I adore books and reading, and most kids love a good story too, which is why I always try and give books as gifts. But it can be daunting trying to figure out which books kids will really enjoy. Here are my suggestions for the best kids books by age for gift ideas.
My two little people love books. I am lucky as I have been a book worm for as long as I can remember and was always hoping that my kids would have an interest!
0 – 2 years
My little man is 2 and he loves these books – they always make him giggle.
Dear Zoo – Noisy Book – Rod Campbell
Dear Zoo Noisy Book is a lift-the-flap book that has 8 interactive animal sounds.
It’s a charming story that tells the story of what the zoo has sent – all different types of animals until they send the perfect pet right at the end!
Something Special Mr Tumble’s Spotty Bus
Mr Tumble’s Spotty Bus book encourages counting all Mr Tumble’s friends on his yellow spotty bus. The bright pictures and simple, rhyming text are perfect for children of all abilities.
Sophie La Girafe: Peekaboo Sophie!
Peekaboo Sophie tells the story of Sophie the Giraffe and her friends. You may recognise Sophie as she is one the more popular teething accessories on the market.
Our copy of this book was barely held together with sticky tape for the longest time and I have often bought it as a gift myself. It’s so pretty and has lots of touchy-feel opportunities and peekaboo surprises.
3 – 5 years
My girl is just turning six soon and has a book collection to rival any library. She loves stories and is beginning to read herself, but she still loves having stories read to her. These are some of our absolute favourites:
What The Ladybird Heard – Julia Donaldson
It would be most definitely a tragedy, if at least one Julia Donaldson is not in your child’s collection. The fun we have had with her books from Room on a Broom, to Superworm, and The Rhyming Rabbit and many,many, more.
One of our absolute favourites is What the Ladybird Heard, which tells the story of a little ladybird who lived on a farm and manages to thwart the robbery of the fine prize cow.
And joy of joys, the sequel, What the Ladybird Heard Next, is out now also. We cannot wait to read it, so hurry up Mr Postman!
Max and the Won’t Go to Bed Show – Mark Sperring & Sarah Warburton
Max and The Won’t Go To Bed Show is a fabulously fun read, where you can really use those hidden acting talents when reading! Perfect for bedtime!
Ladies and gentlemen! Boys and girls! Roll up, roll up, for Max the Magnificent and his world famous show: putting off bedtime for as long as possible! Cheer as he makes a cookie disappear (very slo-o-o-wly)! Gasp as he asks for ten bedtime stories (yes, ten)! Will the show go on all night, or will Max finally go to sleep?
Wacky Wednesday By Dr. Seuss
Wacky Wednesday is the perfect long read for bedtime. Crazy things happen on a Wednesday, shoes on the wall, teachers on roller skates and other mad things. My daughter has great fun counting all the wacky things on the pages that she can see.
6 – 8 years
As we venture into this age group with my eldest, I am always on the lookout for great books for her, when she is ready to make the transition. Here are some I have come across recently, that would make lovely presents.
Build it: Sticker Book
Budding young architects can build their very own world within the pages of Build It, an innovative new concept from Buster which allows children to get creative and let their imaginations run wild.
Sticker sheets at the back of the book work as building blocks, from which children can create soaring structures, brilliant bridges and much more.
This would be a perfect gift at any time of the year.
The Enchanted Wood – Enid Blyton
This particular version of The Enchanted Wood is a deluxe hardback edition of this Blyton classic. While hardbacks are more expensive, they last so much longer and they are lovely to receive as a gift.
This classic by Enid Blython describes what Joe, Beth and Frannie find when they climb up to the top of the Faraway Tree. It’s a great magical kids adventure, and definitely one for any collection.
The teacher has been reading this to my daughter’s class and she loves it – so this will be an easy buy for her upcoming birthday.
Irelandopedia – John Burke
Having thumbed through this in my local bookstore, Irelandopedia looks like a fun learning book that contains lots of interesting facts for geography projects or just general knowledge. Definitely going on to my shopping list this Christmas.
Spot the ghosts in Dunluce Castle. Can you find the vanishing lake? Eat a blaa in Waterford and a yellowman in Antrim. Travel to the highest peak and the smallest harbour — even discover which county Elvis Presley’s ancestors were from!
Go fact-hunting and collect knowledge, county by county, until you have an Irelandopedic knowledge yourself!
9 – 12 years
Not yet into this age group in my house, but this would have been the time when I really fell in love with reading and couldn’t get enough. I think these would be great books to put in front of kids of this age:
The Lonely Planet Kids Travel Book
Take a world tour through 200 countries with this brand new edition of the bestselling kids’ version of Lonely Planet’s popular Kids Travel Book, loaded with thousands of amazing facts on wildlife, how people live, sports, hideous and mouthwatering food, festivals and a wide range of other quirky insights on every page.
Every single country gets its own dedicated page, and a mix of photography and beautiful illustrations brings each land to life. Perfect for keeping young explorers entertained on the road.
Return to the Secret Garden – Holly webb
I adored this book when I was younger and I love that it has been brought back to life in a sequel for a whole new audience! Return to Frances Hodgson Burnett’s timeless classic, The Secret Garden, in this magical sequel Return to Secret Garden by bestselling author Holly Webb.
It’s 1939 and a group of children have been evacuated to Misselthwaite Hall. Emmie is far from happy to have been separated from her cat and sent to a huge old mansion. But soon she starts discovering the secrets of the house – a boy crying at night, a diary written by a girl named Mary, and a garden. A very secret garden…
The Seal’s Fate – Eoin Colfer
In The Seal’s Fate, School’s out, and Bobby Parrish is spending the summer on his dad’s boat. Job number one is to deal with the seals infesting the peninsula. The money’s good – but Bobby knows, deep down, that he hasn’t got it in him.
Eoin Colfer’s trademark humour and lightness of touch, and Victor Ambrus’s classic artwork evoke a strong sense of place, character and vitality. An ideal gift of the best writing and artwork the children’s market has to offer.
Over to you! Have your kids read any of these books, or do you have favourite kids books you like to gift? Let us know in the comments below.