World Book Day: books to read with the little ones in your life
To help you share a story this World Book Day, the team at Macmillan’s Children’s Books share their favourite books to read with the little ones in their lives.
Reading for pleasure has a transformational effect on young minds, and World Book Day’s Share a Story message aims to encourage and empower as many children as possible to engage with enthralling stories and read for the love of reading.
To help you share a story with the children in your life this World Book Day, here the Macmillan’s Children’s Books team have shared the books they love to read with their own little loved ones.
Little Monkey by Marta Altes
‘I love to read Little Monkey by Marta Altes with my niece, she loves the artwork and finding the different creatures on each page - especially the tiger! It's the perfect adventure to read together and shows that the smaller you are, the bigger your adventures can be. ’
Cheyney Smith – Senior Communications Executive MCB Communications
Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler
‘I love reading Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler with my young nephews (aged 2 and 4) and there's a brilliant sound edition so they get really engaged and excited to push the buttons to hear the frog croak and the broomstick whoosh into the sky. Nine times out of ten I'm asked to read that one again and again!’
‘I have read The Something by Rebecca Cobb to my two-year-old more times than I could possibly count. We both know it off by heart and it has prompted many conversations (and investigations!) into all the wonderful and unexpected things that could be just out of sight down a hole. A perfect story for encouraging imagination, and the illustrations are breathtakingly gorgeous.’
Chloë Pursey – Senior Editor Editorial MCB Under 6
Sharing a Shell by Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks
‘I love reading Sharing a Shell by Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks with my friend's children. The colourful characters are so engaging and really capture their attention - plus the story makes them laugh every time. No matter how many times we need to read it, it's enjoyable each time.’
Jessica Rigby – Brand Manager MCB Communications
Too Much Stuff by Emily Gravett
‘It's hard to single out just one of Emily Gravett's books as a favourite - I think her latest Too Much Stuff ties with Too Many Rabbits. For sheer fun, and the amount of detail she packs into her illustrations to discover on first, second, third and more readings I'd go for Too Much Stuff. A salutary tale for all of us about what happens when you try to cram too much into your humble abode, with endpapers with retro adverts for more belongings which you might just find that the two magpies have tried to stash in their ever-expanding nest. ’
Clare Hall-Craggs – Head of Publicity MCB Communications
Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse by Chris Riddell
‘My niece has always adored Chris Riddell’s brilliant Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse ever since it was first published. She enjoyed everything about it from the witty text, to the glorious illustrations and Ada’s perfect outfit, which she persuaded her mum to recreate so she could wear it on Word Book Day. She loved the story but she also loved the beauty of the book itself, which she treasures still – even though Sara Barnard’s young adult fiction is more her thing these days.’
Sarah Hughes – Associate Publisher Editorial MCB 6 Plus
The Umbrella Mouse by Anna Fargher
‘I love reading The Umbrella Mouse by Anna Fargher with my niece (aged 10). She is learning about WWII at school so finds it particularly interesting, and the magical animals make the content so much more accessible. The illustrations by Sam Usher are also stunning – we love how he’s brought Pip to life!
‘One of my favourite books that I read with my niece (age 9) this year was Owl and the Lost Boy by Amy Wilson. Full of magic, adventure and friendship, my niece kept asking if we could read just one more chapter to find out if Owl would be able to restore the seasons and escape an eternal summer – and I normally ended up reading more than one extra chapter with her because I couldn’t wait to find out what happened either!’
Maria Higgins – Marketing Executive MCB Communications
The Monsters of Rookhaven by Pádraig Kenny
‘This is a completely immersive read. Don't start it at night. Embark on it when you have time to race through the pages and then pause and go back to read Padraig's words. You'll want to savour them. Imagine a very creepy character who lives down the corridor, behind a thick padlocked door, capable of being as a large as an elephant or as small as a dog, who devours raw meat and makes the most hideous of noises... then imagine spending the night at the other end of the corridor, overcome with curiosity about this thing, or this beast, a curiosity that puts you in enormous danger.’
Clare Hall-Craggs – Head of Publicity MCB Communications
Adventures on Trains series by M.G. Leonard and Sam Sedgman
‘I can wholeheartedly recommend the brilliant Adventures on Trains series by M.G. Leonard and Sam Sedgman with illustrations by Elisa Paganelli. My 9-year-old and I share these together and they are exciting, fast-paced, beautifully illustrated and well written. They follow the main character, a boy called Hal, who goes on train journeys with his uncle Nat. Whilst they are on the train, a crime happens and we follow as Hal solves each one.
The first book, The Highland Falcon Thief, tells of the theft of a diamond brooch, the second title is set in America and called Kidnap on the California Comet where Hal discovers what has happened to the daughter of a very rich businessman. We have just finished the third in the series, Murder on the Safari Star, which included an actual murder which my son found thrilling.
Each book is set on a real train, on a real journey and the technical information about the train sits perfectly alongside the story and characters, adding detail and gravitas but not too much. Hal is a keen artist and his drawings help him (and us) solve the crimes. I have been known to read ahead after my son has gone to bed to find out what happened!’
Jo Hardacre – Head of Publicity MCB Communications
‘Kidnap on the California Comet is a well-thumbed read by the 9-12-year-olds in my life, perfect at this time when real-life adventures are few and far between! The landscape of the USA truly comes to life as you journey with Hal from Chicago to San Francisco, picking up clues along the way to help solve the mystery of a kidnapped heiress …
Sarah Plowes – Head of Marketing MCB Communications
Black and British - A short, essential history by David Olusoga
‘ I passed Black and British - A short, essential history by David Olusoga over to my 13-year-old sister after reading it myself. We both learned a lot and it completely changed my perspective on British history. It was written in a way that was interesting and accessible to both of us. My sister says she's since passed the book over to another friend to read, which is brilliant!’
Bethan Thomas – Publicity Executive MCB Communications