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RSH Book Club: Bath Children’s Book Festival and Classic Kids Books

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Books are a window on the world and a massive part of the learning process for little ones. But they’re also a source of a lot of fun and joy. Take a train to Bath this autumn and enjoy introducing your kids to a whole host of new characters at the Bath Festival of Children’s Literature.

There are more than 100 bookish events for your kids to enjoy and if you take a look at our journey planner for cheap train tickets before you go, you could save money on your travel. Even if you can’t make the festival, you can transform your normal train journeys with the help of some wonderful classic children’s literature. Read on to find the perfect books for long journeys …

Perfect Picture Books for Under Fives

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carl
This simple picture book is beloved not only for it’s short and sweet story about a hungry caterpillar who is on his way to becoming a butterfly, it’s the charming pictures that have made this a family favourite for generations.

I Will Not Never Ever Eat A Tomato by Lauren Child
A very popular book from he Charlie and Lola series, I Will Not Never Eat A Tomato is a modern gem. Lola, like many little ones, is an incredibly fussy eater and this is a tale that many young children will easily be able to relate to – as will parents.

The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Suess
Be ready to rush your way through this delightful tongue twister. The rhythm of the words and the funny messages they contain help make Dr. Suess’s books some of the most enduring children’s books around. Read this, and then work your way towards the rest in the series.

Burglar Bill by Janet and Alan Ahlberg
For slightly older pre-schoolers the tale of this hapless burglar is garunteed to be a hit. Burglar Bill steals a box only to later discover it contains a baby, and he and his partner Burglar Betty get into all kinds of laugh out loud scrapes.

Fun Stories for Primary Schoolers

The Witches by Roald Dahl
Roald Dahl left us with so many classic books for kids, choosing just one is difficult, however, the genuine thrills and spills of The Witches always captivates kids. Dahl’s humour is there throughout but it’s a story where the stakes feel high, perfect for losing yourselves in.

Who’s Horrible in History by Terry Deary
Part of the Horrible Histories series, this book is a who’s who of some of history’s most horrible kings, miscreants and burglars. It’s a perfect learning aid for reluctant readers thanks to a heady blend of humour and mild gore.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
For plenty of reading material to while away the hours, get your children started on the Chronicles of Narnia. Starting with the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, C.S Lewis creates a wonderful land of make believe that delights at every turn. These exciting adventure stories suit both boys and girls.

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
The Harry Potter series has caught the imagination of an impressive number of young people, and the books are designed to age with the reader, so get your children started on the first book while they’re still in primary school and watch them get lost in Harry’s tale.

Gripping Reads for Young Teens

Holes by Lois Sachar
A beautifully written book that proves things aren’t always what they seem, Holes takes you into the American desert and pits you against the odds to survive. Set at a correctional unit for boys, this is a succinct mystery novel with style.

The Trial of Anna Cotman by Vivian Alcock
This is a truly thrilling book about friendship and betrayal. It tells the story of Anna and the gang she wants to join. Through intimidation and a series of trials she’s pushed to her limit and discovers the power of mob rules and the benefits of being yourself.

Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume
Davey’s father has been murdered and the family travels to New Mexico in the aftermath, where Davey meets a strange young man. This book shows how it feels to lose someone you love and gives some guidance for getting over it.

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
A real rip-roaring ride of a novel, this is a wild adventure story that will sweep up both boys and girls for the ride. Fast paced and full of twists and turns, it’s a great way to keep enthusiasm high on long train journeys.

Do you have an old favourite or have your kids found a new modern classic? Let us know in the comments below and help us share the best children’s books out there…

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