Children learn and grow by seeing things around them. And hence, family is the first place they learn from. Grandparents, parents, siblings-all have something or the other to teach the child. Then the child starts studying and learns about the world it lives in. Children learn new things every day, which help in the growth of their mind and personality.
Childhood is the most crucial stage, where the right values must be inculcated in the children so that they grow up to be learned, responsible and mature people. Word of mouth is something that we rely on when it comes to giving instructions and imparting values to children, but an even better way is reading. Reading helps the children understand deeply, and on their own. They might not listen to everything that you say, but they do pay attention to what they read. Syllabus books do not always create a good understanding in children, as they read them only to gain marks. What they read for pleasure always stays in their mind and has a great impact on them.
Hence, these are ten reading suggestions for children that they will enjoy and also learn a lot from:
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar [Eric Carle]: The picture book follows the story of a hungry caterpillar, which eats an apple on a Monday, followed by two pears on a Tuesday and then three plums on a Wednesday and so forth. It shows the greedy eating by the caterpillar, as a result of which he has a stomachache. The story ends with the caterpillar turning into a butterfly.
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory [Roald Dahl]: The book is about the opening of Willy Wonka’s famous chocolate factory, which five lucky kids get the chance to visit. These include Augustus Gloop, a very fat boy who loves to eat all the time; Veruca Salt, a brattish child who is spoiled by her parents; Violet Beauregarde, a dull and foolish gum-chewer who has the fastest jaws ever; Mike Teavee, a gangster-impersonating kid who has quite a love for television; and Charlie Bucket, the hero of the story who is impoverished yet honest, kind and a good-hearted kid. The book follows Charlie’s adventures in the chocolate factory.
- Charlotte’s Web [E.B. White] : It is about a pig named Wilbur who is very small and is about to be killed by Fern Arable’s father, the owner of the farm, before Fern saves him and promises to take care of him. As Wilbur grows up, however, he is shifted to a neighboring farm where he makes new friends including a spider, named Charlotte. Charlotte stays in a web in the corner and loves Wilbur and ultimately, saves his life.
- Alice in Wonderland [Lewis Carroll]: It is the tale of Alice who follows a rabbit into its rabbit hole and comes upon a fascinating and fantastic world of talking animals, magic and adventure. It is a fascinating read for children who live in their dream world.
- Winnie the Pooh [A.A. Milne]: Winnie-the-pooh is the honey-loving and innocent and silly bear who is shown in his daily events and adventures along with his friends- Piglet, Tigger and Eeyore. It gives a refreshing account of the innocence and lovingness of a child’s heart.
- Black Beauty [Anna Sewell]: It is a captivating story of a horse and his various owners. An autobiographical account of the horse in the words of Anna Sewell, it speaks about the human treatment of animals. Different owners represent the different traits of humans, good and bad. It offers a perspective from an animal, helping us to better understand them.
- Treasure Island [Robert Louis Stevenson]: It is a tale of pirates and buried gold. Jim Hawkins, an adventurous boy, finds a treasure map and sets out in search of it with an adult crew. But a deceitful man, Long John Silver, is determined to keep all the treasure for his own self. The book is a trend-setter for the portrayal of pirates and treasure-hunt stories. And since it involves treasure, it is a treat for children and also teaches them about integrity.
- Adventures of Huckleberry Finn [Mark Twain]: The book summarizes boyhood adventures alongside Mississippi River. Two boys, Huck and Jim travel down the Mississippi River in search for freedom, from society and slavery respectively. It gives an insight into the child’s struggle to find the right path and would be an educating read.
- Matilda [Roald Dahl]: The book portrays a young and sweet girl, Matilda. She is a seen as a nuisance by her parents and also, by her school headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, who hates kids. She deals with the adults by pulling practical jokes over them. The book is a fun read as who doesn’t like some comic jokes?
- The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe [C.S. Lewis]: The book is the second one of the series ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’. It narrates the story of four siblings who find a mysterious wardrobe that is actually a passageway to the fascinating world of Narnia. As they explore Narnia, they find themselves into a fight against the veil witch who rules Narnia and has cursed it. With the help of the lion, they help free Narnia from the shackles of the evil ruler.
These books would completely engage the children into a whole new world, filled with adventures and the truths of life. Filled with values and intellect, these are sure to help the child gain a new and improved perspective, in a fun and interesting way. However, in the end, every book is adapted by every individual in a unique way. And who knows what the child would learn from it? Something good, for sure.