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I’ve recently become a grandad and I love it. I’m not good at books and didn’t read much to my children but want to get involved this time. I’m making Liam a bookshelf and want to make a start at filling it, can you suggest some books please?

What a great thing to do. Here are a few suggestions, some old favourites and some new but all will, I hope, be enjoyed by you and your grandson—they’re in alphabetical order.

As soon as he gets to know some nursery rhymes try EACH PEACH PEAR PLUM by Janet and Allan Ahlberg. It’s a beautiful book with a rhyming story and hidden characters in the pictures so children will join in and share the reading experience.

John Birmingham’s MR GUMPY’ S OUTING is a delight to read and to look at, a terrific cumulative story with animal noises to join in with and plenty of humour.

THE GRUFFALO by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler has become a modern classic and the Gruffalo a character with real child appeal—they love the sense of danger but are never afraid.

HOW TO CATCH A STAR by Oliver Jeffers is a really original book about a child’s imagination—so important if we want children to dream and to think.

David McKee’s ELMER introduces the famous patchwork elephant, a character loved by children. The story celebrates difference for it is not always easy to be a brightly coloured elephant in a world full of grey ones!

Nick Sharratt has produced many books for the very young and it’ s hard to choose just one. I’m going for KETCHUP ON YOUR CORNFLAKES, a split-page book that is simply lots of fun.

ERNEST by Catherine Rayner is lovely to look at and tells an entertaining story about a moose. It also manages to teach about thinking and that two minds are often better than one.

WE’RE GOING ON A BEAR HUNT by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury is a book you will have to read again and again. It has rhythm and pace, wonderful illustrations and it invites reader and listener to join in the bear hunt.

All young boys seem to go through a dinosaur phase so why not start Liam off with DINOSAUR ROAR! by Paul & Henrietta Stickland, a book about opposites that is packed with dinosaurs of all sorts and is real fun to read aloud.

MR BIG by Ed Vere tells a story of loneliness and friendship through few words and bold dramatic and page-filling pictures.

These writers and illustrators have all produced other great books—check them along with lift- the- flap favourites such as DEAR ZOO and WHERE’S SPOT, choose a book of nursery rhymes, a first poetry book and something from your own childhood and you’re away! And there’s some incredible non-fiction for another day!

Find more book recommendations here

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