Best Books for Your Child
All parents want to give their children a good head start in life. Investing in their future starts with a good education and reading good books that teaches them about life, and how to handle the hidden curve balls that come as they grow older and more mature.
But with so many books to choose from, how do you know which are the best books for your child, what is the message in the book and at what age are they most suitable to read? Fret not, because here’s a simple guide to the different genre of books your child can get started on.
For those who love colourful graphics
Picture books are great in helping children connect what they see and hear. In other words, picture books help link concepts that books bring across with words and images. This helps children understand association and also introduces children to imagery, which could spark off a love for art.
- The Day the Crayons Came Home – In this charming sequel to The Day the Crayons Quit, Duncan must rescue his crayons from terrible fates – like being stuck in the sofa, or landing in his stinky socks. Of course, just like in the first book, each crayon has a different tale of woe. Best for 3-7 years old, the magic comes when the crayons are reunited back in their box home, where they belong, reinforcing the message that one should never give up hope or be sad when life seems rough. Things always work out in the end.
- Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus – With cartoon style pictures, this silly story will appeal to pre-schoolers and young toddlers (best for 2+). The story is about a bus driver who asks the reader to watch his seat while he steps away quickly, but to not let the pigeon drive the bus. Immediately the pigeon starts asking if he can drive the bus. He begs, makes deals, pretends, complains, cajoles, bribes, and insists that he be allowed to drive the bus, but his wish is not granted; so he fumes until a new fantasy takes hold of his imagination. The book subtly invokes the act of moral responsibility in children, as the reader is ‘responsible’ for ensuring that the pigeon doesn’t drive the bus.
Credit: Audiobook store
For the curious ones who love interaction
The art of reading doesn’t always have to be passive – it can be a highly interactive experience that keeps young children totally engrossed for a long period of time. Text can be supplemented with beautiful rotatable images, sounds, animations, flap pages and the possibilities are endless. The interaction enriches the content in a way that simple text does not, and helps the child better understand the story too. Plus, it’s an added advantage of reading paper books rather than e-books on a tablet.
- Press Here – Press the yellow dot on the cover of this book, follow the instructions, and embark upon a magical journey. Each page of this surprising book instructs the reader to press the dots, shake the pages, tilt the book, and who knows what will happen next. Children and adults alike will giggle with delight as the dots multiply, change direction, and grow in size. This book is especially remarkable because the whole adventure occurs on the flat surface of simply printed pages, highlighting the fact that power of imagination is all you need for some read-aloud fun for young children.
Credit: Barnes & Noble
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar – A must-have for every family, this timeless classic is always a delight amongst young children as they become engrossed in poking their fingers through all the holes that the Hungry Caterpillar makes as it eats its way through all the delicious food every day of the week. It’s a great little book to bring along when travelling or to keep your child entertained, complete with beautiful colourful illustrations to start growing their vocabulary.
Credit: Book Depository
For those who like an adventure
Children are full of imagination and the need to explore something new, and a good book is the door to let that imagination flow wildly. This category is all about setting off on new adventures, to sometimes fictional places that are easier to understand with illustrations and simple stories, but all with a subtle message at the end. Adventure books are great reads for all ages, big or small.
- Where the Wild Things Are – Recognised as one of the true classics of children's literature, one of the most appealing elements of the book are the wordless series of illustrations. The book, which is most suitable for children between 2-4 years old, revolves round Max going on a wild rumpus with his friends, depicted by some of the most whimsical, enchanting, and unique artwork in children's literature. The message of unconditional parental love is important and reassuring to young ones, who are starting to explore their own independence but are still a little fearful of the world, and a perfect ending to the wild-natured story.
- Welcome To Our World – Sub-titled “A celebration of children everywhere”, this book is full of cheery illustrations and the kind of facts that inquisitive pre-schoolers adore. Here they can learn how to say “My name is” in a number of languages; discover that Australian children apparently get to eat sugar sprinkles on toast for breakfast; and wow grown-ups with sayings from around the world such as Arabic’s “Some days honey, some days onions” (you win some, you lose some). Best for children who are at least 3 years old, this book is a great way to encourage kids to explore other cultures and practices around the world.
Credit: Book Depository
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – which child doesn’t like chocolate? A very clever morality tale by Roald Dahl, with some spoilt children, their bad behaviour and their consequences. Dahl doesn't hide the fact that the world can be a grim and unfair place, as Charlie's depressing life of poverty at the beginning of the novel reflects this bleak view. However, this is a great book for children who are 6 years old and above, because Dahl appeals to the strong sense of natural justice in children, and invites them to explore a marvellously imagined world where people, get exactly what they deserve, subtly introducing them to the concept of karma and the fact that what goes around, comes around.
Credit: Book Depository
Gifting your child with imagination, good vocabulary and creativity is something that would give them an undeniably good head start in life. And with Christmas just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to share the gift of knowledge by instilling good reading habits in children from a young age. After all, storytelling and reading are one of the best ways to help fulfil a child’s dreams and fuel their imagination. Who knows? Maybe your legacy could be growing lifelong readers and building a library of books for your child that will be passed on to future generations.
But while you continue looking out for other interesting or educational books, don’t forget that as your children grow up, you grow older too. Ultimately, the best gift for both your children and yourself is a secure future and a comprehensive retirement plan for you. Ensure that your silver years and retirement are taken care of so that you can empower your children with the freedom they need to pursue their dreams. Look into your retirement planning today and explore products that might work for you.
In summary, we can never be perfect parents, but we can always try to give our children the best future possible, be it through the gift of early reading and access to a world of imagination, or a bright and secure future where they have the freedom to live their lives fully.