This week is National Storytelling Week and what better way to celebrate than sharing a collection of the best classic picture books for kids – each available for around a fiver! Iconic stories include celebrated classics from Julia Donaldson, Jill Murphy and Judith Kerr, to name but a few. These are the stories your parents probably read to you when you were young, and they’ll be the book your little ones will treasure and read to their own children in years to come.
To find out how you can get involved in National Storytelling Week, head down to your local storytelling club, theatre, museum or school to join in with the festivities!
Millions of children have loved the classic picture book story of Sophie and her extraordinary teatime guest since it was first published more than fifty years ago.
The doorbell rings just as Sophie and her mummy sit down to tea. Who could it possibly be? They certainly don’t expect to see a big furry, stripy tiger at the door!
This warm and funny picture book story is perfect for reading aloud, or for small children to read to themselves time and again. First published in 1968 and never out of print, it has become a timeless classic enjoyed and beloved by generations of children.
The magic begins at teatime!
Walk further into the deep dark wood, and discover what happens when a quick-witted mouse comes face to face with an owl, a snake… and a hungry Gruffalo!
Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s The Gruffalo is an undisputed modern classic and has become a best-selling phenomenon worldwide with over 13.5 million copies sold. This award-winning rhyming story of a mouse and a monster has found its way into the hearts and bedtimes of an entire generation of children and will continue to enchant them for years to come. No home should be without The Gruffalo!
Claire has hurt her knee, and so she sets off home to tell her mum all about it. On the way, she meets her friends and tells them how it happened. But just how did it happen…? Was she dropped by a wolf, a slithering snake, an enormous dragon or a hairy gorilla?!
On the Way Home is a fantastic journey of the imagination that every small child who tells the occasional tall tale will relate to! A bestselling classic that has been delighting readers for over forty years.
Don’t miss the classic and beloved Funnybones by children’s book superstars Janet and Allan Ahlberg.
In this, the first ever Funnybones book of all, we are introduced to the wonderful humour and fun of the much-loved series. The Funnybones books are a must for children just starting to learn to read – these funny skeletons are definitely not the scary sort!
Allan Ahlberg has published over 100 children’s books and with his late wife Janet, created many award-winning children’s picture books. The Ahlbergs’ books are nursery bookshelf standards and have been the recipient of worldwide acclaim and awards, including the Kate Greenaway Medal.
Dogger is a children’s picture book written and illustrated by Shirley Hughes, published by The Bodley Head in 1977
When Dave loses his favourite toy, Dogger, he is desolate. But then Dogger turns up at the school summer fair, and everything seems all right – until someone else buys him before Dave can get the money!
This is Hughes’ most heartwarming picture book. She has a kindly, inexhaustible eye and she misses nothing.
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Follow and join in the family’s excitement as they wade through the grass, splash through the river and squelch through the mud in search of a bear. What a surprise awaits them in the cave on the other side of the dark forest!
This worthy winner of the Smarties prize in 1989 is a timeless classic that is enjoyed by children of all ages as well as by adults who are continually asked to read it again and again. Michael Rosen’s lyrical, repetitive text reads aloud beautifully and Helen Oxenbury’s delightful watercolour illustrations not only provide the perfect complement but also add another dimension to the story itself.
Everyone’s favourite family cat first appeared fifty years ago and is loved by children everywhere for her funny and warm-hearted escapades.
Mog the Forgetful Cat was first published in 1970 and has never been out of print! The classic picture book story of a very forgetful cat, her family, and a very exciting adventure is the perfect gift for families, boys, girls, and anyone who has ever known or loved a cat.
From Judith Kerr, the bestselling author of The Tiger Who Came to Tea, the beloved Mog stories still delight children all over the world. Celebrate this unforgettable cat’s very first adventure and share this funny and warm picture book story with your family.
Jill Murphy’s bestselling classic Peace at Last has delighted young children for almost forty years, and is equally beloved by tired parents who are all too familiar with the plight of poor Mr Bear.
With a snoring Mrs Bear, an excitable Baby Bear and a house full of tapping and dripping and ticking, peace is hard to come by – will Mr Bear ever get a decent night’s sleep?
The familiar noises, repetition and beautiful illustrations make Jill Murphy’s delightful Peace at Last an all-time favourite bedtime story with children and adults everywhere. This is a beautiful refreshed edition of a much-loved picture book classic.
One night Max puts on his wolf suit and makes mischief of one kind and another, so his mother calls him ‘Wild Thing’ and sends him to bed without his supper.
That night a forest begins to grow in Max’s room and an ocean rushes by with a boat to take Max to the place where the wild things are. Max tames the wild things and crowns himself as their king, and then the wild rumpus begins!
Maurice Sendak was born in Brooklyn, New York. He began by illustrating other authors’ books for children, but the first book he wrote and illustrated was Kenny’s Window, published in 1956. In his lifetime, he illustrated over 80 books, and received many awards, including the 1964 Caldecott Medal for Where the Wild Things Are. In 1970 he was the first American to win the Hans Christian Andersen Illustrator’s Medal. He passed away in May 2012.
Little Bear can’t sleep. He is frightened of the dark, even with the biggest lantern of them all at his bedside. But Big Bear finds an ingenious way to reassure him. So Big Bear takes him out and shows him the moon and the stars – and Little Bear then falls asleep.
Described as ‘the most perfect children’s book ever written’, Can’t You Sleep Little Bear is an award-winning story by Martin Waddell. A master storyteller for children, Martin has won the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen award and the Smarties award twice.