Staying indoors can be particularly hard for children. Not being able to go to school, meet friends or play outdoors can affect their emotional wellbeing and cause distress.

While TV and internet are much-needed distractions, there’s one thing that all parents can turn to as an effective way of sparking their children’s imagination – reading!

To that effect, we asked our Instagram community of booklovers what some of the best books for children are to read; and out of all the responses, these are our top picks:

  1. The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy: Featuring 100 illustrations, this book is full of timeless messages and beautiful truths to lend hope, encouragement and advice to anyone and everyone from 8 to 80 years old.
  2. Oh, the places you'll go! by Dr Seuss: In a simple, lyrical way, the book imparts a lifetime of wisdom. While all of Dr Seuss’s books are for children of all ages, most readers reckon this one starts making sense at 16 when you’re getting ready to go out into the world.
  3. Swami and Friends by R.K. Narayan: Funny, captivating and relatable for most kids aged 12 and above, Swami and Friends is a collection of short stories about Swami’s adventures in the fictional village of Malgudi.
  4. Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White: A touching tale of kindness, love, friendship, and life, Charlotte’s Web is perfect for children aged 8 years and above.
  5. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne: Explore undersea forests, coral graveyards, miles-deep trenches, and even the sunken ruins of Atlantis with Jules Verne’s novel of undersea exploration; perfect for ages 9 and above.
  6. My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell: Suitable for ages 11+ years, this book is a semi-autobiographical account of the Durrell family’s humorous experiences on the Greek isle of Corfu – from the many eccentric hangers-on to the ceaseless procession of puppies, toads, scorpions, geckoes and other animals into their home.

Popular favourites:

  1. The Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling: Loved by children and adults alike, the Harry Potter series doesn’t just inspire the spirit of adventure, but also delivers valuable lessons about love, friendship, and courage. Perfect for ages 8 and above.
  2. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl: Suitable for children above 10 years of age, this classic tale is about five lucky kids who win a chance to tour Willy Wonka’s greatest chocolate factory in the world and take part in a mysterious candy-making adventure.
  3. The Room on the Roof by Ruskin Bond: Written from a teenager's perspective and inspired by the author's own experiences, this simple yet touching story revolves around a boy named Rusty and his path to self-discovery. 
  4. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain: Time has done little to diminish the appeal of this classic story. Highly recommended for teens, it talks about the joys of childhood when the world is full of wonders, and children are free of the heavy responsibilities of adulthood. 
  5. Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney: A fun read for children 9 years and above, Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a funny narration of middle school well-laden with doodles and sketches.
  6. The curious incident of the dog in the night-time by Mark Haddon: Follow the exploits of fifteen-year-old Christopher Boone as he sets out on a terrifying journey to solve a mystery. This book is appropriate for ages 13 and above.

If you’re looking to develop reading skills in your children, check out our Reading for Life programme that will not only instil a love of reading in children but also help them become engaged readers.