The BEST books to read with your kids (ages 0–7)


Hello and welcome back to . I'm Benjamin, your teacher today, and - well,

not so much teaching.

More sort of recommending books, resources that I have found have worked well.

Who's this lesson for?

Well, two different sets of people, really.

Maybe you're a native speaker of English, and you're looking for some new book ideas

that you haven't looked at before.

Or maybe you are in an English-speaking country, and English is not your first language, and

you're trying to help your child learn English and teach yourself at the same time.

The books I've chosen here are fantastic books.

They're beautifully illustrated, they have good stories.

Many have stood the test of time.

I've roughly grouped them into age brackets, but they're not, like, strict age brackets.

And there will be stories in here which, you know, 5-, 6-, 7-year-olds can still benefit

from reading.

So, I'll try and talk you through each of the books so that you get a better idea and

can try and work out whether the book would suit your child or not.

So, in the 0-2 years old category, lots of different books here.

It really is important that we are exposing children to language.

They will pick so much up just from listening to the stories and looking at the pictures

and trying to understand what's happening.

So, my first recommendation, "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle.

It's a clearly structured book where the caterpillar eats different things on different days of

the week, and you can clearly see the caterpillar growing and growing and growing.

Bit of a spoiler coming up - until he pops and turns into a butterfly.

But, a bit of a classic book.

"Where's Spot?"

Another old classic.

Spot - these books have sort of very simple illustrations, animations.

This big sort of yellow Labrador.

Daddy Spot, Mommy Spot, and Baby Spot and there's always little bits to turn and find

where Spot has gone.

Always a favorite with young children.

"We're Going on a Bear Hunt" by Michael Rosen.

Another lovely story, and this really encourages family expeditions, so one you might want

to include.

I should just add that, you know, there are tons and tons and tons of books out there,

and there will continue to be more written each year.

This is by no means an exhaustive list.

It's just the list that has worked well with my child.

But whatever works with your child is good, yep.

We just need to find books that our children can engage with and are excited about having

read to them at bedtime.

"The Gruffalo" by Julia Donaldson.

Very popular children's book.

The clever, cunning mouse who outwits the snake and the wolf and the big, brown bear.

Very strong rhyme scheme, so children becoming familiar and exposed to rhyming verse.

So, "Superworm", another book by Julia Donaldson.

Superworm is quite a sort of playful central character protagonist and he does all sorts

of different things to help his animal friends.

And there's a big, bad wizard who abducts Superworm, but Superworm finds a way to freedom.

He's a real hero, Superworm.

Lovely story.

"My Mum", lovely book by Anthony Browne that encourages affectionate feelings towards mothers,

who are the most deserving people on the planet.

So, definitely recommend this one.

And you'll find if you look closely that you can find a little love heart on each of the


"Each Peach Pear Plum", again an old classic.

This will - it references lots of the different characters from nursery rhymes.

So, by reading this, you're helping your child become aware of all of the different nursery

rhymes, which is, you know, part of our literary heritage.

This is new book, "The Cow Who Fell to Earth".

Very inventive and, as a parent, you will probably find it quite funny, reading this


It's about a cow from the moon called Dave, and Dave has to try and get back to the moon.

"Tyrannosaurus Drip", one of my vegetarian friends gave this as a present.

Lovely story, really, really beautiful, about sort of the differences between the vegetarian

dinosaurs and the Tyrannosaurs Rexes.

Yeah, beautifully written.

"There's a Bear Under My Chair".

As you can tell by the title, this story has a strong rhyme scheme.

Nice, clear, colorful illustrations.

I recommend it.

"Daddy Long Legs", one of my favorites.

The sort of message behind it - it's a French book translated into English.

And so, of course, there's Citroen 2CVs and some very French characters.

Gardeners watering their plants and the sort of premise behind it is the father has to

pick the son up from nursery, and the son says, "Well Daddy, what happens if the car

doesn't work?"

