Do you remember the first time you read Roald Dahl’s ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’? I certainly do. I was 8, it was Easter and along with the mountain of chocolate eggs, I had been given a copy of the book. I remember racing upstairs, sitting under my red desk, cracking open a Smarties egg and peeling open the first page to what I can now describe as one of my all time favourite books. Being transported into a magical world where the imagination can run wild and anything is possible is something every child should be entitled to.
With a recent report showing that 72% of parents believe that bedtime reading is one of the most important bonding experiences they can have with their child and with 75 per cent putting on voices to bring their children’s favourite characters to life, it is obvious that enjoying books from a young age is not only a key part of a childs development, but also for their adult relationship with reading. With World Book Day coming up in a couple of weeks (Thursday 5th March), Sainsbury’s conducted a poll of 2000 readers, which found that six in ten parents choose to read stories to their children that their own parents once read to them. Nostalgia, it seems, is a powerful thing. Having recently read most of the Roald Dahl books to my six year old son, having already gone through the Enid Blyton ‘Faraway Tree’ and ‘Wishing Chair’ collection, I can empathise with this nostalgia wholeheartedly. Seeing the delight on his face as Mrs Twit served up worm spaghetti to Mr Twit is something that will stay with me forever and I can only hope that he will share the same joy with his own children when he is older.
In honour of World Book day, a list has been compiled of the top 50 books every child should read by the age of 16:
I have printed this list off for my son, who has very proudly ticked off 11 titles already and he’s only 6! We are now making it our mission to slowly work through them. I also worked out how many of these children’s classics I had read – 34. Not bad, but that leaves 16 to still read, which I intend to do, either by myself or with my son. Take a look through yourself and see how many you have read from the list. I would also really enjoy hearing about the books you enjoyed as a child – can you remember Bobby Brewster, Flossie Teacake or Superfudge? Send us your own top 20 childrens books and we will share them on here for others to enjoy.