Children's books to share on World Read Aloud Day

Today (7 February) is World Read Aloud Day, and as a parent who is one bedtime story away from chucking my four-year-old's favourite book out the window I thought that I would share some of the recent picture book releases that I would happily read four times in a row instead.

Julia Donaldson's Book of Names by Julia Donaldson and Nila Aye (illus.)

As someone with an unusual, oft-mispronounced name Julia Donaldson's Book of Names is a bit of a cathartic favourite for me. Over the course of her extraordinary successful career, the author of The Gruffalo has no doubt signed many, many thousands of children's books for them. In this fun rhyming picture book she has seamlessly grouped them together into categories to create a charming love letter to the world of books, imagination and children. Illustrator Nila Aye sets the story in a magical transforming bookshop that offers hints to the themes behind each group of names: months of the year, colours, flowers, food and gemstones.

For ages 2+

The Knight with No Bottom by Levina van Teunenbroek, Charlotte Bruijn (illus.)

Who doesn't like a bum joke? They're been a tried-and-true favourite of children's literature for decades, and for good reason. From the bestselling Dutch author Levina van Teunenbroek, The Knight With No Bottom is a hilarious picture book with rhyming text about a knight who runs afoul of a dragon and ends up bottomless. Life without a bum proves to be a bit sad and lonely, so the knight is delighted to discover a bottom shop some distance away... but how will he get there when he can't ride his horse?

For ages 4+

Mooie's Stories by 'BurWhela' Ros Kneebone-Dodson

I grew up on fairy tales and Aesop's fables, and as much as I loved them, I'm so glad that thanks to some incredible First Nations writers and illustrators, younger generations of Australians are being introduced to some of the wonderful Dreamtime stories. In Mooie's Stories ‘Burwhela’ Ros Kneebone-Dodson shares the Dja Dja Wurrung Ancestors’ stories, passed down through generations. The four stories in this collection are set around Bulatjal Yaluk Woodlar – the Loddon River in Victoria – and invites young readers to learn about how the crayfish – Wabbee – got its bright red spots, how the moon – Yern– came to light up the night sky, and how the ringtail possum – Whela – came to have a curly tail.

For ages 5+

Bedtime Stories for Hard Days by Scott Stuart

We all have bad days, and that definitely includes children (who often seem to feel things even more deeply that their grown-ups), so Scott Stuart's heartfelt Bedtime Stories for Hard Days is an excellent book to have in your arsenal. With simple one-page entries based around a variety of situations including 'when you're afraid of being your unique self', 'when you feel like your best is just not enough', 'when we've been arguing', and 'when you're missing a loved one'. Empathetic and compassionate, each rhyming story invites children to reflect on the day they've experienced before letting it go and relaxing into rest.

For ages 3+

My Very Own Special Particular Private and Personal Cat by Sandol Stoddard Warburg

If the title of this book alone hasn't sold it, My Very Own Special Particular Private and Personal Cat might not be the right choice for you, but for those of us instantly drawn to the wordy and witty title, Sandol Stoddard Warburg's picture book is a treat to read. Accompanied by gloriously retro illustrations, this playful picture book about a boy and a cat will teach boundaries and independence, identity and belonging, friendship and respect.

For ages 3+

Cover image for Julia Donaldson's Book of Names

Julia Donaldson’s Book of Names

Julia Donaldson

In stock at 8 shops, ships in 3-4 daysIn stock at 8 shops