Books for children, vol 6

You guys! We made it back from our summer trailer trip, via caves, canyons, abandoned Nevada rail museums, and mountain passes.

Did I manage to get any photos with all five children in the frame and looking at the camera?

Vancouver island to the Grand Canyon, with a happy few days in Zion NP Utah. A proper update on the travels to follow!

But in the meantime, some book recommendations, that kept five children (mostly) happy as we drove for some 6,500km over 12 days.

Good-night, Owl! Pat Hutchins

A beautifully illustrated, funny and forgotten book from my childhood, that I spied in the Zion gift shop whilst trying to convince my children not to spend their holiday money on cuddly birds that make a (loud) bird call when pressed. We walked away with the book and only one noisy bird instead of five so let’s chalk that up as a success.

The David Baddiel back catalogue

My nine year old has been working through all of David Baddiel’s highly entertaining and quietly thought-provoking books.

The Parent Agency, where the central character tries to choose a better set of parents than his own; Animalcolm, about a boy who hates animals and learns what it’s like to become one – and The Person Controller. On order, The Boy Who Could Do What He Liked.

The Babysitters Club, graphic novel style

I still have my dated and patchy collection of late-eighties edition babysitters club books, but they have been repackaged and retold in a graphic novel offering. My seven year old was absolutely engrossed.

Talking of graphic novels, one that Parrot Street bookclub mentioned on instagram –

Nimona, Noelle Stevenson

Jacob (9) read and loved this – I haven’t read it but he was still talking about it a week or so later which is always a good sign, and it was definitely different content from his usual favoured books – also a good sign.

One that you’ll likely have already heard of –

The Boy at the Back of the Class, Onjali Rauf

Both our older children (9,7) thought this was a great story – and some pretty important themes – refugees and Syria. You’ll have heard of it already but just adding my voice to the many already suggesting it.

And finally, a good early reader option that Mim(5) enjoys being able to read independently – the Otto series:

The Adventures of Otto

Activity Books:

Less about the literature; still about the happy children, these were also big hits:

How to Draw Cool Things, Rachel Goldstein

This was a huge hit with Jacob – usually my most difficult customer when it comes to activity-style books, as he’s getting too old for most of the easy fun sticker/maze type books and most other more challenging puzzle books start to veer towards just being extra maths (he also had a holiday maths book but that was less well-received).

Usborne mosaic stickers

Elsa (7) enjoyed these mosaic stickers. A little more thoughtful than your average sticker book.

I also bought these for Jacob (9) and Elsa (7), given their summer calvin&hobbes / asterix addiction:

There are a number of options out there for blank comic books. This is a good one.

More soon! On how the tiny trailer fared under some extreme holiday pressure. And by tiny trailer I mean me.

tMatM x



  1. August 21, 2019 / 4:24 am

    If you happen to know of any good sensory-type books, I wound be interested to hear your opinion. My 5-year-old niece is autistic and I really struggle to find books / recommendations for her x

    • August 22, 2019 / 10:35 pm

      I will have a think on it and see if I have any good ideas – or failing that, some suggestions for other people with good ideas! Xx

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