There is nothing quite as magical as reading favourite picture books with your own children. And what’s more they love it too! Those 20 minutes curled up at the end of a hectic day, to share tales of magical lands and larger-than-life characters, are the perfect antidote to stress.
It’s never too late or too early to start reading aloud to your child. Many parents focus on the early primary school years as the crucial time to practise reading but even tiny babies adore the comforting sound of a parent’s voice whispering stories, rhyming lullabies and making funny voices. Repetitive reading of picture books is essential for young toddlers as they develop their speech and vocabulary, and even when children have mastered reading for themselves they still need stories read aloud to them so they can pick up correct pronunciation (and have someone to cuddle when Harry Potter encounters mortal enemies).
A 2015 Harvard University Study found that the benefits of parents, particularly dads, reading aloud to their children are immense. Elisabeth Duursma, who conducted the research by observing parents and children for over a year said: "The impact is huge, particularly if dads start reading to kids under the age of two.” She found that men and women approach the task differently, with women more likely to ask factual questions, such as, “How many apples do you see?” and men favouring more abstract questions which sparked imaginative discussion.
Of course, everyone emphasises storytelling in their own ways and no two readings are alike. The habit of bedtime reading creates a wonderful space for children and parents to share jokes, marvel at imaginative tales and focus entirely on each other. Best of all, kids are a very appreciative audience for all those silly voices.
Here are a few Scribblers Book Doctor recommendations for bedtime reading.
Don’t forget to bring your Scribblers Festival Field Notes for a 10% discount at participating stores, and click on the highlighted links to hear these Scribblers authors chat with our team of teen podcasters from our very own Conversation Caravan.
Time For Bed – Mem Fox
The Very Hungry Caterpillar– Eric Carle
Peekaboo – Janet& Allan Ahlberg
Who Sank the Boat?– Pamela Allen
Toddlers & Little People
The Gruffalo –Julia Donaldson
The Magic Beach –Alison Lester
Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes – Mem Fox
The Owl & the Pussycat – Edward Lear
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see? - Bill Martin
Classic Fairy Tales– Hans Christian Anderson
Words and Pictures
Josephine loves to Dance – Jackie French
Hairy McClary series – Lynley Dodd
Cat in the Hat –Dr Seuss
Where the Wild Things Are – Maurice Sendak
Don’t let the Pigeon Drive the Bus – Mo Willems
The Snail and the Whale – Julia Donaldson
A Few More Words and a Few Less Pictures
The Twits – Roald Dahl
Matilda – Roald Dahl
The Worst Witch –Jill Murphy
Yours Truly, Alice Toolie – Kate & Jol Temple
Funny Kid – Matt Stanton
Happy Readers Who Still Need a Dose of Encouragement
Charlotte’s Web –E.B White
George’s Marvellous Medicine – Roald Dahl
The Magic Faraway Tree– Enid Blyton
The Day My Bum Went Psycho – Andy Griffiths
Rollicking Reading Adventures to Share.
The Chronicles of Narnia - C.S Lewis
The Harry Potter Series – J.K Rowling
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
Rumble Star – Abi Elphinstone
A Series of Unfortunate Events – Lemony Snickett
The Princess Bride– William Goldman
The Hobbit – J.R Tolkien
Special Ones for Dads and Kids
Bad Dad – David Walliams
Danny the Champion of the World – Roald Dahl
Guess How Much I Love You? – Sam McBranty
My Dad – Anthony Browne
The Very Cranky Bear– Nick Bland
To Kill a Mocking Bird– Harper Lee