Books, the world of hopes, dreams, fairytales, failures, ambitions, learnings and possibilities. Undoubtedly, we millennials understand the importance of reading books to children. A great book can make an emotion, a problem, or situation that is abstract to your child, concrete, real, and most importantly, solvable. However, there are some books that stay with one forever. They become a part of our journey and are worth cherishing forever.

5 Books To Bond Over With Your Child

Here I am sharing a few  books you must read to your child before they turn 10. I hope you enjoy reading these as much as I did with my kids!

1. Beautiful Oops! by Barney Saltzberg 

A perfect book for the tactile, kinesthetic learner! This simple but brilliant book demonstrates, in a three-dimensional way, how mistakes are a thing of beauty. Simple mistakes that all children make (spilling, staining!) can be turned into an opportunity for creativity. I recommend this book to parents as well- because as a parent it is equally important to know how a child’s weakness or shortcomings can actually be made into there strength.

As a family, you can read this book and do a fun bookish play too! Fill a few small plastic glasses with water and different colours of food colouring. On purpose, spill the contents on butcher paper, creating a collage of colours and spills. Have the child see through the mess to create a picture with the “mistakes”.

2.  Panchtantra Tales

The English adaptation of the Hindi Panchatantra tales is one of the must-read books for children to foster emotional intelligence and empathy while learning valuable life lessons. Every fable, character and plot comes with a practical real-life scenario and ways to tackle the same. The best part of Panchtantra tales is that stories are catchy and interesting as much for a 2-year-old as for a 10-year-old. These stories are often great communication starters as well with the child. Do try it out once!

3. “I Am” Series – Ordinary People Change the World

This beautifully illustrated series of inspiring fun biographies is a perfect pick for children 4 years and above age. Each book focuses on the traits that made our heroes great, the traits that kids can aspire to in order to live heroically themselves. Each book tells the story of one of the world’s icons in a lively, conversational way that works well for the youngest nonfiction readers and that always includes the hero’s childhood influences. At the back are an excellent timeline and photos of the person as well. From Gandhi to Neil Armstrong, from Walt Disney to Albert Einstein-  there’s one for every child in this series.

4. An Awesome Book of Thanks! by Dallas Clayton

Inspired by the idea of being thankful for all that you have, An Awesome Book of Thanks! is a beautifully written, fantastically illustrated walk through a world of magical unicorns, robotic dinosaurs, and all of life’s simple moments, great and small. Crafted for children ages 0-1000, this timeless story is sure to be an instant classic, at home in the hands of anyone looking for the perfect reminder of just how beautiful life can be. A great book for all ages that will be sure to create grateful conversations. The singsong rhythmic tone is complemented by imaginative illustrations. The storyline is simple but creatively takes the reader through a journey of thankfulness for all things even those bad things (that) can turn out to be good. We love reflecting on thoughts after reading such books. A fun family activity followed by this book can be having the child create a collage of all things they are grateful for using pictures from magazines and family albums. Display it proudly.

5. The Invisible Boy by Mary Feliciani

This is a children’s book about bullying that happens in the school environment. It focuses on teaching one very important message- don’t treat people as if they are invisible. It’s done very well and gets the point across very clearly. I have specially listed this book amongst my top 5 picks because some children’s books, I find tend to try to teach too much. So it gets a little confusing what message the book is trying to get across. Not in this case. The book teaches a big range of other things too, and leads to other things and provides practical tools for helping children learn to manage emotions. Children who think they are ‘invisible’ can have so many emotional issues. Or can lead to other underlying issues. You may not think it a huge issue but in reality, it’s one of the biggest. 

For older children, books need to still be specific, but also more nuanced in terms of emotions and how to handle situations. Just because they are older doesn’t mean they know how to handle their emotions; yes the days of the 3-year-old tantrums are over but this is replaced by feelings that are deeper and more complex, and hence, more difficult to understand. Pair this with social relationships and situations that are more complicated!

The illustrations in the book are very simple and very well done. Ideal for children 7 years and up. 

Many research studies have shown that reading for pleasure is important for children’s academic success, mental health and even later economic success. Another study has shown reading aloud to a child along with play can help a child regulate and manage emotions and help with social-emotional development. This is the ideal time in a child life to foster a love of reading: find your child’s next great book in our list, then curl up on a sofa and read it together.

Go Mommy!