The Evening Mail’s Top 10 Books for children of all ages

1) “Oh Baby, The Places You’ll Go!” by Tish Rabe. 

Ages: Antenatal to one-year-old. Yes, you read that right. 

Antenatal. A beautiful introduction to Ted Geisel’s most loved characters, Tish Rabe cleverly extracts and adapts the well-known works of Dr Seuss into a simple, rhymed verse designed to stimulate the senses of babies in utero and newborns. 

The book includes a foreword from Audrey Geisel explains how she had her husband were fascinated by the fact that babies can hear sounds while still in the womb, and became involved in research around how much they would recognise after birth.

 A perfect starter tool to create a budding bookworm.

2)“That’s Not My…” books, from Usborne Publishing. 

Ages: Babies and toddlers. 

Now sporting a huge range of different characters, these touchy-feely board books follow simple, repetitive texts with tactile patches and bright, bold illustrations to engage all your child’s senses. This multi-award winning series is perfect for little fingers and come with stickers and colouring activities to practise emerging hand and pen control.

3) “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”, by Eric Carle. 

Ages: Two to four. 

First published in 1969, some books never go out of style. The winner of various children’s literacy awards, this one has sold 30 million copies worldwide and you would be hard-pushed to find any adult without fond memories of its story. With “eaten holes” in the book to entertain small children, the simple text cleverly introduces educational themes including counting, the days of the week, foods and the life stages of the butterfly. Nostalgia at its very best, adults will enjoy this trip down memory lane as much as their children enjoy the new journey.

4)“We’re going on a Bear Hunt”, by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury. 

Ages: Two to Six-plus. 

Anyone who has ever managed to take their children for a day out without it turning into a “bear hunt” is missing out on this fun-filled adventure. The classic chant-aloud was first published in 1989 and has never lost its magic. The book even forms the basis of a Guinness World Record for the largest ever reading lesson. It can be complimented by games, activity sheets and even a live bear hunt.

5)“The Gruffalo”, by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler.

Ages: Three to seven-plus.

Fast laying down its claims to one day be named as a children’s classic, The Gruffalo and its sequel The Gruffalo’s Child are loved by youngsters of all ages. 

The story can be followed from age three while children will be able to enjoy the book by themselves by five plus. The adorable story of a cunning mouse and his attempts to stay out of harm’s way have touched the hearts of millions, and grown-ups may find it hard to resist the number of spin-off clothing ranges, toys and activities these books have inspired.

6)Roald Dahl: A 15-book box-set. 

Ages: Six-plus. 

It is impossible to pick just one of Roald Dahl’s books, which have spanned generations of families and continue to be among the most-loved items on any household bookshelf. From the more famous Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The BFG or Matilda to relatively hidden gems such as The Twits and The Enormous Crocodile, Dahl is the gift that just keeps on giving. Some parents find some of his works a little dark and prefer to wait until their children are a little older to introduce them to this wizard wordsmith.

7)“The World’s Worst Children”, by David Walliams. 

Ages: Seven to 11-plus. 

The latest creation from actor, comedian and children’s writer, David Walliams, who has taken the children’s literary world by storm since penning his first book in 2008. Despite having been writing for less than a decade, his bestselling eight novels have sold more than eight millions copies in the UK alone and have been translated into more than 40 languages. His books have achieved unprecedented critical claim and led to him being compared to his all-time hero, the afore-mentioned Roald Dahl.

8)“The Sheep-Pig”, by Dick King-Smith. 

Ages: Eight-plus 

A return to the long-serving household name, any work by Dick King-Smith is likely to fill your child with joy. His most famous book, The Sheep-Pig is now well-known especially due to the success of the widely-watched smash-hit film adaptation, Babe. Alternative and, for many, preferred choices from this family-friendly author include The Queen’s Nose or the lesser-known but exceptionally-funny, George Speaks.

9)“Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”, by J.K.Rowling. 

Ages: 10-plus Harry Potter is an almost unescapable presence nowadays but with very, very good reason. Starting with The Philosopher's Stone, watch your child get lost in the each of seven simply incredible books and grow alongside Harry, Hermione and Ron as they seek to save the wizarding world from the powers of the Lord Voldemort. 

The type of books you will have to prise from your child’s hands to make them turn off the light and go to sleep at night, these books will be the ones that they read again - and again - and again. All the way into adulthood.

10)“His Dark Materials” trilogy, by Philip Pullman. 

Ages: Seven to 12-plus 

A beautiful set of three spell-binding stories, this trio of fantasy novels first hit the shelves in 1995 with the publication of Northern Lights, followed by The Subtle Knife in 1997 and The Amber Spyglass in 2000. Children will be enchanted by the coming-of-age of Lyra Belacqua and Will Parry as they wander their way through a series of parallel universes. The fantasy elements include witches and armoured polar bears but the books also allude to ideas from physics, philosophy and theology. Less successful as a film franchise, fans of these books are now resting their hopes for a more successful adaptation on a series commissioned by BBC One last year.