Books for children and which are not about aliens

Yet another school holiday is about to come upon us. This Easter break looms over us with her promise of wintry weathers but there are some rather marvellous things to do with your young children, of course always making sure there is at least the same amount of time to do nothing.-I meant the children:) Because we all know that the build up to doing nothing is a lot of uncertainty and restlessness for their little souls before they feel sure no one is going haul them out of their own activity or rest to go and be sociable, before finally they feel safe enough to rest. You could however, aim to inspire them into their own activity by planting a few books from these 2 series in. Place them among other books but perhaps in a more noticeable angle? Front of the shelf? And don’t say a word about it until they notice it themselves and ask you to read it to them. Sometimes children want to have their own experience first and look at the pictures themselves and never say a word to you about it. Give them that chance and on a different occasion, you could pick the book out and read it enthusiastically but silently or very softly to yourself while they are in the same room! They’ll come asking eventually.

First, is the wonderful Alfie series by Shirley Hughes. The story of Alfie is now 30 years old and its anniversary is being celebrated by several bookstores so you should easily be able to find one. The illustrations are wonderfully detailed and the stories are creative and imaginative but also extremely grounded which makes it accessible to young children. They can relate easily to Alfie and the things that Alfie does.

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Also try reading stories from cover to cover to your child without too much explaining, talking about the illustrations or asking them questions during or after. Instead, pause and allow time between pages and let your child consider it for herself. All those wonderful ‘think about it’ conversations can be had with the 2nd or 3rd read and there will always be those I’m sure.

The other is Michelin’s new I-Spy books which are fun for adults and children alike. I really like the look of the I Spy London’s Transport one here. And they are only £2.50 each.

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