Living Books

‘To introduce children to literature is to install them in a very rich and glorious kingdom, to bring a continual holiday to their doors, to lay before them a feast exquisitely served. But they must learn to know literature by being familiar with it from the very first. A child’s intercourse must always be with good books, the best that we can find.’ — Charlotte Mason

Even in this digital age of Kindles and tablets, our house is full of books of all shapes and sizes. Good books is something I am passionate about not only for the adults in our home, but even more so for the children. Charlotte Mason talks of ‘living books’ as opposed to ‘twaddle’. I’m always on the hunt for living books with delightfully written stories and beautiful illustrations.

Even though the older two are independent readers, I still read aloud a great deal to the children. Here are some we have enjoyed.

Read Alouds 2020

(Children aged 10,8,5)

So far:

  1. Geoffrey Trease, The Young Traveller in England and Wales
  2. James Herriot, Treasury of Inspirational Stories for Children
  3. Bertha C. & Christine Cannell, Easter Tide Stories
  4. Beverley Naidoo, Journey to Jo’burg
  5. Fiona C. Lunn, The Squirrel
  6. Julia Cameron, Oxford By a Very Oxford Cat
  7. Michael Bond, A Bear Called Paddington

Read Alouds 2019

(Children aged 9,7,4)

  1. E.Nesbitt, Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare for Children
  2. Enid Blyton, Animal Lover’s Book
  3. Holling Clancy Holling, Paddle-to-the-Sea
  4. James Mayhew, The Kingfisher Book of Tales from Russia
  5. Douglas Bond, Mr.Pipes and the British Hymn Makers
  6. Gerald Durrell, The Fantastic Flying Journey
  7. Charles Dickens, Illustrated Stories from Dickens
  8. John Bunyan, Dangerous Journey: The Story of Pilgrim’s Progress
  9. Andrew Lang, The Blue Fairy Book
  10. Mig Holder, Mary Jones and Her Bible
  11. Lucy Fitch Perkins, The French Twins
  12. E.Nesbitt, Five Children and It
  13. Oscar Wilde, Stories for Children
  14. F.H.Lee, The Children’s Book of Saints
  15. Lucy Fitch Perkins, The Spanish Twins
  16. E.T.A.Hoffman, The Nutcracker
  17. Elizabeth Goudge, I Saw Three Ships

Read Alouds 2018

(Children aged 8,6,3)

  1. C.S. Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia
  2. Rumer Godden, The Story of Holly and Ivy
  3. M.L.Nesbitt, Grammarland
  4. Hans Christian Anderson, The Fairy Tales of
  5. Blanche Winder, Stories of King Arthur
  6. Palmer Brown, Hickory
  7. Beatrix Potter, The Complete Tales of Beatrix Potter
  8. Arthur Ransome, Swallows and Amazons
  9. Alison Morgan, River Song
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit
  11. Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
  12. Jostein Gaarder, The Christmas Mystery

Read Alouds 2017

(Children aged 7,5,2)

  1. Arthur Ransome, Old Peter’s Russian Tales
  2. Pyotr Yershov, The Magic Horse
  3. Roald Dahl, Fantastic Mr Fox
  4. Beatrix Potter, The Tale of Kitty in Boots
  5. Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden
  6. Enid Blyton, Nature Lover’s Book
  7. Arnold Ytreeide, Amon’s Adventure
  8. Caitlin Matthews, Celtic Memories
  9. Lewis Carroll, Alice Through the Looking Glass
  10. Henry Winterfield, Detectives in Togas
  11. Johanna Spyri, Heidi
  12. Mary & Conrad Buff, The Apple and The Arrow
  13. Arnold Ytreeide, Ishtar’s Odyssey

Read Alouds 2016

(Children aged 6,4,1)

  1. Michael Morpurgo, Aesop’s Fables
  2. Rudyard Kipling, Just So Stories
  3. J. M. Barrie, Peter Pan 
  4. Carlo Collodi, Pinocchio
  5. Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows
  6. Ruth Fosdick Jones, Boy of the Pyramids
  7. Anna Melbourne, Illustrated Arabian Nights 
  8. Dylan Thomas, A Child’s Christmas in Wales 

Reading Lists & Recommendations from the Archive

Read Alouds with my 4 year old

Books by Michael Morpurgo

Stories for Animal Lovers

Children’s Fiction 8+

20 Modern Classics 7-11 year olds

Over 40 Children’s Books 6-10 years old

Classics for Young Independent Readers 5-10 years old

My Boy’s Book Recommendations 5 – 7 years old

Stories with Dolls

WWII Historical Fiction 6+

Victorian Historical Fiction 6+

Ancient Egypt Historical Fiction 5+

Picture Books for 2 year olds

20 Picture Books for 3-5 year olds

20 Family Read Alouds

Seasonal Reading:

Autumn Picture Books

Winter Picture Books

Spring Picture Books

Summer Picture Books

Christmas:

Over 25 Christmas Chapter Books

Over 25 Christmas Picture Books

Christmas Stories and Poems

Christmas Audiobooks

The Nutcracker Extravaganza

Easter:

Easter Picture Books and Poetry

Audiobooks:

Listening to Audiobooks

Audiobooks for the Summer

Christmas Audiobooks