It’s important to get books right at this age, while making it all about fun and not about being forced to read. Get jokes 11 year olds right and you’ll create readers for life, able to banish boredom with a browse of the bookshelf. We would not be surprised if the Rabbit and Bear series is one today’s children buy for their own children and grandchildren for a nostalgia-fest. But the humour, illustrations and poo jokes are bang up to date.
Illustrator Jim Field’s website is well worth a visit too, for a look at how the book came to be. Kitchen Disco falls firmly on the fun side. Although lift the flap books often appeal to younger readers, the beautiful illustrations of classic fairy tales in this book make it a winner with all ages. Beneath each flap is a sentence about the story, so older readers familiar with the originals will be reminded of the tales. Younger readers may need help with this, so adults may want to bone up on their fairy tales first. Faber’s reissue of his poem Snow, with beautiful wintry illustrations from Carolina Rabei, could well introduce a lifetime love of poetry and language.
This book is a whistlestop tour of some of the famous women who have changed the world, including the author’s forebear Emmeline Pankhurst, as well as Frida Kahlo, Rosa Parks and Coco Chanel. The fun illustrations prove an ideal gateway to the serious topics that come up. Most people know who Thumbelina is, or her size at least, but it’s one of the lesser known fairy tales when it comes to detail. This version, for more confident readers in this age group, both in terms of language and the sense of peril, is beautiful illustrated with a feisty, clever protagonist.
Everyone has their own favourite Dahl, and many kids will already know his books including Esio Trot and The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me, but for those ready for a bit more excitement and naughtiness, George’s Marvellous Medicine is ideal. Stuck at home with his hideous grandmother, George decides to make her a medicine all by himself, with unintended, though not unwelcome, consequences. Disclaimer: We will not take responsibility for your child trying the same. Gecko Press is a New Zealand based publisher that brings the best children’s books from around the world to an English speaking audience. Yours Sincerely, Giraffe is a Japanese tale about a friendship between an African Giraffe and his pen friend, a penguin. With beautifully simple illustrations and a hope-filled ending, it is an ideal introduction to Japanese literature.