The childhood books that turned us into readers

Posted by Educational Centre 08/09/2020 0 Comment(s)



The benefits of reading at every stage of a child’s development are well documented. Luckily, raising a reader is fun, rewarding and relatively easy. 

Exposing children to diversity in books will prepare them for life in a diverse world.

Finding a children's book to satisfy your kid (or indeed, the kid in you) can be tough with so much to choose from.

From timeless classics to modern novels; marvellous mysteries and trips back in time, these books deserve a spot on everyone's bookshelf.


Matilda, by Roald Dahl


Matilda is the world's most famous bookworm, no thanks to her ghastly parents. Her father thinks she's a little scab. Her mother spends all afternoon playing bingo. And her headmistress, Miss Trunchbull? She's the worst of all. She's a big bully, who thinks all her pupils are rotten and locks them in the dreaded   Chokey.

Despite these beastly grownups trying to push her down, Matilda is an extraordinary   girl with a magical mind. And she's had enough. So all the terrible adults had better watch out, because she's going to teach them a lesson they'll never forget!






Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll



‘Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having  nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but   it had no pictures or conversations in it, “and what is the use of a book,” thought Alice,  “without pictures or conversations?”’

So begins the tale of Alice, who follows a curious White Rabbit down a hole and falls  into Wonderland, a fantastical place where nothing is quite as it seems: animals talk,  nonsensical characters confuse, Mad   Hatters throw tea parties and the Queen plays  croquet. Alice’s attempts to find her way home become increasingly bizarre, infuriating  and amazing in turn.

A beloved classic, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland has continued to delight readers,   young and old, for over 150 years.



The Call of the Wild, by Jack London


Life is good for Buck in Santa Clara Valley, where he spends his days eating and   sleeping in the golden sunshine.

But one day a treacherous act of betrayal leads to his   kidnap, and he is forced into a   life of toil and danger.

Dragged away to be a sledge dog in the harsh and freezing cold Yukon, Buck must   fight for his survival.

Can he rise above his enemies and become the master of his   realm once again?







Peter Pan, by J. M. Barrie


Over the rooftops of London, Peter Pan and the fairy Tinkerbell lead Wendy, Michael  and John Darling to Neverland to start a new life with his gang of Lost Boys.

There, they will encounter mermaids, princesses, a ticking crocodile and the fearsome  Captain Hook and his terrible crew of pirates.

What will their new life be like in Neverland?

If Captain Hook has his way, they won't   live long enough to find out...





The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett


After losing her parents, young Mary Lennox is sent from India to live in her uncle's  gloomy mansion on the wild English moors.

She is lonely and has no one to play with,   but one day she learns of a secret garden  somewhere in the grounds that no one is allowed to enter.

Then Mary uncovers an old key in a flowerbed - and a gust of magic leads her to the  hidden door.

Slowly she turns the key and enters a world she could never have   imagined.







Madame Doubtfire, by Anne Fine


Madame Doubtfire by bestselling author Anne Fine is a wonderfully funny, punchy   story about family life. Lydia, Christopher and Natalie are used to domestic turmoil.

Their parents' divorce has not made family life any easier in either home. The children  bounce to and from their volatile mother, Miranda, and their out-of-work actor father,  Daniel.

Then Miranda advertises for a cleaning lady who will look mind the children   after  work  - and Daniel gets the job, disguised as Madame Doubtfire.

This bittersweet, touching and extremely funny book inspired the highly successful film  Mrs Doubtfire, starring the late Robin Williams.



 The Velveteen Rabbit, by Margery Williams



Once there was a velveteen rabbit who longed to be Real.

He was owned by a boy   who loved him more and more every day, even when the  rabbit's   shiny coat grew old and shabby and worn.

Then one day something magical   happened, and the rabbit's wish began to come   true . . .

The Velveteen Rabbit is a classic, much-loved children's story by Margery Williams.






The Jungle Bookby Rudyard Kipling


The classic story of friendship between man and beast.

Young Mowgli escapes the vicious jaws of the growling tiger Shere Khan, and is  adopted by Father Wolf. As he grows up, Baloo the Bear and Bagheera the Panther  teach Mowgli the Law of the Jungle, and so his extraordinary adventures begin . . .

The adventures of Rikki Tikki Tavi the snake-fighting mongoose, little Toomai and the  elephant's secret dance, and Kotick the white seal are all part of Mowgli's extraordinary journey with his animal friends.





Gulliver's Travels, by Jonathan Swift


In the course of his famous travels, Gulliver is captured by miniature people who wage  war on each other because of religious disagreement over how to crack eggs, is  sexually assaulted by giants, visits a floating island, and decides that the society of  horses is better than that of his fellow man.

Swift's tough, filthy and incisive satire has much to say about the state of the world  today and is presented here in its unexpurgated entirety.






The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain



'We said there wasn't no home like a raft, after all. Other places do seem so cramped up and   smothery, but a raft don't. You feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft.'

Huck Finn escapes from his alcoholic father by faking his own death and so begins his journey   through the Deep South, seeking independence and freedom. On his travels, Huck meets an   escaped slave, Jim, who is a wanted man, and together they journey down the Mississippi   River.

Raising the timeless and universal l issues of prejudice, bravery and hope, The Adventures of   Huckleberry Finn was and still is considered the great American novel.



Selected Fairy Tales, Hans Christian Andersen



This collection brings together some of Hans Christian Andersen’s most popular fairy tales – including ‘The Little Mermaid’, ‘The Ugly Duckling’ and ‘Thumbelina’ – in a celebration of one of the world’s most widely recognised children’s authors. With universal themes and dark humour at their heart, these moralistic tales have delighted readers since first publication in the nineteenth century and continued to be well loved today.

The fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen, a storyteller of great importance to Western literature, have inspired many films, ballets and plays, and entertained generations of children and adults alike.




Grimms’ Fairy Tales



Collected by the German Grimm brothers, these folk tales have captured the imaginations of   children and adults alike since they were first published in  1812.

The best-known stories such as The Golden Goose, Hansel and Gretel, The Frog Prince,   and   Snow-White and Rose-Red remain as popular today as when  first told, although there   is an   underlying darkness and violence to the original stories that has softened over time.