Recent studies saw that children who’s parents took the time to read for pleasure with them were much less likely to manifest behavioural problems like aggression, hyperactivity and difficulty with attention. In fact the benefits are so well documented that even paediatricians are prescribing reading.
What if you have a child who doesn’t show interest in books? The trick is to find a book that interests you, children pick up their natural curiosity from someone they love. So what topics are hot on the bookshelves this year? According to the Scholastic Book Club editors female characters, the graphic novel, STEAM, sports and familiar classic books are all hugely in demand.
We’ve chosen our favourite titles from each trend along with supplementary toys and games for your little bookworms to prompt talking points during story time. Encourage the young or the more reluctant readers to open a book, engage and imagine.
* Books are Highlighting Strong Female Characters
Little People, Big Dreams board books introduce the littlest tots to the lives of female icons including Audrey, Coco, Marie and Frida and once they can read along, the hardback series from the same team includes a factual timeline to introduce real-life protagonists such as Rosa Parks. I am Jane Goodall by Brad Meltzer and Wangari’s Trees of Peace are great stories to spark the interest of more outdoorsy nature fan – who will also love these bug tubs, dinosaur torches and starfish squishies.
* The Graphic Novel has Staying Power
Around for ages, these formats have recently seen a huge uptick in popularity. Many of the most popular books for primary schoolers happen to be graphic novels, including 2018’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Meltdown by Jeff Kinney. Such a great early reader as the images inspire the more visual learner along. If you have a junior cartoonist who’s keen to write their own graphic story, these pens by Djeco can help bring some colour to their narrative.
* Full STEAM ahead
Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics in books are reaching more audiences and new readers with broader topics. We’re seeing a wave of STEAM-themed publishing not least in anatomy, so why not accompany a copy of Illuminatomy with a practical investigation into torso anatomy, mining or robotics. Its all out there, from learning how to code with this Mover Kit to exploring the Solar System.
* Sports Sports Sports
Sports titles are experiencing a comeback, with profiles of footballing icons like Kane and Aguero generating interest among older readers. If this inspires a game night, why not check out the World Cup of Everything which lets families debate the greatest animals, chocolate bars, TV shows and more, or team a book with a fun bouncy ball for little players.
* Comfort in the Familiar
Finally, trends come and go but some things don’t change! Classics like The Tiger Who Came To Tea and Sleep Tight Little Bear provide comforting bedtime routine, which can be mixed in with primers based on literary giants like Around the World in 80 Days – combine the story with a globe and it won’t be long before they’re reaching for the original version!
The Harry Potter series continues to dominate, and fantastic beast enthusiasts will love Dr Hibernica Finch’s Compelling Compendium of Irish Animals, this wizarding owl and our handmade wooden wands (instore) by local maker Nick Morse. Older children will enjoy growing their own herbs for potions class and building DIY seed bombs with Herbal Adventures or performing Magical Maths and there’s enough unicorn slime play around to keep Hagrid busy.