Reading your child a story at bedtime provides a great way to bond with them, especially if you feel awkward about unstructured play and have a flair for the dramatic. Listening to an adult read to them encourages a love of reading in your children.
So which books do dads love to read aloud? We asked a few for their recommendations. Here is a list of their top five all-time favourites.
1. The Gruffalo. This clever story of a mouse’s journey through the woods by Julia Donaldson was voted a favourite bedtime story by listeners of the Jeremy Vine Show on Radio 2. The book has now been made into a short animated movie and adapted for the theatre. Dads and kids alike enjoy the witty plot and quirky illustrations by Alex Scheffler.
One Dad blogged:
As a read aloud, The Gruffalo is pure magic. It is so easy to read, the rhymes are perfect and witty. The amount of text on each page should maybe be recorded as a golden standard for picture books, while Scheffler's full-page colour illustrations are entrancing. I almost feel guilty that I am enjoying myself so much while reading a children's book aloud.
2. The Hairy Maclary books. This bestselling series by Lynley Dodd about the antics of a scruffy dog and his friends is popular with both dads and kids because of the clever rhymes and funny storylines. The wide format, double-page spread allows children to sit next to you and look at the picture pages while you read the text on the other side.
3. Cat in the Hat. Dads love this Dr. Seuss classic because the plot is unpredictable and the rhymes are so entertaining and strange. Kids love it because it is wacky and gets their imaginations soaring.
One dad’s verdict:
The pictures are strangely enticing, the plot is unpredictable…It is indeed a fantastic read aloud and will also come in handy when the kids start learning to read.
4. The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Many dads fondly remember how much they enjoyed having this Eric Carle book about a caterpillar’s weekly feast of food read to them. Children just love the clever details and colourful illustrations.
One Gloucestershire dad wrote:
I'm now in my thirties but I still remember my mom taking me to the local library…The first book I always looked for was the Hungry Caterpillar. I used to put my finger through the holes and absolutely loved the simple but cyclical story and the vivid pictures. I'm now a Dad and this is the first book I will buy my daughter - a true classic!
5. The Horrid Henry series. Little boys in particular love these fast-paced, funny ‘slugs ‘n snails’ type stories by Tony Ross. Many Dads enjoy them as well. These books are perfect for children aged 6 to 9. Many dads said this series got their kids interested in reading.
If you are looking to venture further afield in your bedtime reading, why not try one of these tried and tested hits? They contain all the sure-fire ingredients for an absorbing bedtime read for both dad and his little ones.