A Tutor’s Library of Children’s Books


I have spoken before about value and richness of children’s picture books and how many of them transcend the remarkably common opinion that works of literature and art should be put down at an early age. I have fond memories as a young teacher in London, spending hours at the local Borders and Waterstones bookstores reading through countless picture books on their sofas. Wonderful stores those were! Furthermore, it was only into adulthood that I built my collection of picture books. Not because I used them in class but because they were rewarding to read and study.


Today, I only aim to give you a list of some fantastic picture books. Some, for their words and turn of phrase; others for their artwork. Most of them combine both.


Where the Wild Things Are: Maurice Sendak’s classic about a child’s imagination. Look out for the increase in size of the pictures on each page as Max goes further and further into his imaginary world.




Tyrannosaurus Drip: Julia Donaldson, better known for The Gruffalo, provides fantastic rhyme and super characters and stories.



My Uncle is a Hunkle says Clarice Bean: Lauren Child is splendid. Her writing is fresh and witty. Her characters are real and accessible. This book is tremendous fun. It opens with “My Uncle is a Hunkle. He says things like “Eat dirt, Ding bat!”



Maude the not so Noticeable Shrimpton: Lauren Child again? Is this an oversight? No way. A cautionary tale about vanity. I call it a modern classic! Read it to your children. Look for the literary devices in here. It’s fantastic.



Olivia: By Ian Falconer. I love the style of illustration here. It shouts out at you. A great book.



Willy the Wimp: Grab just about anything by Anthony Browne. His stories are timeless and the illustrations are unique to him.




Dr. Dog: Babette Cole is the aunt I always wanted. She has a naughty streak which shines through in her books but never without taste. Great fun both in the writing and the illustrating.



Mr. Flux: Kyo Maclear. Because sometimes you have to go a little weird. A story about being different and embracing the uniqueness in you. It’s different. It’s good.



The Great Paper Caper: Oliver Jeffers The description here is simplistic art. You can tell Oliver Jeffers Illustrations a mile away. And you will be able to recognise his stories easily too. When I read George Orwell I always marvel at how he can write so simply and yet so incredibly engagingly and beautifully. I feel the same way about Oliver Jeffers’ work.


I won’t elaborate on the books’ worth here but I urge you to contact me if you ever want to talk about books for your children – young and not so young.  www.enhancelearning.ae



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