Books for Children Today - 10 of the best book series
Developing Reading as a Hobby
Reading has been the most pleasurable hobby of my life. All writers are prolific readers first! I find that children today are so much in tune with video media that the print media is almost forgotten.
My own child is not half the reader that I was at his age. To rectify this I have started spending time each night reading to him from a book that he enjoys. We stumbled upon a few new books and some old treasures in our nightly exploration.
This hub is a result of that set of books which we have read or plan to read next! Most of the books are interesting for both girls and boys in the age group of 5 to 9. Of course the illustrated ones are always more popular!
1. Thomas the Tank Engine
Thomas has been a fast friend for my son since he was two years old. The television cartoons led to us buying almost all the characters that he liked. Not to mention Thomas the Tank Engine bedsheets and tshirts as well.
However it was only when he turned 5 that we read our first Thomas the Tank Engine Book. After that there was no looking back. We went through the adventures of the friends on the Island of Sodor for nearly two years.
2. Geronimo Stilton
A more recent discovery has been this Italian Rodent who is the chief editor of the Rodent's Gazette in New Mouse City! The different fonts in the print make it very interesting for beginning readers.There is a regular set of characters who get repeated in the book. These are Thea, Geronimon's sister, Benjamin, his nephew, Trap his cousin, his Aunt Sweetfur and grandfather William.
Although it seems unlikely from the cover, the books are actually full of general knowledge. Each book deals with a central theme or problem that Geronimo Stilton faces and gives you a whole lot of added information about this. For instance in the book that Geronimo Stilton gets "Mousenapped" by Creepella you learn about how people who are different may not always be scary or bad!
3. The Thea Sisters
This is a spin off from the original Geronimo Stilton book series. Thea Stilton is Geronimo's sister. She is teaching Journalism at Mouseford Academy. There a set of five students get inspired by her and decide to start a fan club which they call the Thea Sisters. Each of the girls in the fan club come from a different country. In turn we get to visit each country with the girls and learn about their home nations.
Of course there is always a pressing mystery or problem to be solved by Nicky, Pauline, Pam, Violet and Collette. The Thea Sisters are always up to the challenge and usually end up catching the bad guys red handed. Along the way you realize that you have been exposed to a number of country specific traits and treats without even realizing it!
4. Roald Dahl
One of my favorite authors as a kid! You can get a Complete list of all Roald Dahl Books on his Amazon Page. It is his simple but outrageous plots that hold your imagination. There is always the element of magic, like Matilda's special abilities, or the witches, or the mysterious machines at the Chocolate Factory.
Another common element in his books is the personal courage of the main protagonist, who is usually a child. Quentin Blake's illustrations in the books often bring forth the multifaceted characters to life. And since the main character is a child the children have no problem imagining themselves in similar situations. I would recommend reading these books aloud to the children as you will love them almost as much as they will.
5. Dr Seuss Books
Theodor Seuss Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss, would say, "A person's a person, no matter how small. Children want the same things we want. To laugh, to be challenged, to be entertained and delighted." Of course you may remember the line "A person's a person, no matter how small" from the animated movie Horton Hears a Who!
Most of Dr Seuss' books have now been made into movies and it is fairly common for children to have seen the movies before they read the books. That does not take away from the joy of reading these books in the least! The entire range of his books can be as entertaining as the movies themselves.
From Books to Movies
The list of essential classics will be different for everyone. There are some books that the boys will prefer and others that the girls will enjoy better.
Still this list is a starting point for your child to learn a bit about the great literature that has been written. You can always add or delete what you want to read from it.
The best part is that almost all the classics have been made into movies and so it would be a fun idea to read the book and then follow it up with the movie.
You can then discuss with your child how well (or not) the book was adapted into the movie. Talk about the bits that were omitted in the movie and the possible reasons for the omission.
In some cases the children may already have seen the movie and you can use that as a starting point to show them how the book was converted to a movie.
You can even get them to write their own short plays and put them into production using the family resources. Have fun designing costumes, stage props and the action.
6. Illustrated Classics
The classics are called the classics for a reason. They never go out of style! Here is a set of Illustrated Classics that you may like to read out to your child.
- King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.
- Sherlock Homes and the case of the Hound of the Baskervilles
- Treasure Island
- Moby Dick
- 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
- Around the World in 80 Days
- Three Musketeers
- Adventures of Tom Sawyer
- Huckleberry Finn
- Last of the Mohicans
- Peter Pan
- Robinson Crusoe
- Great Expectations
- Black Beauty
- Journey to the Center of the Earth
- Wind in the Willows
- Little Women
- Swiss Family Robinson
- Time Machine
- Count of Monte Cristo
- War of the Worlds
- A Tale of Two Cities
- Oliver Twist
- Pride and Prejudice
- Sense and Sensibility
- Merry Adventures of Robin Hood
- A Christmas Carol
- Alice in Wonderland
- Secret Garden
- Jungle Book
- Beauty and the Beast
7. Panchatantra Tales
In the kingdom of Mahilaropya ruled a wise King. Unfortunately he had three lazy and sluggish sons who refused to learn anything. The king was worried about the heir to the throne, as he knew that his sons were incapable of governing the land wiselyt.
