Summer Holiday Reading

10 Books We Are Enjoying On The Holidays

Loving lists is an integral part of my love of planning. Every Tuesday I plan to share with you a top 10 of things that I hope you might find relevant or interesting.

One of the things I love most about school holidays is that there is more time for the simple things, like reading books together. I love reading to the kids for the pure joy of the story and also for the learning opportunities that they provide. Below I have added some notes to some of our holiday favourites, about things we talk about and focus on when reading these books.

1 – 5 are picture books that are really for those below school age, but I do find even my older children still enjoy these stories:

1. Possum Magic by Mem Fox. A beautiful story that provides an opportunity to familiarise the kids with the capital cities of Australia.
2. Wombat Stew by Marcia K. Vaughan. A funny story with a lovely chant for the children to join in with. Also introduces the reader to the names of native Australian animals.
3. Where is the Green Sheep? By Mem Fox. A simple rhyming story that allows the children to anticipate the words through the picture and rhyme. Also provides opportunity for talking about colour, size and shape.
4. Refugees by David Miler. A sad tale of two ducks displaced by urban sprawl. After a hard journey it has a happy ending, through which I can talk to the children about both caring for their environment and for other people in society.
5. Olivia by Ian Falconer. This is a well worn favourite of our Possum. However, if you check out one of the canvases that which painted by the Thinker, he did try to imitate a Jackson Pollock, which he learnt about from this book. Thankfully he didn’t follow in Olivia’s footsteps and paint it on the wall!

The books from 6  – 10 are for my older boys aged 6 and 9:
6. The Cat on the Mat is Flat by Andy Griffiths. Very child oriented humour for the early reader. Can explore lots of rhyming words, as text is all written in rhyme.
7. Are we there yet? By Alison Lester. Details a family’s journey around Australia, providing a wonderful opportunity to explore the country through text. There is such a great mix of illustrations with the text, which even after many reading the kids can still pick out new things they want to talk about.
8. The Twits by Roald Dahl. I personally prefer Matilda, but the boys think this book is hysterical, so it comes out very often. As with all Roald Dahl books, drawing the children’s attention to how he uses words and puts the story together shows them some techniques they can use in their writing.
9. The Adventures of TinTin by Herge. These are very old school and some of book in the series do require explanations to the children about moments in history and perceptions of other cultures at the time. But this is in itself is learning opportunity s well as the exploration of countries around the world through adventure and humour they get from the stories.
10. Horrible Histories series by Terry Deary. These books are a humorous and “horrible” (that is full of gory bits) look at the history of the world through the ages. These are really only appropriate for my eldest. I have to admit that I have learnt quite a lot from reading them to him!

I am always looking for new books to interest the children, so if you have some favourites that you would like to share, I would love to hear about them.