Thursday, 29 March 2012

Top Ten Books for Children's Easter Reading

Easter is coming and as I mentioned in my previous post, there are better ways to celebrate Easter than scoffing chocolate eggs and hot crossed buns even if you're not into the religious side of things. So with that in mind, here's a top ten list of books with an easter theme to entertain your kidlings over the next couple of weeks.

There's a mixture of contemporary and traditional stuff here and I might have exercised a bit of poetic license in the 'easter' theme (chickens are OK, right?) so let's kick off the list. In no particular order...

1) Rosie's Walk by Pat Hutchins

An exceedingly clever hen outwits a rather clumsy and silly fox in this timeless classic (which recently celebrated its 40th anniversary - yep I even remember it from when I was knee high to an easter chick myself). Love the 70s-style illustrations and the whole story plays out with the minimum of text, letting the fantastic pictures weave their own story. If you've never read this, you owe it to yourself to read it to your children, it's absolutely superb. 
2) Spot's First Easter by Eric Hill

This is a nice sturdy board book for younger children who will probably already know all about Spot and his mischievous antics. The puppy's first easter is filled with eggs and chicks and the lift-the-flap bits are sure to entertain younger readers discovering books for the first time. It doesn't taste quite as nice as a cadbury's creme egg but it is at least chew-proof!

3) That's Not my Bunny by Fiona Watt and Rachel Wells

Just about every child must've encountered at least one of the "that's not my" books as there are so many of them. This one is filled with lots of touchy-feely textures and simple illustrations, again more suitable for the younger child who is taking their first faltering steps with books. A nice sturdy book, beautifully put together but hunt around for the best price as they tend to be a bit on the expensive side at RRP. 

4) The Easter Chick by Geraldine Eischner and Alexandra Junge

A mother hen lays an egg, and patiently waits for it to hatch. What emerges? The Easter Chick but the little mite isn't quite what the mother was expecting. This entertaining tale is beautifully illustrated by Alexandra Junge and it's a nice snuggly and humorous book to settle down with at nap times. Quite hard to get hold of but if you spot a copy, it's well worth having. 

5) Maisy's Easter Egg Hunt by Lucy Cousins

Maisy the Mouse is a children's favourite and in this innovative sticker book you can help Maisy as she goes on an easter egg hunt (with a little help along the way from her friends). Lovely simple illustrations and bold colours also serve as a good point of reference for arty children who love drawing their own easter pictures. 

6) Peter Rabbit's Easter (Based on the characters created by Beatrix Potter)

The recent range of Peter Rabbit "seedling" books are based on the classic works and characters of Beatrix Potter. Bold child-friendly illustrations replace Potter's original (and sublime) drawings, which is a bit of a down side but these are colourful and cheerful. Join Peter Rabbit as he hunts for chocolate treats in the vegetable patch. Again, a sturdy board book suitable for younger readers but good fun and a good introduction to the world of Beatrix Potter. 

7) Easter Engines (based on the characters created by the Rev W. Awdry)

Part of the "Step into Reading" range of early readers books, Easter Engines sees Easter in on the Island of Sodor with everyone's favourite old chuffer, Thomas the Tank Engine. Thomas is sworn to protect the huge easter egg that forms the centre piece of celebrations on the island. Can he manage it without mishap? Find out in this Level 2 book filled with simple repetitive text to help young readers find their feet with reading. 

8) Happy Easter Baby by Sara Miller and Anthony Nex (Disney Children's Books)

A textured touch and feel book for toddlers, Happy Easter Baby tells the story of a baby's first easter with some of Disney's most beloved animal characters. Photos and illustrations throughout the book are a delight for young eyes, and though it's fairly simple stuff the 'baby' range of books are strangely engaging for children, perhaps because they readily identify with the baby in the photos (who surely by now must be a troublesome teen, this range has been available for quite some time now!)

9) Easter things to make and do by Kate Knighton, Leonie Pratt and Stella Baggott

The Usborne 'Craft' books are absolutely fantastic for busy children who love making and sticking. With over 250 easter-themed stickers to use on cards and designs, and a ton of fantastic ideas for easter makes, this book is brilliant if the weather takes a turn for the worst and you can't get out and about with your kids this easter. They'll enjoy painting eggs, making cards and producing all sorts of goodies from simple and easily obtainable items. Absolutely fantastic. 

10) Easter Cooking by Rebecca Gilpin

Another Usborne book and again this time meticulously detailing scrumptious and delicious recipes your children can try out over easter. Sweet and savoury items are very easy to make from the recipes provided, and the book is beautifully illustrated and produced. If you fancy your hand at making easter-themed sweets or even hot crossed buns, this is a great little (wipe proof) book that has tons of mouth-watering fare to enjoy over the easter period.