The Best Books I Read to My Kids When They Were Younger

recommended by Scott Pack

My kids are grown up now but I used to read to them every night before they went to bed. These are the books we all enjoyed the most from those times and I hope you will enjoy reading one or more of them to your children.

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    Krabat
    by Otfried Preussler

    This was my favourite book when I was a child so I was nervous about reading it to my kids but they loved it, and was scared by it, as much as I was at their age. In 18th century Germany, a young beggar boy is taken on as an apprentice at a corn mill but he soon finds that the miller is a teacher of the black arts and that he'll be required to grind more than just corn. A dark, disturbing but hugely entertaining novel that may well scare the bejesus out of you.

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    Goldfish Hide and Seek
    by Satoshi Kitamura

    If your kids are still at that picture book age then Satoshi Kitamura is an author and illustrator to add to your collection. Goldfish Hide and Seek is a delightfully bonkers tale, about two goldfish playing hide and seek, with bonkers illustrations to match.

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    Barkbelly
    by Cat Weatherill

    Cat is a professional storyteller, following in the great tradition of oral poets and tellers of tales through history, and that really shows when reading this book aloud - it just flows and is a pleasure to narrate. It tells the story of a wooden boy who is adopted by an elderly couple and the adventures he has when he ventures out into the world. Magical, and I think it is a real unsung classic.

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    A Cuddle for Claude
    by David Wojtowycz

    My selections so far have been quite quirky or alternative but this is a far more straightforward and traditional picture book which Ethan and Martha loved having read to them. Claude really wants a hug but everyone in the house is too busy to give him one. He is sad, the poor blighter, but it turns out [SPOILER ALERT] that they are busy organising a surprise party for him, so we get a happy ending. A really joyous story with bright and colourful illustrations.

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    Tumtum and Nutmeg: The First Adventure
    by Emily Bearn

    I think we got three or four volumes into this unashamedly old-fashioned series before the kids were too old for bedtime stories (I know, I know, you are NEVER too old!) and I remember them fondly. The adventures of two mice, a married couple, hiding in a house of humans and occasionally meddling in their lives. It could have been written fifty years ago, and that is part of its charm.

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