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Fantasy books for children

Updated on July 24, 2018
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Tjoedhilde is a geeky mom who loves RPG's, boardgames, fantasy novels and her 5 year old daughter.

Fantasy Books You Will Enjoy Reading Aloud to Your Children.

Fantasy books for children are not hard to come by, however with the standard of some of them, I don't blame parents who get easily bored while reading aloud to their kids. Here is a collection of books that will make you long for bedtime story time. Here I will review some of the fantasy books on the market that is targetted towards children.

If you are are out of gift ideas for your children this Christmas, maybe you will find some inspiration below.

Have fun! :)

The Brothers Lionheart - Astrid Lindgren - Get to know the beautiful Nangijala

Brothers Lionheart
Brothers Lionheart
Astrid Lingren is my all time favourite children book author she manages to use humour and excitement to tell very deep stories about friendship, loss and other topics that can be very hard for children to deal with. The Brother Lionheart is a beautiful tale about the friendship and love between two brothers; Karl and Jonatan. Karl is ´the youngest and he is deadly sick. The thought of death has him very scared. In order for him to feel better his big brother Jonatan tells him amazing tales of the lovely Nangijala which is where you go when you die. Karl is unable to move from his bed and when the house catches fire one day, his older brother runs to his rescue disregarding the risk to his own life. This is the important setting of the book, however the main part follows the two brothers on their quest to save the people of Nangijala from the evil knight who has occupied it and who is ensuring that the entire population is living in fear of him and his pet dragon Katla. It outlines a classic battle between good an evil, but tells the story so masterfully that it never becomes boring even if it is mainly black and white. The story is so well written and the themes so mature that even adults will enjoy the read. In general though I would say that the story is fit for children age 8 and up. For younger children it might be a bit scary. The subject of death is really elegantly discussed throughout the book, so even younger children should be able to follow the story and for some children it might even help them cope better with the idea and subject of death. While the story is juggling some heavy topics, the book never becomes a heavy read and it doesn't let the tale get bogged down by the subjects. It is a fantasy story about friendship, family and courage. Read it yourself, then read it to your child! :)

Ronja Robbers Daughter - Join Ronja and the Robbers as She Grows up and Learns That Real Friendship Can Mend Even the Oldest Feuds

Ronia, the Robber's Daughter
Ronia, the Robber's Daughter
Another book by Astrid Lindgren. Ronja Robbers daught has a lighter tone to it than the brothers lionheart, however it still deals with a subject very relevant to children. Friendship is the main theme of the book and how most issues can be resolved as long as people just talk to each other. The story is about two feuding robber tribes that share the same castle, the building is split right down the middle and noone ever crosses the divide. Ronja is born and grows up amongst the robbers on her side of the divide and she learns to sing taunting songs about the other tribe and to despise the robbers from the other side of the castle. That is until she meets Birk, a boy her own age who becomes her friend. Problem is Birk is the son of the leader of the rivaling robber tribe. The story is full of supernatural beings, adventures and stubborn adults who in the end learns a valuable lesson from their children. Ronja Robbers daughter is a squirky, happy and laugther inducing story. It is lighthearted without being silly and the story carries a really nice message.I very much recommend this book for any 7+ children.

Mio My Son - Astrid Lindgren - the Battle between Good and Evil at Its Finest.

Mio, My Son
Mio, My Son
This is another of Astrid Lindgrens books that I can only recommend. Mio my son is about a boy who lost his mother and who dad disappeared. Bosse (thats the name of the boy) is being raised by his aunt and uncle, who does not actually like children. He spends his days longing for his dad. He is certain that his dad did not run off, but that he is waiting for him somwhere. One rainy autumn evening the friendly fruit vendor hands him an apple and that is when it all begins. Bosse finds a bottle with a genie in and suddenly he is whisked away to a kingdom far far away. Here he learns that his dad is the king and that he himself is prince Mio. His happiness doesn't last long though as he has to go off to battle the evil Knight Kato. Kato is so evil that he kidnaps small children and even worse, his heart is made of stone so it is almost impossible to win against him. With him on his quest is Mio's new best friend Jumjum and his trusted horse Miramis. (Names may be slightly different in the american version) The story is expertly told you celebrate with Bosse when he finally meets his father and you feel real sadness when reading about the kidnapped children. There is an abundance of magic and adventure going on and the detailed describtions makes the universe and characters interesting. It is one of those books where you "just" read 1 more chapter and the 4 hours later the book is done. This is another book I would recomment to children 8 years and above as it can get a bit scary at times.

Childrens books and topics

In my opinion childrens books gets better when they have some depth to them. That way both child and adult can enjoy the book.

Do You like Children's Books That Deal with More Serious Topics like Death and Loneliness?

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The Hobbit - J.R.R Tolkien - the Story of Mr. Baggings and How He Got Hold of the Magic Ring.

