We all know it’s a great idea to encourage children to read, but what should they be reading? We speak to The Book Trust who unveil their top picks for every age…
A BUSY DAY FOR BIRDS
Lucy Cousins, Walker Books
Imagine you were a bird – what would you do? You might peck at some tree bark, swoop like a starling or catch a fly with your beak. All in all, there are some busy little birds in this bright and colourful book, but there’s always time for a cuddle with mum before bed.
I CAN ONLY DRAW WORMS
Will Mabbitt, Puffin
What happens when an illustrator can only draw worms? Luckily, Will Mabbitt differentiates between them: one has glasses, one’s yellow for no particular reason, and one is tragically cut in half. Two worms have an amazing adventure in space, but that’s strictly imaginary. Genuinely hilarious and deceptively simple, this is pure anarchic fun.
DANNY MCGEE DRINKS THE SEA
Andy Stanton, illustrated by Neal Layton, Hodder Children’s Books
Can a boy really drink the sea? Danny McGee does (with the help of a straw that’s longer than his sister). Then, he swallows the whole of London AND the author of the book, Andy Stanton! Where will it end? Hilarious anarchy with crazy illustrations make this an instant favourite for kids looking for a giggle.
MY MUM’S GROWING DOWN
Laura Dockrill, illustrated by David Tazzyman, Faber & Faber
A nine-year-old boy is concerned: his mum’s growing down! She’s not like other mums, having far too much fun sticking baked beans up her nose, wearing outrageous outfits and lying on the sofa playing video games. A brilliant, funny collection of poems about a larger than life, hysterical and very loving mum.
THE ISLAND AT THE END OF EVERYTHING
Kiran Millwood Hargrave, Chicken House
Amihan lives happily on the island of Culion in the Phillipines with her mother who has leprosy. But one day, cruel Mr Zamora comes to the island and says that Culion is becoming a leper colony, and the children who are without the disease must be sent away. Poetic, bittersweet and full of heart, this has the feel and quality of an instant classic.
Holly Smale, HarperCollins
When geeky Harriet Manners gets spotted as a model instead of her best friend Nat, she has to choose between the reinvention she believes will change her life at school, and stealing her best friend’s dream. Genuinely funny and with a generous sprinkling of geeky facts littered throughout. Geek Girl is the perfect title to transition ten to twelve year-olds into teen reading with a positive message and plenty of laughs along the way.