Celebrate World Book Day With 15 Children’s Books All Adults Should Read

Today we celebrate World Book Day, and all that’s great about literature. Here in the UK, WBD is a big deal for schools, and this morning I escorted Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Winnie the Pooh to the school gates where they joined up with Alice in Wonderland, Puss in Boots, Noddy, Mary Poppins, and Matilda to name but a few.

My children all adore books. My youngest is learning to read, and after a slow, struggling start which involved many battles, he is now flying, and deriving much joy from being able to decipher the words on a page.

Books are brilliant. They inform and educate. They paint pictures in our imaginations and help it take flight. For children, encouraging reading from an early age doesn’t just help their literacy skills, but it also teaches them the value of books for educative purposes.

My heart lies in fiction though, and there is a wealth of children’s books out there that are not only thoroughly enjoyable for little ones, but adults as well. Here is my pick of fifteen classics that adults and kids can enjoy.

Celebrate World Book Day With 15 Children's Books All Adults Should Read
Credit: Kaye and Ward

War Horse – Michael Morpurgo

A beautiful, informative and heart rending tale told from the perspective of Joey, a young horse who is sent to serve in the First World War. Will he ever be reunited with his beloved owner, Albert? This book will make you cry, but it will stay with you forever. One of my favourite stories of all time.

Celebrate World Book Day With 15 Children's Books All Adults Should Read
Credit: Random House

Oh The Places You’ll Go – Dr Seuss

Dr Seuss is a genius, and has helped many a child learn to read over the years. I love all his books, but the words in this poem are so encouraging, not only for kids but adults too.
“You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
Any direction you choose.”

Surely a mantra worth repeating?

Celebrate World Book Day With 15 Children's Books All Adults Should Read
Credit: Ladybird

The Railway Children – E. Nesbit

A classic tale, beautifully told. A family must move home after their father is falsely imprisoned for spying. the ending still makes me bawl like a baby.

Celebrate World Book Day With 15 Children's Books All Adults Should Read
Credit: Folio

Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince) – Antoine De Saint-Exupery

Though styled as a children’s book, The Little Prince has many valuable lessons for adults too. “One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eyes,” and “You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed” are two of my favourite quotes. It is a lovely story to read to children, but its message is definitely more applicable to adults.

Celebrate World Book Day With 15 Children's Books All Adults Should Read
Credit: Jonathan Cape

Matilda – Roald Dahl

Simply one of the best books ever written. Matilda is a child prodigy with the world’s worst parents and an evil headmistress, Miss Trunchbull. Thank goodness for her charming teacher, Miss Honey, who helps Matilda find joy in the world.

Celebrate World Book Day With 15 Children's Books All Adults Should Read
Credit: Macmillan

The Gruffalo – Julia Donaldson

A modern day classic. “Oh help, oh no! It’s a Gruffalo!” I can recite this book by heart. With beautiful illustrations by Axel Scheffler and humour that works on both kids and adults levels, this is a must read.

 

Celebrate World Book Day With 15 Children's Books All Adults Should Read
Credit: Frederick A Stokes

The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett

One of my childhood favourites, a charming, magical and beautiful story about becoming a better person.

Celebrate World Book Day With 15 Children's Books All Adults Should Read
Credit: Methuen

Winnie-the-Pooh – A A Milne

Now this is a true classic. There can’t be a person on earth who hasn’t heard of the bear with very little brain. Charming tales, they are simple and heart warming and have gifted us some of the best literary characters of all time.

Celebrate World Book Day With 15 Children's Books All Adults Should Read
Credit: Harper and Brothers

Charlotte’s Web – E.B White

One of the best selling paperbacks of all time, Charlotte’s Web is told in an understated, low key manner. It is such an adorable tale of friendship between a pig and a spider that it makes me fall in love with it all over again each time I read.

Celebrate World Book Day With 15 Children's Books All Adults Should Read
Credit: Scholastic

His Dark Materials Trilogy – Phillip Pullman

This trilogy had me hooked from the off. They are fantasy novels, following Lyra and Will as they journey through parallel universes. They are thoroughly gripping reads, and I highly recommend them. Stay away from the film, The Golden Compass, though.

 

Celebrate World Book Day With 15 Children's Books All Adults Should Read
Credit: Harper Collins

The Boy in the Dress – David Walliams

Walliams is fast becoming one of the greatest children’s authors of all time, and not just in my house. This is my favourite book of his, because the themes of acceptance, tolerance, love and understanding are things that all kids should be taught. Plus, I own a boy in a dress (not available in shops).

 

Celebrate World Book Day With 15 Children's Books All Adults Should Read
Credit: Penguin

The BFG – Roald Dahl

Yes, he does get two entries on the list, because Dahl is my favourite author of all time. The BFG is my favourite story in the entire world. It is divinely funny, wicked and rude as a child, and as an adult perhaps even more so. From BFG’s made up words, to his beautiful relationship with Sophie, this book is an absolute treasure.

Celebrate World Book Day With 15 Children's Books All Adults Should Read
Credit: David Fickling Books

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas – John Boyne

I read the entirety of this book while waiting for a connecting flight in Toronto airport. I sobbed so hard that the man next to me gave me his tissues. I defy anyone to read this story and then tell me that Children’s books don’t convey emotion. The very special tale of a friendship between two boys; one in a concentration camp, one the son of a Nazi officer. A truly harrowing tale.

Celebrate World Book Day With 15 Children's Books All Adults Should Read
Credit: Harper Collins

The Chronicles of Narnia – C.S Lewis

Before Harry Potter came the tales of Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy in the fantasy world of Narnia. Each and every one is a gem and you will be delighted to meet talking beavers, centaurs, the White Witch and Aslan.

Harry Potter
Credit: Bloomsbury

Harry Potter – J.K Rowling

It’s hard to believe, but there are people in this world who have not read the Harry Potter books. They might have seen the films, they might think they know all they need to know about it, but they have not read these delightful, magical and inspiring tales. If you do nothing else in life, I urge you to read them all. It’s a rite of passage, and you will thank me for it.

 

Becky Fuller

Lover of all things theatrical, literature related, musical and Gleeful. Writer, actress, wife and mother.
Advertisements