When brothers Aditya and Neil moved into the stately British Council library in Kolkata in March 2020, it was their first library visit together. Neil ran his hands on the freshly laid children’s collection while the librarian welcomed Aditya as part of the daily crowd of young readers.
And as new inspired readers, Neil and Aditya decided to return soon. Then, of course, the pandemic happened. The library’s glass doors had to be shuttered, the kids turned away.
Isolated from the outside world, some of the kids escaped their daily monotony with breathless page-turners. Others just couldn’t stop scrolling on their phones.
Here are the top ten intriguing titles that were an absolute treat for the kids during the pandemic. If your New Year’s resolution involves reading more books, scroll down to browse the top picks from authors like Ross Welford, Ruth Quayle to highly anticipated titles from beloved writers like J K Rowling and Gabriel Fitzmaurice and mystery thrillers and fantastical tales in between.
- Really rotten rhymes by Gabriel Fitzmaurice - Based on the author's experiences as a teacher, as a parent, and as a big kid himself, this work contains rhymes that present the really rotten moments that children relish..
- Armadillo and Hare by Jeremy Strong - Armadillo and Hare have all the warmth and charm of the frog and toad adventures. Two friends spending time together, enjoying and learning meaningful lessons about life. Written as ten light-hearted and funny short stories, Armadillo and Hare enjoy days out together, deal with problems and ponder things about the world.
- Magnificent Mabel and the rabbit riot by Ruth Quayle - This delightful collection of three short stories features Mabel, a little girl with a big personality. Mabel’s no-nonsense approach to life, along with her clear view that “sometimes life isn’t even fair” will resonate with many young children.
- Time travelling with a Hamster by Ross Welford - Ross Welford, an English author, pens his debut science fiction story that unfolds the story of a 12-year old boy who after his father's death travels back in time with his father's invented the time machine to meet his father along with his pet hamster, but things do not go well when he goes back in time.
- Harry Potter by J K Rowling - A series of fantasy novels that chronicle the lives of a young wizard, and his friends who are students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The stories are about Harry's struggle against a dark wizard who intends to become immortal.
- Kid normal by Greg James, Chris Smith - An extraordinary tale about an ordinary boy in a world of heroes. Kid Normal is a fast-paced, humorous adventure with likeable heroes and a suitably ridiculous, evil villain.
- Kitty and the tiger treasure by Paula Harrison - This chapter book is an excellent choice to share with kids, in particular for those of ages 6 to 8 who are ready to read independently. It’s a fun way to keep your child engaged and as a supplement for activity books for children.
- Unicorn muddle by Hannah Shaw - A fun Twinkleland Kingdom story that is sparkling with creativity and imagination with naughty little unicorn pig and Princess Pea coming together and leading the children to a wonderland.
- The day I became the most wanted boy in the world by Tom McLaughlin - This book illustrates nine-year-old Pete’s amusing adventure! A hilarious romp that moves fast enough to keep young readers on the edge of their seats.
- My parents cancelled my birthday by Jo Simmons - Every child waits for his or her birthday and cherishes the day. What if the birthday gets cancelled? A side-splitting tale of Tom's birthday wish not being fulfilled. What could have possibly gone wrong? Read to know the twists and turns in the story.
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