Inspired by my Christmas shopping adventures, if you’re stuck for ideas for small people, here are five classic books that are still wonderful to enjoy with your children or grandchildren:
- The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton
I read this to my older two when they were younger and they were hanging on every word. They loved hearing about the three children who explored the wood near their new country home, encountering elves, fairies and weird creatures and lands at the top of the magical faraway tree. The youngest is loving it as well, although I’ve noticed in her newer edition, Fanny has tactfully been re-named “Frannie.” Probably understandable.
- James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl (or, let’s face it, anything by Roald Dahl)
Dahl understood that children feel sad and miserable sometimes, and wasn’t afraid to tell stories about other children who were miserable. Poor James was an orphan, being raised and mistreated by two horrible aunts. But a magical peach tree changed his life.
- Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
The psychedelic mystery ride down the rabbit hole is still as delightful as it used to be, right down to Alice’s misguided authority on everything and the nonsense poems that are lots of fun to say together.
- Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
I’ve read this so many times I can recite it. It’s a beautiful short picture book about imagination, naughtiness and forgiveness. If it’s not on your shelf it should be.
- Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy by Lynley Dodd
A classic silly rhyming book for the dog-lover in all of us. This is fun to read and everyone can pick their favourite mutt (mine’s Schnitzel von Krumm).