8 kids’ books to read these summer holidays


One of the best things about holidays is having the time to read altogether again, without other stresses leaking into our minds during story-time. We’ve found the best reads for you and your kids to enjoy, discuss, and learn from.

1. The Day the Crayons Quit

Written by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers

Ages 3+

Kids can colour outside the lines and let their imagination go wild with this book. The crayons are starting a revolution: they’re quitting! Pink is feeling neglected, Blue is overused, Orange and Yellow are divided. Drawing the lines between play and reality, this book inspires kids to think about colour and creativity in a new way. Your kids will never look at their crayons in the same way again.

2. Cinnamon

Written by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Divya Srinivasan

Ages 4+

Cinnamon is a beautiful princess with eyes made of pearls. She is blind, and she also will not speak. Dumbfounded, her parents call on their kingdom’s people to teach her to talk. One day, a tiger skulks into the kingdom, declaring that he is the one who will teach Cinnamon to speak. A whimsical fable set against the enchanting backdrop of India, this book will whisk your kids away and they won’t want to come home!

3. The Tale of Despereaux

By Kate DiCamillo

Ages 6+

Mice are meant to be timid, aren’t they? Despereaux is anything but. This little mouse’s heart is full of love for a princess and full of adventure. Follow his tale as he meets characters who crave a better life, and leads to a terrible darkness in a frightful dungeon. When the paths of these characters cross, their true heart is revealed and Despereaux’s shines. This tale will enthral your kids as they delve into this magical kingdom.

4. The Invisible Boy

By Trudy Ludwig

Ages 6+

With the increasing popularity of introverted literature for adults (such as Quiet by Susan Cain), this kind-hearted tale applies big concepts such as introversion, exclusion and empathy in a kid-friendly way. Brian – the invisible boy, is not noticed by anyone, or so it seems. This book shows that being a friend is in the small, everyday things.

5. Pippi Longstocking

Written by Astrid Lindgren and illustrated by Lauren Child

Ages 7+

This spunky, funky girl has been a hero for generations. Pippi is not your normal new girl in the neighbourhood. She has a horse, no parents, flaming red hair and a nose for sniffing out adventure. Pippi’s many tales will leave you roaring with laughter, and will inspire your kids to be whatever they want to be – from pirates to ninjas and right back again to the kid we love and know best!

6. The One and Only Ivan

by Katherine Applegate

Ages 9+

Ivan’s story will leave you with the warm fuzzies. This poignant and funny tale centres around Ivan the gorilla, who strangely enough lives in a mall. He doesn’t really spare a thought about his true home. But that all changes when he meets Ruby the elephant. Ruby teaches Ivan about art, home, and perspective. Your kids will want their own elephant bestie once they’ve read this book!

7. The Boy in the Dress

Written by David Walliams and illustrated by Quentin Blake

Ages 9+

The hilarious debut tells the tale of Dennis. Dennis is a wee bit different from your average Joe. After losing his mother, Dennis is a little lost himself. This charming book will make you laugh (and your eyes might go a little glassy in some parts too). Full of surprises, friendship and discovering one’s identity, this coming-of-age story has a big message told through the light-hearted touch of this master storyteller.

8. Wonder

By R.J. Palacio

Ages 10+

This book has taken the world by storm, or more accurately, it holds the world by its heartstrings. Auggie is going to school for the first time, and he’s a little nervous about how the kids will perceive him. You see, Auggie has a facial deformity, and he knows this makes him far from ordinary. Although throughout the book, Auggie learns that he is, in fact, extraordinary. Reading this book will make your kids feel just as exceptional.

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