Nothing gives parents more pleasure than to see their little ones reading. However, most parents are confused as to which books to introduce to their children. It’s a very common confusion, I had it too. However, I visited the library, talked to many bookstore owners and librarians, searched on the Internet and kept a close watch on what other kids were reading. This helped me narrow down a few must-read authors for my child. Here, I am presenting you 7 authors your children must read before they turn 7:
Dr. Seuss: The master of art of rhyming and wordplay is popular with kids of every age. I recommend you to introduce Dr. Seuss to your child when he is a toddler; he will love it then and he will love it till he grows up. I enjoy reading Dr. Seuss’ books too. Though my daughter and I have read almost all the books of Dr. Seuss, “Hop on Pop” remains our personal favourite. My daughter refuses to part with it. It’s a part of her collection now. Beautifully illustrated and rhymes that make every child crackle up, Dr. Seuss’ books introduce basic phonics concept to kids.
Eric Carle: Who has not fallen to the charm of the “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” who metamorphoses into a beautiful butterfly? Eric Carle’s books not only present stories that kids love but large, colourful illustrations that he had himself hand painted. Apart from illustrations, his books have cutouts, flaps and raised textures which simply delights small kids. Almost all his books have animal characters – The Grouchy Ladybug, The Very Quiet Cricket, The Mixed-up Chameleon, The Very Lonely Firefly, The Very Busy Spider and Do You Want To Be My Friend that give a glimpse into the mysterious animal kingdom.
Julia Donaldson: If you visit a bookstore or a library, you just cannot miss seeing Julia Donaldson’s brightly illustrated books on the shelves. Julia is known for her rhyming text and vibrant characters, and has written some of the most popular and loved children’s books. She has written books for all ages: from picture books for early readers to adventurous stories for 7 to 11-year-old and even a novel for teenagers.
Her most popular books are The Gruffalo, the Room on the Broom and What the Ladybird heard?
Roald Dahl: We have grown up reading Roald Dahl; isn’t it wonderful then that our kids can read and enjoy his books too? Roald Dahl’s books are still so contemporary and much loved by kids. I still like to read his books along with my daughter and every time I read, I learn something new. His books have a slightly dark comic nature to them and his villains are more malevolent than the ones found in the fairy tales; hence they should be introduced to kids of five years and above.
His most popular books are Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The BFG, Matilda, The Witches, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator and James and the Giant Peach. Many of his books have been made into films and stage musicals.
Enid Blyton: The best-selling author of children’s books, Enid Blyton has been a household name since decades. We have all read Malory Towers and loved the adventures of Secret Seven and the Famous Five. However, they can be encouraged to kids of 9 or 10 years. Introduce the Wishing Chair stories, the Faraway Tree series and Amelia Jane books to kids of age 6 and plus.
Ruskin Bond: I was first introduced to Ruskin Bond when I was in college, however, I rectified the error when it came to my daughter. I gifted Ruskin Bond’s “Cherry Tree” and “Getting Granny’s Glasses” to my daughter when she was 5 years old. She not only enjoyed read these books on their own (except for some occasional help), but also understood the broader wisdom of the books. Road Dahl is one of the most famous children’s book authors. Though his books may have some sad and soulful elements owing to the fact that the author had an unhappy and lonely childhood, they more than make up with wit and humour, endearing characters, beautiful narration, and larger than life description of the Himalayan hill towns.
Some must read children’s books by Ruskin Bond are Cherry, Getting Granny’s Glasses, White Mice, Ranji the Music Maker, The Hidden Pool, The Railway Children and A Long Walk for Bina.
Sudha Murthy: I like Sudha Murthy’s style of writing – simple and non-frivolous. She is largely known for her books Dollar Bahu, Three Thousand Stitches and the House of Cards. However, not many know that she is among the few authors who write children’s books about Indian culture. Sudha Murthy has written some good Indian children’s books like Grandma’s Bag of Stories, How I Taught My Grandmother To Read and Other Stories and the Magic of the Lost Temple.
My just turned 7-year old daughter has attempted to read Grandma’s Bag of Stories and she has liked a few stories so far. I suggest you introduce Sudha Murthy to your kids at 6-7 years when they will be able to understand children’s literature in Indian English.
So here is the list of 7 authors your children must read before they turn 7. However, there are other good children’s books like Ladybird collection, Adventures of Junie B Jones and Hole books from Duckbill. Take a call according to your child’s aptitude, understanding and his ability to read different genres of books.