Top 10 books every child should own

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Books and stories ignite the imagination
Books and stories ignite the imagination

As a pre-school educator, story time is a vital part of my interaction with children. This is a time when imaginations are ignited and a love of books is formed. Here is a list of my top ten; the ones I feel have made the biggest impact on sparking that love of reading.

The Cat in the Hat by Dr Seuss

The Cat in the Hat book cover
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All Dr Seuss books are a must-have item in any children’s library, Dr Seuss makes learning fun.

The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson

The Gruffalo book cover
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A story about an imaginary creature, bravery and that everything is not always what it seems.

READ MORE: 3 tips for reluctant readers

Love You Forever by Robert Munsch

Love You Forever book cover
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A really beautiful story about a mother’s love with a subtle introduction to death. This story will definitely tug at your heart strings.

Elmer the Patchwork Elephant by David McKee

Elmer book cover
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This is the story about a multi-coloured elephant that is different to all other elephants and also teaches tolerance and acceptance.

READ MORE: A love of reading

The Enormous Crocodile by Roald Dahl

The Enormous Crocodile book cover
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A cunning crocodile thinks he has it all figured out, but his plans are foiled with the help of some jungle animals. Very entertaining with an explosive ending.

Dr Dog by Babette Cole 


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This book highlights some of the most common childhood illnesses while teaching children about hygiene in a fun way. The illustrations are really funny and it’s hard not to laugh while reading it.

READ MORE: Reliving through reading

Little Teddy Left Behind by Anne Mangan

Little Teddy Left Behind book cover
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A story about a teddy that gets left behind when a family moves house. It’s also available in two editions; one has a velvet touch jacket on the teddy which is great for children who are sensory seekers.

The Giraffe who Got in a Knot by John Bush

The Giraffe who got in a Knot book cover
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The jungle animals all have to help a giraffe who got his tail in a knot. A funny story quite literally with a twist in the tale.

READ MORE: Tips for encouraging reading

Beware of Girls by Tony Blundell

Beware of Girls book cover
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The hilarious story of a hungry wolf who gets outsmarted by a wary little girl.

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen

We're Going on a Bear Hunt book cover
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An adventure story which has been turned into a poem your child can recite with you. A wonderful read-along book.

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Discover free stories to download, read and listen to with your kids at our Storytime hub 

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