Please click on the link below for a trove of around 400 book recommendations from baby/toddler to teen. The list – which I am constantly updating – has come together over the past decade during exciting, long expeditions to bookshops, libraries, schools (as a teacher) and other people’s houses (as a tutor). I hope it will prove helpful!
How is the list organised?
The list takes the form of an excel spreadsheet and I have divided the recommendations into age-appropriate categories for ease of access. I have also tried to write notes for each book to give you an idea of why each one is special.
What are my criteria for recommending a book?
- impact – will the book nurture a love of reading? – would a child want to read it again?
- wonderful illustrations/visuals (essential for young children or emerging readers)
- educational value – what might a child learn/experience?
- quality of the English language
- Educational – for children’s home learning and additional needs
- Parent help
Where are the best places to find these books?
My favourite ethical websites
If you are buying a book for your own child, why not buy a pristine or ‘very good’ copy second hand? You will save (a lot of) money and help the planet! After all, it takes only a few seconds for a book to become ‘second hand.’
Better World Books
World of Books
Some Favourite Bookshops
Barter Books in Annick – A HUGE (very) affordable children’s section. Plus there’s a model train running round the ceiling and a café. I’d spend hours browsing as a child before emerging with armfuls of entertainment!
Ginger and Pickles in Stockbridge, Edinburgh – A (small) specialist children’s bookshop for new books run by an experienced English teacher.
St Columba’s Bookshop in Canonmills, Edinburgh – Very clean, and there are many bargains to be had!
Some Favourite Libraries
Central Children’s Library in Edinburgh – Very quiet and spacious! Good for recent titles and a good place to relax with a young child!
The Lit & Phil in Newcastle – One of the most beautiful old libraries I have been in. And a good place to discover forgotten gems which you could then buy elsewhere! NB I rummaged in boxes under a table in the children’s section for my best finds!!