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. Our postman finds the amount of books he delivers to us quite remarkable! But 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. (I do love good illustrations too as they are a feast for our eyes as we read.)

I use this page to share some of the books my children and I have enjoyed together. Here’s a post on Reading Aloud which is a central part of our week.

Read Alouds 2018

Some we have enjoyed so far:

  1. C.S. Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia
  2. Rumer Golden, 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

Read Alouds 2017

  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. Arnold Ytreeide, Amon’s Adventure
  7. Caitlin Matthews, Celtic Memories
  8. Lewis Carroll, Alice Through the Looking Glass
  9. Henry Winterfield, Detectives in Togas
  10. Johanna Spyri, Heidi
  11. Mary & Conrad Buff, The Apple and The Arrow
  12. Arnold Ytreeide, Ishtar’s Odyssey

Read Alouds 2016

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

Reading Lists & Recommendations from the Archive:

Master Storyteller Michael Morpurgo

Stories for Animal Lovers (Cat and Dog Stories)

Over 40 Children’s Books for the Summer (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

Picture Books for 2 year olds

20 Picture Books for 3-5 year olds

20 Family Read Alouds


Over 25 Christmas Picture Books

Christmas Stories

Christmas Audiobooks

The Nutcracker Extravaganza


Easter Picture Books


Listening to Audiobooks

Audiobooks for the Summer

Christmas Audiobooks


Here are a couple of games in our cupboard that help us to enjoy the stories and literature we have been reading in a different way.

Story Cubes: You may well have seen these already. I keep seeing them in museum gift shops. We love them. A simple dice game which you could play anywhere, perhaps in restaurant while waiting for the food to arrive. It helps young ones (and us older ones!) to use our imagination but with the dice to help along the way, to make up whole new stories.

Book Worm: A game of reading, listening and remembering. It contains wonderful passages from children’s literature followed by some multiple choice questions to see if you were listening. No prior knowledge of the books needed. Fun for ages 6 +