Our favourite children's books to inspire reading and imagination
Reading with children is transformational – it helps with communication and language development, cognitive skills, inspires imagination and creativity, serve as conversation starters, we could go on and on. It’s also fantastic bonding time that will create memories to last a lifetime. You probably know all about Little Scholars approach to reading, and that it’s a big part of our educational programming. Lately, we’ve been thinking about books that have really stuck with families and educators and of course, children! We thought we’d share some of our favourites, and they’re linked to Gold Coast and/or Brisbane libraries so you don’t have to spend a dime if you need some new reads!
Piranhas don’t eat bananas
This is one of my favourite books to read with children. It’s great for when you have a picky eater or when trying to introduce new foods that children are hesitant to try. – Claire, lead educator, Little Scholars Nerang
By Aaron Blabey, published 2017
Reading ages: 3 – 6 years
Synopsis: ‘Hey there, guys. Would you like a banana?’ ‘What’s wrong with you. Brian? You’re a piranha.’ Brian loves bananas. Trouble is, Brian’s a piranha. And his friends aren’t happy about his fondness for fruit. No, they’re not happy at all
Stop the Clock
I recently checked this book out of my local library and read it with my three-year-old daughter. It resonated with me as mornings to get ready with drop-off at Little Scholars Burleigh and get to myself work are so rushed. In this story, I got a better understanding of what that constant hurrying might be like for my toddler, who just wants to start her day by enjoying some time at home, and with her parents.
Since we read this book, I’ve intentionally slowed down, calmed my typical encouragements to move faster and try to find time ways for more connection, with a quick story before we leave or we make up stories in the car. The point in the book of slowing down has even helped with hard moments my daughter might be having by stopping together, going or looking outside and starting to point out all the things we see. – Christina, social media and marketing specialist.
Author: Pippa Goodhart, published 2022
Reading ages: 4-7
Synopsis: Life is so busy! On his way to school, Joe is missing all the exciting things happening around him – he is in such a rush, he doesn’t even notice his little sister crying! Given a task to draw what he saw on his way to school, Joe decides to stop time to appreciate all the little details that make life meaningful, and find out why Poppy was crying.
This is a ball
My favourite book to read to the children is This is a Ball. I recommend it for the kindergarten-aged children. It’s a crowd favourite and allows everyone to be a little bit silly! – Hayley, lead educator, Little Scholars Yatala
Author: Beck and Matt Stanton, published 2017
Reading ages: 4-8
Synopsis: For the Grown-Ups: You know how you’re right all the time? All. The. Time. Yes, well, it’s time to give the kids a turn. Which is why everything you read in this book is going to be wrong. But that’s ok, because the kids are going to correct you. And they’re going to love it!
I wanna be a Great Big Dinosaur
This is one of my favourites from a while ago. It’s really fun to read and get children involved in, as you can make actions to the words and change your tone to match the images. It’s light reading and a feel good ending. – Yvette, educational lead, Little Scholars Burleigh
By Heath McKenzie, published 2016
Synopsis: More than anything in the world, one little boy wants to be a great big dinosaur. And he’s in luck! A great big T. Rex shows up to teach him how to stomp and roar just like a dinosaur. But dinosaurs aren’t so great at soccer or video games… Maybe being a little boy isn’t all bad? A story about being whoever (or whatever) you want!
Pig the Pug
I love reading the Pig the Pug series. All the different stories are such a fun, playful rhyming with lively pictures that always capture the children’s eyes and thoughts leading to conversations and their interpretations of the pictures/story. I also love that in every book, Pig the Pug comes to see the value of honesty, friendship, sportsmanship and gratitude. -Skye, lead educator, Little Scholars Pacific Pines
By Aaron Blabey, published 2014
Reading ages: 3-5
Synopsis: Pig is a greedy and selfish Pug. He has all the bouncy balls, bones, and chew toys a dog could ever want, yet he refuses to share with his poor friend, Trevor.
In our kindergarten room we absolutely love to read the Rainbow Fish, it is an important story to us as it shows the importance of friendships and how to make friendships, which as we enter our final year of pre schooling before big school is so important and timely! As well as this we love learning and reading The Colour Monster daily, this book teaches us to identify our emotions and how each one may make us feel. – Ella, educator, Little Scholars Deception Bay
By Marcus Pfister, published 1995
Reading ages: 4-8
Synopsis: The Rainbow Fish learns that being the most beautiful fish in the sea can be lonely. Ultimately he learns that there is more to be gained by sharing his special qualities than by keeping them all to himself.
Going on a Bear Hunt
By Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury, published 1993
Reading ages: 3-7
Synopsis: For brave hunters and bear-lovers, the classic chant-aloud by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury.Follow and join in the family’s excitement as they wade through the grass, splash through the river and squelch through the mud in search of a bear. What a surprise awaits them in the cave on the other side of the dark forest!
The Elves and the Shoemaker
One I always remember! As a child my Nanna would read this to me when we visited, and I loved the magic it brought to my imagination. As a adult I love the storyline behind it and how amazing the message is, how important it is for children to learn. Helping others in need also looks at if you help someone, the good karma will always come back to you. – Sarah, educator at Little Scholars Deception Bay.