Best Books for Preschool Kids, recommended by Janice Stewart-Yates

With travel restricted in much of the world due to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, it is more important than ever to open children’s minds through books. Janice Stewart-Yates, a passionate Montessori educator, shares her recommendations for books that bring the world to children. These are some of her favourite picks for preschool classroom story time, as well as for reading with her own daughter.

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library – Inspiring a Lifelong Love of Reading, recommended by Marion Gillooly

Dolly Parton is an iconic singer and songwriter, but many children around the world know her as their librarian. Through the Imagination Library she nurtures a love of books in young children. Marion Gillooly, Executive Director, The Dollywood Foundation UK, talks us through the background of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and highlights five of her favourite books in the catalogue (which she admits was really hard: “all the books are my favourites”).

The Best Antiracist Books for Kids, recommended by Paula Young Shelton

Understanding the African American experience is not just about learning about suffering, it’s also about celebrating a vibrant culture and its roots across the millennia. Paula Young Shelton, author of Child of the Civil Rights Movement, recommends the best antiracist books for kids.

The Best Books on Gratitude for Kids, recommended by Dana Sheridan

What should you read with your kids on Thanksgiving? Dana Sheridan of Princeton University Library’s Cotsen Children’s Library recommends five children’s books with themes of love, gratitude, belonging and sharing with one another—what the holiday is all about.

Children’s Picture Books, recommended by Kate Milner

Kate Milner, winner of the prestigious Klaus Flugge Prize, discusses some of the trailblazing illustrators that have inspired her own career. She heralds artists whose imaginative works have given us some of the most exuberant storytelling for children over the last 50 years.

Favourite Kids’ Books, recommended by Klaus Flugge

Since founding Andersen Press in 1976, Klaus Flugge has published some of the most well-known and best-loved names in the world of children’s books– he has launched the careers of some of our best-loved picture book illustrators, from Quentin Blake and Chris Riddell to David McKee, Tony Ross, Michael Foreman and Emma Chichester Clark. Here he expounds on his favourite books and why laughter is his favourite subject.

The best books on Grandparents and Grandchildren, recommended by Joseph Coelho

Acclaimed poet, Joseph Coelho, recommends five of the best kids’ books that celebrate the magical bonds between grandparents and their grandchildren. Positive intergenerational relationships have very real health benefits for the whole family! So get yourself settled on a comfy chair with a grandchild and take some time to enjoy sharing these delightful stories.

Best Environmental Books for Kids, selected by Georgina Stevens

What are the best books to engage and educate young kids about the environment? Environmentalist and author Georgina Stevens has some ideas. She recommends her favourite environment books for kids, as well as a few websites that will help teach them (and their families) how to make a difference.

Books about the Weather for Kids, recommended by Tim Hopgood

Children have almost universal responses to different kinds of weather: kicking fallen leaves in autumn, splashing in puddles in the rain, catching snowflakes on tongues when it snows. We talk to author and illustrator Tim Hopgood about the weather as an inspiration for children’s books.

The best books on Elves, recommended by Igreth the Elf

Elves are often misunderstood or misrepresented over the Christmas period – Christmas cracker jokes have never been kind to these tiny heroes of the festive season. Here Igreth the Elf, great-great-great-grandson of Ilbereth the Elf, sets the record straight and introduces five children’s books that celebrate the extraordinary contribution these diminutive creatures make to Christmas itself.

Best Books About Dads, recommended by Paul Howard

Depictions of fathers in children’s books have leapt forward in recent years, says illustrator Paul Howard. He talks us through his favourite visions of modern dads in books, from the ultimate macho man to fathers at their most vulnerable.

Jon Burgerman on the best Playful Books for Children

Whatever your age, play is how we test ideas, define rules and see if they hold. New York-based artist and author Jon Burgerman talks to Five Books about his favourite titles that encourage kids to have fun and be playful, without worry or fear of failure, and simply enjoy the limitless possibilities of imagination.

Funny Books for Kids, recommended by Elys Dolan

Elys Dolan, author of Mr Bunny’s Chocolate Factory and rising star of the picture book world, on the funniest illustrated books for reading at bedtime—and why children’s characters needn’t always set good moral examples.