World Book Day 2014: Some Kids’ Book Recommendations


It’s World Book Day 2014, a day to get kids reading and encourage reading as a pastime.

We’re a house of book lovers and stories- one each carefully chosen, are a fixed part of our bedtime routine. We sit on the couch/futon in the boys’ room, argue over whose story is first, try to stop Laoise tearing the pages or eating the books and read.

Since Ciarán started school he’s wanted to read his own story a lot, but he likes us to listen. One evening last week he offered to read to Cathal in his bed, and when I came in to the room after settling their sister, they were snuggled up in the bottom bunk, big brother reading to little brother. My heart melted.

Of course, there are some disadvantages to your child learning to read, there’s the endless correction of your lies “it IS open Mammy, look O-P-E-N on the sign”, there’s the knowing what time the next cartoon is on at, the checking your text messages for you. And then there’s not being able to spell things that you don’t want them to understand anymore. My friend visited last week, her eldest child is 2 so she can get away with spelling “bold words” in conversation. Not in our house- the eavesdropping 5 year old grabbed a pencil and presented her with this page below, asking why she was saying it, and sounding it out “Puh- ih- SSS- SSS… PISS! Why did you spell piss? Was it piss? Why did you spell it? PISS PISS”. We both nearly choked trying to suppress the laughter, and then had to explain that it was rude. Lesson learned.


The advantages to reading far outweigh these minor disadvantages though.

Bedtime stories vary here, we don’t read chapter by chapter but instead a different book each night. The boys don’t always pick ones that I love, but that’s their prerogative (and I hide the ones I particularly dislike).

These are our current favourites:

Zog by Julia Donaldson, about a dragon learning dragon skills (what else?).

Any book that contains the line “Don’t rescue me, I won’t go back to being a princess, And prancing round the palace in a silly frilly dress” is a winner in my book and both boys love it.


These books are all part of the Usborne Phonics Readers sets. They tell funny stories that my 5 year old can read himself and have fold out pages to keep interest. “Ted’s Shed” and “Toad makes a road” are our favourites, again these were gifts from friends and family (thanks A and L)

A recent addition to our bookshelf, “Welcome to Cuckooville” was a Christmas gift from my cousin (thanks T) and the boys, especially Ciarán love the silliness of it. It’s a quirky little book with lots of speech bubbles that my 5 year old likes to take turns reading. It contains lots of gobbledygook which causes roars of laughter in this house.

The Gingerbread Man is a classic on the bedtime story rota here, Cathal is always drawn to it, singing the Gingerbread man’s taunts and showing no concern at all at his ultimate fate.


The “That’s not my…” Books are Laoise’s favourite by a mile. She’s inherited the boys’ collections and has a few additions of her own, she seems to enjoy “That’s not my bear” most of all, that scratchy tongue on the polar bear is an eternal draw.

What are your kids’ favourites these days?

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