Happy Children’s Book Week!

booktrustlogoRunning from October 31st to November 4th, 2016, the week is being promoted by BookTrust and aims to celebrate books and reading for pleasure.

“Studies show that children who enjoy and feel confident in reading are better learners – and not just in English. Reading gives them a firm grasp on all subjects. Whether they are ecstatic about their e-reader, crazy about comics, or bury themselves in a book, it’s something worth celebrating.”

Find out how your family can get involved here.

Given the week’s spooky starting date, I thought I’d pick a few of our favourites that, whilst year-round bedtime reading for us, are particularly seasonally appropriate too.

funnybonesFunnybones by Janet and Allan Ahlberg

“On a dark, dark hill, there was a dark, dark town.
In the dark, dark town, there was a dark, dark street…”

The opening lines to this simple tale of a big skeleton, a little skeleton and a dog skeleton’s night out are ones I remember from my own childhood.

An eventful trip to the park and through the zoo find the boney characters more interested in scaring each other than the reader who’s simply left wanting to join in their adventures and wondering if they’d find any fun friends underneath their floorboards.

Piece together your own skeletons courtesy of Puffin books here.

wherethewildthingsareWhere the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

Another favourite from my own childhood, Where the Wild Things Are follows mischievous Max in his wolf suit as he sails “off through night and day and in and out of weeks and almost over a year to where the wild things are” and was the first book I wanted to take Luke with me to buy after he was born.

Max tames the wild things leading them in a wild rumpus but, reassuringly for all parents of wild things, comes to realise he would much rather be “where someone loved him best of all”.

roomonthebroomRoom on the Broom by Julia Donaldson 

A more recent title from the author of The Gruffalo, Room on the Broom is however already 15 years old proving its enduring popularity too.

My favourite of the consummate rhyming writer’s cannon, I used to be able to do a relatively faithful recital of the tale of an eventful flight and the importance of friendship.

One of these days I’ll find a purple skirt I can fit into to go with my black cape and invite my children on to my broomstick for an in-flight 3D retelling of the story that has won six book awards!

megandmogMeg and Mog by Helen Nicoll and Jan Pienkowski

Helen Nicoll and Jan Pienkowski’s Meg and Mog is another book that takes me back to when I was a young reader myself and I remember still picking up the various titles in the series and reading through them in the library even when I was getting a bit too old to take out picture books as part of my 12 book allocation.

Fortunately I’m now old enough to be allowed to enjoy them again and regularly share in their adventures in Meg’s Castle, Meg’s Mummy, Meg’s Eggs, Meg’s Veg and Meg on the Moon which also often serve to remind me I’ve always meant to invest in a proper cauldron…

thespookyoldtreeThe Berenstain Bears and the Spooky Old Tree by Stan and Jan Berenstain 

Another oldie but goodie, the three intrepid Berenstain bears head out on an nighttime escapade into, up, through, down and out of The Spooky Old Tree, one with a light, one with a stick and one with a rope.

“Do they dare go” on as one by one the items the explorers armed themselves with are replaced by the shivers?

Don’t worry, there’s always the promise of “Home again.  Safe at last” for re-readers of a nervous disposition.

What will your mini ones be reading this Children’s Book Week?