard by David McKnee
Tapping into the feeling that parents can at times be too busy to listen to their kids – regardless of how great a parent you are – this is an enjoyable read for kids and a reminder for mums and dads to take time out from the daily hustle and bustle.
Paddington by Michael Bond
This condensed version of the original book, A Bear Named Paddington, has been released to appeal to younger fans of the recent film of the same name. The bear from Darkest Peru is just as lovable in this new edition. And as for the illustrations? They’re as sweet as marmalade.
The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss
Meet the coolest cat in history who is never seen without his hat and who never opens his mouth without speaking in rhymes and riddles, oh, except to eat green eggs and ham, of course.