The Hobbit: or There and Back Again
The Hobbit: or There and Back Again
I guess some will argue with me about putting the Hobbit down as a childrens book and I will be the first to admit that I have enjoyed reading it immensely many times as an adult. That is however in my opinion what makes it such a great childrens book. As I see it, the best Childrens books are the ones where the parents are equally excited about the story as that will ensure that both parties are equally absorbed in the book. For those who are not familiar with the Hobbit or the Lord of the Rings, here is a small rundown of the story: Mr Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit,. Hobbits are a race of small people with hairy feet who loves to eat and hates adventures. One day however a wizard knocks on Bilbos door and suddenly he finds himself in the adventure of a lifetime. Hired as a burglar with thirteen dwarves as his companions and a dragon treasure to claim, Bilbo suddenly jumps from danger to danger. The books have everything a good fantasy story should have, supernatural beings, magic rings, treasures, wars and wizards. The story can be read on many levels and as such it makes for pleasant reading for many ages. I would say that you can start reading it to your child at the age of 9-10 however it is definitely worth it having them revisit it later either by you re-reading it or by them picking it up themselves when they grow older. If nothing else then to read it in conjuction with the, the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

I Shall Wear Midnight - Terry Pratchett - a Story about a Witch

I Shall Wear Midnight (Discworld Novel 38) (Discworld Novels)
I Shall Wear Midnight (Discworld Novel 38) (Discworld Novels)
Terry Pratchett is another one of my favourite authors, because he manages to write stories that can be enjoyed by so many age groups. I actually picked this book up recently and read it for the first time. It was not until halfway through that I read on the back that it was part of his childrens books series. I finished the book and thoroughly enjoyed it although when comparing to other Terry Prachett books I can see why this one is considered more aimed at children. The story is about Tiffany and she is a witch! That hasn't really been a problem until the baron die after a time of ilness and suddenly TIffany finds herself accused of murder. After some investigation she finds out that it is all caused by the Cunning Man, an evil spirit with a burning hatred for witches and obviously Tiffany can't have a mean ghost like that running around. The story follows her as she tries to stop the Cunning Man and convince people that witches are not evil. In true Pratchett style the book is filled with sarcasm, wordplays and surprising twists. Very enjoyable read for both children and grown-ups. The book might be entertaining for children as young as 7, however I would say 9-10 years old is probably the best age in order for them to fully benefit from Terry Prachetts quirky wrting style.

The Harry Potter Series - Jk Rowling - the Favourite Teenage Wizard of the World.

Harry Potter Paperback Box Set (Books 1-7)
Harry Potter Paperback Box Set (Books 1-7)
It is hard to get around Harry Potter when recommending fantasy books for children. A lot has been written about the books already, but that is because they deserve it. The stories about Harry Potter is based on the curious question "what if the world was full of people who could use magic and the only reason we don't know about it is because they are keeping it hidden from us?" I don't think there is a single person out there who hasn't at one point wished they could use magic, which makes it easy to let yourself get absorbed by the universe Rowling presents to us. The books follow orphaned Harry from his early teenage years where he lives with his aunt and uncle and his bully of a cousin. His life is not enjoyable in any way as he is treated as a servant rather than a family member. One day though Hagrid arrives and whisks him away to a life full of magic, friends and deadly enemies. We get to go to school with Harry Potter and while that might sound boring, it is definitely not when the subject of all the classes are of magical nature. And then there is of course the fight against an evil force that grows progressively more dominant as the story progresses. At Hogwarts as the school of magic is called Harry meets Ron and Hermione who becomes his friends and trusty companions throughout the series. He also meets Draco and his buddies Vincent and Gregory, who he will have many runins with over the years of his school life. The conflict in the books happens on several levels. There is the main conflict between the good wizards and the evil wizard Voldemort. A conflict Harry Potter and his friends gets involved in through Harrys connection to Lord Voldemort (No spoilers here, read the books). This conflict is however cleverly mirrored on a much smaller scale in the bullying at school where it is Harry and friends against Draco and his gang. As Harry grows older, so does the intended audience of the books and the final part of the tale about Harry Potter and his friends is very dark in certain places. Rowling has a very riveting writing style and she doesn't speak down to the reader. The only complaint I have about the books is that except for the first one all of them has a good part of the first chapters dedicated to remind the reader of what happened in the previous books. This gets really frustrating as you can't actually skip it since it is mixed in with the new story. This is of course because the books were released with many month between them, but it gets annoying now that you can and most likely will read them in one go. That being said though the books are a must read for any child who are into the fantasy genre (and might I add every grown up!). The story is engaging, the friendship between Harry, Hermione and Ron is believable and continues to evolve and the main conflict is interesting with enough twists so it doesn't become too obvious. It is hard to give a proper age recommendation for these books, because the theme and writing style changes as the main character matures. I would say the first book can be enjoyed by children as low as 7, however I would not advice the last book to anyone younger than 12 as the subject for especially the last 2 books is heavier. Read them yourself then judge if your child would enjoy. The main thing is that you wont regret buying these books either way.

© 2018 Tjoedhilde


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