6 imaginative books to read with children this World Book Day

Are you taking part in World Book Day this year? The annual celebration of books and reading takes place on 7 March 2024 and aims to encourage children and adults alike to enjoy the hobby.

Reading with your children can provide a range of benefits. The BookTrust found that children who read regularly are more likely to:

  • Overcome disadvantages caused by inequalities
  • Be happier, healthier, and experience better mental wellbeing and self-esteem
  • Do better at school and make more progress across the curriculum
  • Develop empathy and creativity.

Encouraging your children and grandchildren to read, providing them with books, and making the experience fun – perhaps by taking part in the tradition of dressing up as your favourite fictional character on World Book Day – could strengthen your relationship.

If you want to discover new books to enjoy with your family, here are six imaginative books for you to read together.

1. Guess How Much I Love You? by Sam McBratney

When you love someone a lot, you want to tell them how you feel. But as Big Nutbrown Hare and Little Nutbrown Hare discover, measuring just how much you love someone is harder than you think.

This heartwarming tale explores how we express love to each other and features beautiful illustrations to enjoy with children under the age of five.

2. Blue by Sarah Christou

Blue – a gigantic, furry monster – makes the young protagonist of this picture book worry about everything. It follows them wherever they go: the playground, birthday parties, even hiding under their bed. But one day, they share their secret with a friend and slowly come to realise that they don’t need to hide their feelings.

Blue is ideal for any young children who may be dealing with big emotions. The gorgeous pastel drawings and sensitive approach to a difficult topic make this story perfect to read with children between the ages of four to six.

3. How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell

Every young boy on the island of Berk must capture and train a dragon to earn their place as a Viking. Armed with a single page of instructions, Hiccup only has a matter of days to teach his new companion, Toothless, to behave before they’re exiled forever.

Now adapted into three brilliant animated films, the How to Train Your Dragon series will appeal to children from the ages of 6 to 10.

4. Impossible Creatures by Katherine Rundell

Christopher is stunned when he discovers a hidden passageway to a magical world. In the Archipelago, mythical creatures thrive and mysteries lie in wait. Accompanied by Mal, a girl with a flying coat and baby griffin companion, the two set out on a quest to save these islands and the world beyond from a rising evil.

A Sunday Times Bestseller and winner of Waterstones Book of the Year 2023, the immersive fantasy world of Impossible Creatures will capture the attention of 8- to 12-year-olds and won’t let go.

5. Ruby Redfort: Look Into My Eyes by Lauren Child

Ruby Redfort isn’t your average 13-year-old girl. When her family’s furniture and housekeeper go missing, her quick mind and talent for spotting unusual things lead to her entering a world of spies and secrets beyond her wildest dreams.

With a fantastic heroine and dastardly villains, Look Into My Eyes is an exhilarating introduction to a series of exciting adventures that are perfect to enjoy with children from the ages of 9–13.

6. Heartstopper by Alice Oseman

Charlie and Nick have never spoken, even though they attend the same school. But when they’re suddenly sat next to each other in form, a beautiful romance starts to bloom.

Heartstopper is a delightful series of graphic novels exploring first loves, loyalty, and friendships that will speak to children from 13 to 16. And if your children or grandchildren enjoy Charlie and Nick’s story, you can watch their friendship turn into something more in the Netflix adaptation.

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