So, the daddy goes through a whole series of options, backup options, in case the 2CV

does die, which it seems quite likely that it will.

"The Tiger that Came to Tea" by Judith Kerr.

A hungry tiger turning up and inspecting, very carefully, the contents of each cupboard.

It seems quite old fashioned now, this story, but it's quite sort of cozy and homely, reading


So, I'm sure you'll enjoy.

"Mog, The Forgetful Cat", also by Judith Kerr.

Lovely illustrations, very funny central character of this kind of fat and stupid cat, who's

always doing slightly the wrong thing, but the family figure out that they do actually

love her after all.

"Harry Maclary", written by the New Zealander Lynley Dodd.

Harry Maclary is a playful young dog, and has lots of other doggy friends, and they

are in fear of the scary scarface claw.

Again, it's got lovely rhymes and a very endearing central character, Harry Maclary from Donaldson's


"The Highway Rat".

This could easily be studied by older students, because of the sort of poetic structure, but

it's got beautiful illustrations and the sort of moral of the story is not to be too greedy.

Okay, so now we're going to look at recommendations from 5 up to 7, and then look at some of the

questions that you can ask your child to make sure that they're, you know, you're stimulating

a dialogue around the reading.

5 to 7 years old.

Now, I have less experience at this age, because my child isn't yet five years old, but what

I've read so far, I would recommend the following.


Now, Emma Chichester Clark is an English writer, and she began to write a blog about her book

- about her dog, Plumdog, who is a sort of crossbreed and a very funny little dog.

And she started, as the popularity in the blog grew, she actually expended it into a

book and she's now written a few books about her dog.

And the facial expressions and the dogs and the cats, there's so much character that comes

through in the drawings.

And, you know, a very delightful read.

A good children's book should be enjoyable for the parent as well, I think, and "Plumdog"

certainly is.

"Katie Morag".

Now, this is now been made into a TV series, which is available on the iPlayer, which,

if you're not from the UK, it's basically like, you know, if you've got a tele and there's

been a program that's been on, you can get it on the system and watch it.

So, it's a BBC TV series now.

Katie Morag, she - this is set up in the western islands of Scotland.

A very wild part of the UK.

Very evocative and beautiful drawings.

Katie Morag's quite a wild girl and she's got these four cousins from the mainland.

Four or five, who come and visit her every now and then, and there's Granny island, and

her mum works in the post office.

And very sort of idyllic way of life.

It was the only book that my dad would read to me as a child.

He's still trying to get his grandson to read these books.

Katie Morag.

"The Snail and the Whale", another book by the prolific writer Julia Donaldson.

This is another rhyming story that encourages exploration and travel.

Because the snail looks at all the great big ships in the port and wants to be going on

a voyage around the world too.

"The Cat in the Hat", or Dr. Seuss.

Very entertaining.

You know, the pictures, the rhymes.

I've been reading Dr. Seuss to my boy since he was very young, and I always enjoy reading


Hopefully he does too.

So, when your child is talking away and, you know, you want to have conversations about

the book, you can have questions before you read about your child's expectations.

Why did you choose this - that should say "book" rather than "character".

Why did you choose this book?

What do you think it's going to be about?

What kind of characters might we find next in this book?

Yep, so what do they think it's going to be about, what kind of characters.

Why did they choose it?

Was it the picture on the front?

Was it the title?

This is assuming that it's a new book.

During, what do you think's going to happen next?

Do you like this character?

What do you think about this?

Why is this character doing that?

Trying to make them articulate their thoughts.

And afterwards, you might ask a question like: If so and so lived next door, would you be

friends with this person?


So, really just encouraging that dialogue between parent and child, before, during,

and after reading.


Well, I hope to be back soon with my reading recommendations from 7 up to - all the way

up to 18, why not?


Well, there will be a quiz now, so if you feel like doing a quiz, do so.

If not, let's just get reading and I'll see you in the next video.

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Okay, many thanks.