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Share a Story this World Book Day with some of our favourite books to read together

Written by · Published Feb 22, 2018

Aliens Love Underpants, Hoot Owl: master of disguise

Thursday 1 March is World Book Day. This year’s message is Share a Story, so we’ve picked out some great books to read with children.

Research has shown that spending just 10 minutes a day reading with a child has huge benefits - and it’s great fun too! For more information, visit the World Book Day website or read BookTrust’s great advice on sharing books.

Aliens Love Underpants, by Clare Freedman & Ben Cort

“Aliens love underpants, in every shape and size. But there are no underpants in space, so here’s a big surprise.”

Picture books with rhymes work really well for storytime, and this is a failsafe family favourite.

The Gruffalo, by Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler

“This is a rhyming story of a mouse and a monster. Little mouse goes for a walk in a dangerous forest. To scare off his enemies he invents tales of a fantastical creature called the gruffalo. So imagine his surprise when he meets a real gruffalo.”

Probably one of the most popular storytime books of all time, and for good reason.

Hoot Owl: master of disguise, by Sean Taylor & Jean Jullien

“Hoot Owl is no ordinary owl - oh no! - he’s a master of disguise! And he will use his expert camouflage powers to trick his unsuspecting prey into succumbing to him! Tiny animals of the night - beware!

“But, somehow, Hoot Owl’s prey keeps escaping. Hmmm, perhaps he isn’t quite as masterful as he believes. Will he ever succeed in catching himself some dinner?”

This is hilariously funny and great for reading aloud. David Walliams has described it as “the funniest picture book I have read in a long time.”

Stuck, by Oliver Jeffers

“Floyd gets his kite stuck up a tree. He throws up his shoe to shift it, but that gets stuck too. So he throws up his other shoe and that gets stuck, along with a ladder, a pot of paint, the kitchen sink, an orang-utan and a whale, amongst other things! Will Floyd ever get his kite back?”

Very young children can also enjoy a board book version of Stuck.

Suddenly!, by Colin McNaughton

A classic tale about a hungry wolf’s thwarted attempts to jump out on Preston Pig.

Dear Zoo, by Rob Campbell

“‘I wrote to the zoo to send me a pet’. This classic lift-the-flap book has been a favourite with toddlers ever since it was first published in 1982.”

Also available as a big book for reading aloud to groups.

I’ll Catch You If You Fall, by Mark Sperring & Layn Marlow

“A little boy is fishing from the edge of the boat, leaning out with his net. Who will keep him safe? His mother comes into the frame. Then the captain of the boat. And finally the guiding star in a sky that is becoming increasingly stormy. The star steadfastly steers the boat through the storm back into the harbour. Everyone is restored to the safety of home.

“But then we return to the sky where the star remains, all alone. Who will keep the star safe? It’s the little boy, now in his bedroom, still holding his net. He watches the star and he’s ready to catch it, should it fall.”

This very sweet story is perfect for bedtime.

You Choose!, You Choose in Space and Just Imagine, by Pippa Goodhart & Nick Sharratt

These aren’t stories as such, but wonderful books to share with lots of things to think and talk about on every page.

No Matter What and Stormy Weather, by Debi Gliori

Two lovely reassuring tales for bedtime.

Inside Your Outside!, and There’s No Place Like Space! by Tish Rabe and Aristides Ruiz

Human biology and astronomy conveyed by rhyme, in the style of Dr Seuss.

If I Ran the Rainforest, by Bonnie Worth, Aristides Ruiz and Theodor Seuss Geisel is another title in the series especially worth a read.

The Tiger Who Came to Tea, by Judith Kerr

50 years since it was first published, this book is still delighting children and their parents/carers.

Supermarket Gremlins and School Gremlins by Adam Guillain, Charlotte Guillan & Chris Chatterton

Gremlins are up to mischief in these lift-the-flap books.

The Elephant and the Bad Baby, by Elfrida Vipont & Raymond Briggs

Fantastic illustrations, mayhem, snacks aplenty and a gentle reminder about the importance of saying ‘please’.

Rabbit’s Bad Habits, The Pest in the Nest and Attack of the Snack, by Julian Gough and Jim Field

Our new favourites are pitched for slightly older readers, but the whole family will love these stories.

Reading with children of all ages is a great way to increase their literacy but the act of sitting together and enjoying a story is also really important. Our New in and children’s reading ideas section includes regular lists of our best new children’s CD audiobooks and eAudio, all free to borrow.

Sophie Green

Sophie Green

I work for the Suffolk Libraries stock team. I also write children’s fiction, short stories and comedy. Visit my website.