He was desperate to find a good and knowledgeable teacher for his sons who would teach them the scriptures. His minister then introduced the King to a skilled pundit, called Vishnu Sharman. Vishnu sharman taught the princes about kingly conduct through a series of stories, which would be more effective than the scriptures.
These were later compiled into the collection of stories called Pancha tantra.There are five volumes of the Panchtantra each dealing with a specific aspect. As per wikipedia
The five books are called:
- Mitra-bheda: The Separation of Friends (The Lion and the Bull)
- Mitra-lābha or Mitra-samprāpti: The Gaining of Friends (The Dove, Crow, Mouse, Tortoise and Deer)
- Kākolūkīyam: Of Crows and Owls (War and Peace)
- Labdhapraṇāśam: Loss Of Gains (The Monkey and the Crocodile)
- Aparīkṣitakārakaṃ: Ill-Considered Action / Rash deeds (The Brahman and the Mongoose)
Mitra Bheda has the following stories
* The Loss of Friends
* The Monkey and The Wedge
* The Jackal and The Drum
* The Fall and Rise of A Merchant
* The Foolish Sage and The Jackal
* The Crafty Crane and The Craftier Crab
* The Cunning Hare and The Witless Lion
* The Bug and The Poor Flea
* The Story of The Blue Jackal
* The Camel, The Jackal and The Crow
* The Bird Pair and The Sea
* Tale of The Three Fish
* The Elephant and The Sparrow
* The Lion and The Jackal
* Suchimukha and The Monkey
* How a Sparrow Came to Grief
* The Foolish Crane and The Mongoose
* The King and The Foolish Monkey
Mitra-samprāpti has the following stories
* Gaining Friends
* The Crow-Rat Discourse
* Meeting a New Friend
* The Hermit and The Mouse
* Shandili and Sesame Seeds
* Story of The Merchant’s Son
* The Unlucky Weaver
* The Rescue of a Deer
Kākolūkīyam has the following stories
* Of Crows and Owls
* Elephants and Hares
* The Cunning Mediator
* The Brahmin and The Crooks
* The Brahmin and The Cobra
* The Old Man, His Young Wife and The Thief
* The Tale of Two Snakes
* The Wedding of The Mouse
* Tale of The Golden Droppings
* Frogs That Rode a Snake
Labdhapraṇāśam has the following stories
* The Croc and The Monkey
* The Greedy Cobra and The King of Frogs
* The Lion and The Foolish Donkey
* The Story of The Potter
* A Three-in-One Story
* The Carpenter’s Wife
* The Price of Indiscretion
* The Jackal’s Strategy
Aparīkṣitakārakaṃ has the following stories
* The Brahmani and The Mongoose
* The Lion That Sprang to Life
* The Tale of Two Fish and a Frog
* The Story of The Weaver
* The Miserly Father
* Tale of The Bird With Two Heads
8. Jataka tales
These are tales that tell of the previous lives of the Buddha. There are educational tales that teach about the difficult circumstances that you may face and how you can overcome them. The Jatakas were originally amongst the earliest Buddhist literature, with metrical analysis methods dating their average contents to around the 4th century BC. The Theravada Jatakas comprise 547 poems, arranged roughly by increasing number of verses.
These stories were first said to have been told by the Buddha himself 2,500 years ago. They illustrate the ideals of the Buddhist paramitas, or “perfections” of character such as giving, morality, forbearance, vitality, focused meditation, wisdom, compassionate skillful means, resolve, strength, and knowledge.
9. Greek and Roman Mythology
Man has always wondered about his origins. The ancient stories that come down to us as mythology are basically a reflection on this. Depending on the culture the stories have evolved with many theories and these are as much fun to read as they are to discuss.
The many Greek Gods and Goddesses who were later assimilated by the Romans as their own have a number of interesting tales to share. Perseus, Hercules, and Odysseus all have been made into modern day movies, but reading the original tales is always fun.
It is fun to find out the Roman names for the Greek Gods and learn how they differ in both the cultures. Mount Olympia was never so interesting as when Ambrosia was served!
10. Harry Potter
The last series of children's books that took us as a planet by storm would be the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling, The seven books from the original series are
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
If you are interested in the other books that she wrote supplementing the Harry Potter series you may like to read
- Quidditch Through the Ages
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
- The Tales of Beedle the Bard
- Harry Potter: The Prequel (Harry Potter 0.5)