This week we’re taking a look at some of our favourite children’s books, from paranormal investigators to striking crayons we have plenty of choices to brighten up this Blue Monday for you and your little ones.
We’d be amiss when talking about our favourite children’s books to not mention everybody’s favourite boy wizard Harry Potter. First published in 1997 with the Philosopher’s Stone, Harry Potter has been beloved by children and adults alike for over two decades and we don’t see the trend ending anytime soon. If you’ve never picked them up, now is the perfect time to start and once you’ve finished you’ve got a big movie marathon waiting for you.
If you’ve already read Harry Potter and are looking for something in a similar vein, we highly recommend V.E. Schwab’s City of Ghost series. It follows young Cassie as she embarks on her new life as a reluctant ghost hunter, beginning in ghostly Edinburgh and moving on to haunted Paris. This series is fantastically fun and yes, a little spooky. A perfect read for gloomy January.
Another favourite of ours is Oliver Jeffers. Yes, just illustrator Oliver Jeffers, because how could we highlight just one of his incredible picture books? Well, maybe a special shoutout to Lost and Found, The Day the Crayons Quits, and Here We Are. Over Lockdown (version one), Oliver posted a series of videos on his website reading some of his books – very handy for those parents who might be working at home!
Can we really write a post about our favourite children’s books without mentioning The Gruffalo? The answer is no. One of the world’s best-loved monsters, the Gruffalo has been delighting us since 1999. The world has certainly expanded since a mouse took a stroll through a dark wood, from short films to theatre performances and songs. Check out Gruffalo’s website for a range of resources – we guarantee your little ones will never be bored.
Looking a little closer to home, we have to give a shout-out to the father and daughter duo that is John and Fatti Burke. Who can forget the storm Irelandopedia created when it was first published in 2015? They haven’t sat on their laurels since then, following up with Historopedia and Focloiropedia and the wonderful Little Library series, which follows inspirational Irish lives. There are five books in the series so far, featuring Granuaile, Brian Boru, Countess Markievicz, Tom Crean, and Mary Robinson. These lovely books would also make a great tool when it comes to homeschooling!
We’re going to stick with Irish publisher Gill Books for another paragraph and take a look at The Chill Skill by Niall Breslin. This is Bressie’s third picture book which helps children manage anger when things don’t go their way. Something we’re sure has come up quite a lot these last few months!
I Ate Sunshine for Breakfast by Michael Holland and Phillip Giordano is a beautiful picture book published just last year. This is another great when it comes to homeschooling. This comprehensive guide covers everything from the parts of a plant through conservations. It also features a DIY project for young gardeners. Ideal!
Still with us? Fantastic. Let’s take a moment to have a look at a few books that dealt with Covid-19. While We Can’t Hug by Eoin McLaughlin, is a heart-warming book that shows us ways to be affectionate while social distancing. A big thumbs up from us! Next up; Coronavirus: A Book for Children about Covid-19. Written by Elizabeth Jenner, Nia Roberts, Kate Wilson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler (of The Gruffalo fame), it provides clear explanations about COVID-19 and its effects – both from a health perspective and the impact it has on a family’s day-to-day life. This will definitely be helpful!
Whew, that will certainly keep you busy for a while but just before we go, a few more. For the confident readers in your life, we’d like to recommend The Boldness of Betty by Anna Carey. Follow 14-year-old Betty as she navigated industrial unrest in 1913 Ireland. Our last one for older readers, Aru Sha and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi. This is a great shout for any Percy Jackson fans out there (it’s edited by Risk Riordan!). Inspired by Hindu Mythology it follows 12-year-old Aru Shah after she unwittingly releases an ancient demon!
And with that dear reader, we leave you. So, whether you pick up any of our recommendations or find yourself dipping into old favourites like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or Beatrix Potter, we wish you happy reading.