So many choices out there it can be rather confusing… Here's what I've found out so far…

shutterstock_104294405In the age of the computer and television, few children read as much as they used to.

In our own youth, we would spend hours upon hours with our noses in a book or listening intently as our parents read us a bedtime story. But why did we ever lose this?

Not only is it a great way to bond with your child, it is great for developing their language skills, reading and writing ability, and sets their imagination alight. And with so many classic books just crying out to be heard by children’s ears, there really is no reason why you shouldn’t make time for story time.

To get you started then, here are five classic books you should read to your children:

1. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

No child should grow up having never read “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”. This classic picture book is perfect for young children and details a rather greedy grub munching his way through a plethora of tasty treats.

This is a tangible book with cut outs, bright images, and a really simple storyline. If you’ve got young children, this is a great book to start with. It’s not too long, is easy to follow, and is a true classic that everyone should read at least once in their childhood.

2. The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

Another classic for younger children now, and “The Tale of Peter Rabbit” is a stunning picture book with a wonderful story. The first of many by Potter, “The Tale of Peter Rabbit” follows a mischievous young bunny on his trips around Mr. McGregor’s garden.

This sweet tale has a moral – always listen to your mother – but is a lovely story to read to your children at bed time. This is just the first in a selection; your children can also read all about Jemima Puddleduck, Mrs Tiggy-Winkle and Squirrel Nutkin.

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3. Matlida by Roald Dahl

When it comes to books with morals, Roald Dahl is the King.

Each of his stories is wonderfully imaginative, and filled with a whole host of wonderful characters your children will remember forever. But one of his best has to be Matilda. The tale of an exceptionally bright girl with exceptional powers, Matilda is a great tale with a wonderful happy ending.

4. “The Famous Five by Enid Blyton

“The Famous Five” series by Enid Blyton was only supposed to feature six books. But due to its popularity, Blyton ended up writing 21. For slightly older children, and kids who can read to themselves, these books are ideal.

The wonderful adventure tales are complete classics, and are sure to set imaginations running wild. Each story is different, and there really is a book for everyone. And if your children love them, you can start on Blyton’s other adventure series, “The Secret Seven”. While not as classic or successful, these books are perfect for children than love adventure books.

5. The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

The final book on our list is actually a series of books and is a modern classic. J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series follows a young wizard as he learns to develop his magic skills and fight evil. Your kids have probably seen the films, but it’s time for them to read the stories.

With so much more detail, “Harry Potter” is a real page turner that will stay with your children forever. Read the early books to younger children, and older kids can read them themselves. Either way, every child should enjoy this series in the way it was intended.

So there you have it; five classic books to read to your children.

What other books would you recommend? What books did you enjoy growing up?

Clare Evans is writing on behalf of Core Assets, the largest private agency for fostering in the UK and also operating worldwide.

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