A dynamic list, we’ll keep updating, both adults and children will enjoy to read:
- Snake and Lizard Series– Joy Cowley
An adorable tale about two friends snake and lizard. Captivating storyline. Delightful characters. Explores friendship and entrepreneurship. Lovely morals weaved in too, around prejudice and relationships. NZ Authors!!!
- Black Princess series – Shannon Hale
Slightly rambunctious female protagonist. Nifty stylised cartoon like illustrations. Funny. US Author (born in Salt Lake City).
- Sophie Stories series – Dick King-Smith & Illustrated by Hannah Shaw
‘Sophie turns six’ is the book we read together (which is the third book in the series). It goes like this 1) Sophie’s Snail 2) Sophie’s Tom 3) Sophie Hits Six 4) Sophie in the Saddle 5) Sophie is Seven 6) Sophie’s Lucky. My kids love having illustrations in books, so the Sophie Stories get a big jolly tick in that department. Sophie loves animals – so for readers who love animals, another TICK is given. My favourite parts are the relationship Sophie has with her non-conformist Great Aunt. I also love that Sophie makes up words (gets words jumbled up) and is delightfully okay with it, even when he Dad points out these confusions. I also love that the story challenges gender stereotypes, as our lead character Sophie wants to be Farmer…Does she become one? PS King-Smith wrote ‘The Sheep-Pig’ which won The Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize and also went on to become the film ‘Babe’. UK Author.
- Dani Series – Rose Lagercrantz and Eva Eriksson
I love filling my and our children’s lives with as much diversity as possible, it’s one way I feel we can do peace in action: learning about different ways of being, seeing and living in the world. For this reason I’m often on the look out for a geographical balance of TV/Film (varying accents etc) and Literature experiences. Lagercrantz and Eriksson are Swedish, and have been writing children’s stories for over 30 years. These tales that follow Dani’s life are published by Gecko Press (one of my fave publishers). We read ‘See you when I see you’ the elements that stand out for me in this book is that it addresses the meatier life topics. Dani’s Mum died, and she lived with her grandparents when her Dad was so sad he couldn’t look after her as he wanted to. In this particular tale he’s also had a car accident which means he now walks differently. Dani is brave and honest. Swedish Authors.
- Harriet’s Hare – Dick King-Smith
A warm hearted fantasy tale about a Hare that visits Harriet (on the farm she lives on), who’s actually an alien. This alien shapeshifts into many wee animals that accompany Harriet during her school holidays. There’s also a gentle love story for Harriet’s Dad that weaves it’s way through the tale (Harriet’s Mum had died some years ago). “Dick King-Smith was a soldier, a farmer, a family man, a primary school teacher and most memorably to his millions of fans, a best-selling children’s author – http://www.dickkingsmith.com” English author.
- An Otter called Pebble – Helen Peters
One of 9 – Series. Beautifully written. Great illustrations. Nadia is a vet and the lead character’s Mum. Tom (a friend) always accompanies Jasmine on her adventures, which often lead to trouble and finding hurt wild animals. Jasmine and Tom are adventurers and heroes saving and caring for wildlife. If your young person loves animals, this series is for you. “Helen Peters grew up on an old-fashioned farm in Sussex, surrounded by family, animals and mud – goodreads”. Author is English.
- Twist of Tales – Julia Donaldson
Our family has loved ‘Paper Dolls’ (so lyrical we used to sing it) and ‘The Gruffalo’ was a Playcentre favourite. When we stumbled across this collection of illustrated short stories for younger fiction readers in the Library, I was very curious. The kids and I (including the 6.5 year old lad) loved it. He could read it. He wanted to read it – he had only just told me he only liked books with pictures, so win win, Julia Donaldson & Illustrator Peter Bailey. These tales appealed to both my 40-something palette, and the two below 8 year youngs. They had an ethical, mysterious twist, like something of a parable (without mentioning religion) or a good old moral fairy tale, with a lesson to learn. Highly recommend. Author lives in Hampstead Heath, England.