There’s nothing a young mind craves more than stories – and there is no better way for them to access those stories than by reading. Not only will books improve their literacy and increase their vocabulary, they’ll also fuel their imaginations and bring their world to life.
Below are six books suitable for different ages of children, starting from the very young and finishing with those on the verge of awkward adolescence.
The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Another picture book, The Little Prince is adorned with charming watercolour illustrations and even more charming life lessons. Though it’s aimed and is suitable for young children, the sentiments contained within will resonate with and educate readers of all ages. Its main message can be summed up through the speech of the fox character, especially in his insistence that: “One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eyes.” There’s a reason why it’s the third best-selling book of all time.
The Enchanted Wood, Enid Blyton
Blyton is a master of tapping into children’s imaginations and her work is never more powerful than in The Enchanted Wood series. The story concerns a trio of young children who have just moved into a new home, only to find a magical forest at the bottom of their garden. After straying into the wood, they discover the mystical lands at the top of the Faraway Tree, including the Land of Do-As-You-Please and the Land of Spells. On their journey, they encounter many strange and wonderful new friends, such as Moonface and Silky, with whom they enjoy untold miraculous adventures.
Harry Potter, J. K. Rowling
This seven-book series needs little introduction, having taken the world by storm over the past couple of decades and capturing the hearts, hopes and dreams of children all over the globe. Enthusiastic lovers of the books can actually follow Harry to the wizarding boarding school by taking the tour at Hogwarts castle, courtesy of a unique experience offered by Warner Bros Studios. As well as exploring the sets and seeing costumes and props up close and personal, fans can learn more about how the books were converted so successfully to the silver screen.
Goosebumps, R. L. Stine
This seemingly never-ending series from America can provide the ideal introduction for youngsters to the realm of horror fiction, with stories that are sure to delight and disgust in equal measure. Just make sure they don’t get hold of the books at too young an age, though, or they could be fuelling their nightmares as well as their imagination!
His Dark Materials, Phillip Pullman
This three-part trilogy is a fantastically challenging read for older bookworms which explores alternative universes, introduces strange daemons and puts a new twist on the oldest tale of them all – good vs evil. With more complex language and more abstract ideas, the trilogy is the perfect gateway between teen fiction and the reams of adult literature available to inquisitive young minds. What’s more, recent reports suggest that the trilogy is to be converted into a BBC series, providing all the more impetus for youngsters to read the books beforehand.
Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak
This classic American picture book tells the story of a young boy whose unruliness in the home earns him an early bedtime without supper. However, once he’s ensconced in his room, it magically transforms into an exotic wilderness, crammed full of fantastical beasts. A truly enchanting journey through the power of imagination, suitable for all ages. Now a motion picture which brings more depth and detail to the story.