Wendy Cooling MBE has selected her favourite illustrated books to help you introduce your child to the wonders of stories and storytelling.
Rhyming stories to read aloud
Rhyming stories are great fun to read aloud and share with your child, and for new readers rhymes can really help them learn and identify new words. Why not experiment with different voices for different characters as you read aloud together?
Janet Ahlberg, Allan Ahlberg
An all-time wonder – one to read again and again and to take you and your children into nursery rhymes and fairy stories. Perfect to share with your toddler, it features familiar characters from nursery rhymes and fairy stories, with a surprise to spot on every page.
Jan Ormerod, Lindsey Gardiner
Children will want to dance along with this one as you read about overexcited animals and the strange ways they move. It’s a delight all the way, from waddling like a penguin to stomping like an elephant. Lots of great noise words to join in with too.
We all know the value of reading to children before bed, and this selection features some beautifully-illustrated books on the subject of bedtime.
Giles Andreae, David Wojtowycz
A noisy and entertaining book, perfect for bedtime, and a chance to meet all the animals in the jungle. Told in short rhymes so that you can read as much or as little as you like, with lots of opportunities for joining in. Vibrant illustrations.
Classic picture books
These picture books have all been in print for at least twenty years so really have stood the test of time. Enjoy passing them on to your child.
Choosing the perfect pet is always a challenge and it takes a while for the zoo to get it right. An elephant or a giraffe won’t do, but something a little smaller will. The flaps on each page reveal a surprise and make young children almost burst with expectation.
Max is sent to bed without his supper and he goes on an incredible journey to the land where the wild things are. He is not scared and becomes king of the wild things. When he’s tired, he sends the wild things to bed without their supper and goes back to his bedroom – he finds his supper waiting, and still hot. An unforgettable fantasy adventure.
Elfrida Vipont, Raymond Briggs
An elephant meets a bad baby and takes him for a ride and off they go, ‘rumpeta, rumpeta, rumpeta’ down the street, helping themselves to ice creams, buns, and more as they go, without so much as a ‘please’. They’re chased by angry shopkeepers but then the baby wants Mummy and all finishes well. Demands participation.