As parents wanting to raise creative, interested children, it can be a constant challenge to find activities that foster kids' imaginations – especially when you throw busy routines and working days into the mix.
Children's books represent a middle ground in this respect, being sources of entertainment through which kids can also learn from and connect with through words and engaging visuals.
With rumours circulating that English books will soon be banned from online shopping site Taobao, our resident Time Out Family dad blogger Stuart Lancaster asks educators to recommend their favourite books that parents and children can purchase and enjoy before the ban comes into effect.
Room on the Broom
This book is full of beautiful illustrations and has catchy rhymes which children can easily memorise. I recommend it because it teaches children about the importance of sharing and how crucial great friendships are in life.
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
Learn animal names, make animal noises and work with colours - this book is full of bright illustrations and is a good fit for parents wanting toddlers to develop pre-reading skills. The use of repetition in the book helps children understand how to make simple sentences and differentiate between various colours.
Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus
This book series by Mo Willems contains easy vocabulary and illustrations for children. The books are also filled with charming characters and unexpected endings. Excellent bedtime reading fodder for kids.
The Rainbow Fish
This book by Marcus Pfister focuses on the life of a shiny, rainbow-coloured fish and uses the theme of friendship and individuality throughout the story. It also teaches children the basics of everyday politeness. Most importantly, it talks about the importance of children being supportive when friends are in need.
Age group Three-six years
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
This book is ideal for familiarising pre-schoolers with numeracy. When you read this story, try to work their interests into it - as a result they'll start appreciating the joy of counting and working with numbers.
This is a great book for new parents, as it has interactive exercises that really keeps kids curious and makes them think about their surroundings.
The Wonder Why series
This book series opens up the world of science for children by breaking down complex scientific concepts into simple, understandable terms. While these books help children engage with the wonders of the natural world, they're also interesting and engaging enough for children to enjoy as general reading material.
Age group Four-eight years
By Stuart Lancaster