We’re pledging to share 20 books with kids for the Bookstart 20 campaign – you should too!

Booktrust is running its Bookstart 20 campaign to encourage everyone to pledge to share 20 books with children this year. The Hot Key gang is always up for a challenge so we will all be pledging to support this great campaign.

But what would be your top 20 books to share for children aged 0-12 years? A few of us at Hot Key put together our recommended list below, which was a very hard task to do I can say! Let us know what yours would be in the comments below.

0-5 years

The Cloth of Dreams by Sally Grindley and James Mayhew
Beautifully illustrated with lots of lovely stories in it, all told like traditional fairy tales but with a bit more heart

Milo and the Magical Stones by Marcus Pfister
Great story by the author of The Rainbow Fish that has a choice of two endings, highlighting the concepts of choice and listening to advice for younger children

Owl Babies by Martin Waddell and Patrick Benson
Family favourite with a lovely rhythmic story and wonderful illustrations

Peepo by Janet and Alan Alhberg
The perfect book to share with toddlers with loads of detail to pore over and wonderful rhyming text

The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr
Perfectly paced with beautiful rhythm and a wonderful depiction of the routine that is part of all young children’s lives – and the arrival of the tiger accepted without question – is unfailingly charming

What Do You Say? by Mandy Stanley
Perfect for teaching very young toddlers animal sounds using basic repetition. The follow-up What Do You Do?, which is equally brilliant for learning what each animals does

6-8 years

Animal Ark series by Lucy Daniels
Unputdownable – perfect for girls gaining confidence with their reading

Fungus the Bogeyman by Raymond Briggs
Kids love this topsy turvey world, perfect for drawing boys into books

Harriet’s Hare by Dick King Smith
Alien Wiz comes on holiday to earth as a hare in this funny yet touching story – a classic

The Heart and the Bottle by Oliver Jeffers
A story of love, loss and life, this is an emotional book for all ages and masterfully handles the emotional effects of losing someone close to you

Horrible Histories series by Terry Deary and Martin Brown
Top series that hooks millions of children into reading every year

Revolting Rhymes by Roald Dahl
Wickedly funny with an anarchic quality kids adore

Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
A twisted and fascinating illustrated collection of poetry

9-12 years

Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson
An exotic, magical adventure from a fantastic storyteller – perfect for reading aloud

Michael Rosen’s Sad Book by Michael Rosen
An absolutely honest account of grief, loss and sadness. Relevant to any child touched by death or sadness

Mortal Engines series by Philip Reeves
Brilliant books with a modern ‘kick-ass’ heroine that will appeal to boys and girls

The Painted Garden by Noel Streatfield
An absolute classic by the author of Ballet Shoes – one of the most lovely voices I have ever met. A childhood favourite!

The Rabbits by John Marsden and Shaun Tan
A beautifully illustrated account of the European invasion of Australia

The Scarecrows by Robert Westall
Absolutely gripping and scary without any gore or sensationalism

A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snickett
Utterly macabre that speaks to children on an intelligent and sophisticated level with a dry wit that appeals to both adults and children

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2 responses to “We’re pledging to share 20 books with kids for the Bookstart 20 campaign – you should too!

  1. I’ll be joining in with the Bookstart 20 campaign! Some great ideas. I’d include:

    0-5 years – The Very Hungry Caterpiller by Eric Carle

    6-8 years – The BFG by Roald Dahl

    9-12 years -The Diamond Brothers series by Anthony Horowitz

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