Here are some books loved by our older children aged 5 1/2 years to 9 years. This is certainly not a definitive list, but some random pickings from the ones that the children seem to go back to time and again.
If like me, you enjoy reading ‘children’s’ books, these are delightful. Like CS Lewis said, “No book is really worth reading at age 10 which is not equally (and often far more) worth reading at age 50”
IS THE BLUE WHALE THE BIGGEST THING THERE IS ? by ROBERT.E.WELLS
Just when you think of the Blue Whale as BIG, the book takes you on a journey from BIG to STUPENDOUS … Mount Everest, Earth, our Sun, to Antares – a red giant star, the Milky Way, right to the size of the universe itself. All are depicted as relative sizes and children are absolutely fascinated by the book.
This book is perfect for elementary aged children who are making sense of their world, and indeed the universe, through their imagination. Imagination for the elementary child is akin to touch for the younger, primary child. They want to know about everything that they cannot see but still need concrete clues as aids to their imagination.
The other two books in this series that the children love are:
HOW SMALL IS THE PYGMY SHREW?
Takes the reader from a pygmy shrew, to the ladybug, to drops of water, to the protists living in those drops of water, all the way to the parts of an atom. Going from small to tiny to miniscule appeals to the elementary childs imagination.
CAN YOU COUNT TO A GOOGOOL?
Anyone who has worked with an elementary aged child knows that they are enamoured by big numbers. This book gives children an understanding of just how big, the big numbers they like to throw around actually are.
ERIC CARLE’S DRAGONS DRAGONS AND OTHER CREATURES THAT NEVER WERE by ERIC CARLE
The elementary children LOVE mythology and poetry. Dragons Dragons has both! It is a collection of poems of mythological creatures that features fantastical beasts from all parts of the world – from the Phoenix to the Yeti and the Garuda. The children seem to instinctively know that the book isn’t talking ‘down’ to them and has no flashy, cutesy enticements. It is what it is – excellent poetry, great visuals and a world of fantasy.
Pop-Up books have a special place in the hearts of children and this one runs away with the prize. It is intelligent, witty and simply delightful.
I don’t know how to embed a video yet, so follow the link below to see the book in action.
WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS by SHEL SILVERSTEIN
Quirky, funny poetry – just up the elementary child’s alley.
TOTO CHAN – THE LITTLE GIRL IN THE WINDOW by TETSUKO KORONYAGI
Toto Chan’s classroom is a discarded train boogie! Toto Chan herself is whimsical and quirky and children relate to her instantly. They find many similarities between Toto Chan’s school and ours and are always ready for our next story reading session. The nice thing about the book is that each chapter is a little incident complete in itself, and is ideal for read aloud sessions.
ALL THE SMALL POEMS AND FOURTEEN MORE by VALERIE WORTH
Valerie Worth is simply brilliant! Her poems encapsulate simplicity at its best! Her poems open our eyes to the beauty in the most ‘ordinary’ of objects.
CUSTARD AND COMPANY by OGDEN NASH
An often requested book. The children enjoy these funny poems, much like they enjoy the poems of Shel Silverstein. The two most loved poems in the book are, ‘The Boy Who Laughed At Santa Claus’ and ‘The Tale of Custard the Dragon’
STORY NUMBER 2 by EUGENE IONESCO
Having been recently donated to our library by a friend, I was curious as to how the children would react to the book which reverses usual relationships. When we started reading, first there was disbelief, followed by some giggles and then belly-hurting laughter. Needless to say, there is a long list of children who now want to borrow ‘Story Number 2’.
INVITATION by Shel Silverstein
If you are a dreamer, come in.
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, A hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer,
If you’re a pretender, come sit by my fire, For we have some flax-golden tales to spin.
Come in! Come in!!