Ready to get lost in a good book? Introduce your kids to some classic reads, courtesy of these childhood favourites from the HoneyKids team...
Looking for the very best books for kids of all ages? Those all-time favourites and childhood family classics? Well, we recently asked the team here at HoneyKids HQ, and it brought up so many fond memories! From Roald Dahl to Harry Potter and Pippi Longstocking too, there are so many children’s books from our own childhood that are still so relevant for kids today.
So, the next time your outdoor family adventure is sabotaged by a downpour (as it often is in Singapore!), or when you’re hiding indoors to escape The Haze, put on your jammies and snuggle up together with a good book. We hope you rediscover an old favourite – or find a new one – from these classic children’s books, as recommended by HoneyKids mums!
If this list of children’s books has you hunting for great reads online, check out Amazon.sg’s amazing selection of kid’s books! Amazon.sg has grown to offer over 17 million books spanning genres and age groups, making it the go-to place for books and arguably the largest bookstore in Singapore. And, if you’re looking to get ahead with your Christmas shopping, you can first start by adding these books to your carts and look out for Amazon’s Black Friday (starting 23 November) and Cyber Monday (30 November) deals on Amazon.sg!
The best children’s books for kids in Singapore
Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling
J.K Rowling’s fantasy books are a top favourite. We love the beautifully descriptive details of the wizarding world that take us on a trip far beyond our imagination. From a parent’s perspective, the series’ overall theme of good prevailing over evil seems typical. But as you read through the books, you’ll learn that they’re all lessons on love, loss and perseverance that you’ll remember for a long time to come.
The Far Away Tree series by Enid Blyton
This series tells the tale of three children who stumble upon an enormous magic tree in the Enchanted Wood. They go on adventures to faraway lands with their fantastical treetop friends. Made up of four books, the series showcases Blyton’s incredible imagination, and is peppered with moral lessons. These are the best books for falling asleep mid-read and drifting off into a different land for kids.
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
Sendak’s cult picture book revolves around Max, who wreaks havoc through his household after he puts on a wolf costume. After being sent to bed without supper, Max’s room transforms into a jungle! He sets sail to meet the “Wild Things” and goes on a wild rumpus. The illustrations are quirky and beautiful, and the story encourages a spirit of adventure and the importance of imagination.
The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery
Another cult favourite for kids and adults alike. A little boy leaves the safety of his own planet to travel the universe. Here, he learns about the quirks of adult behaviour through a series of extraordinary adventures. Beneath the layers of delightful storytelling are timeless lessons that will take your child through adulthood. It’s best to read the book as a child and as a young adult. And then, as a much older adult. The messages in the book will change in depth of meaning as the years go by.
The Giving Tree by Shel SilverStein
Fair warning: this children’s picture book does not have a happily-ever-after. The premise is simple – the book opens with the line, “Once there was a tree and she loved the boy”. It sets the stage for the many complex layers of giving and human connection. This story of unconditional parental love will have you and your kids hugging each other a little tighter.
The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles by Julie Andrews
This modern classic relays the story of the great Whangdoodle — the wisest, kindest and most extraordinary creature there was. The three Potter children – Lindy, Tom and Ben – go on a search to meet the spectacular Whangdoodle. However, they are thwarted by the scheming Prock. Snuggle up tight and prepare to be whisked away on this psychedelic, technicolour fantasy of strange, magical creatures.
The Animals of Farthing Wood by Colin Dann
In this classic tale of cooperation, survival and friendship, the animals of Farthing Wood must escape before their home is destroyed by bulldozers. They make a pact to stick together and protect each other, but are met with numerous obstacles like a huge fire and a near drowning accident. The writing oozes intelligence and imagination, and like all classic journey tales, the book consistently tests the themes of loyalty and perseverance. Big issues for your children to reflect on.
Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
Published in 1939, this series follows French schoolgirl Madeline and her life with 11 other girls in a Catholic boarding school in picturesque Paris. The courage of the spirited heroine, the gorgeous illustrations, rhythmic text (great for reading out loud, together) and cheerful humour makes this one of the best books for kids everywhere.
Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
What’s most striking about Pippi Longstocking is that she’s unconventional – she lives with a horse and monkey, and sleeps with her head under the covers and feet on the pillow. While she’s often strange, and sometimes rude, her generosity, thoughtfulness and ability to encourage children to question the adult world (instead of unthinkingly adopting its customs) are great traits for your children to look up to.
Matilda by Roald Dahl
It’s no surprise that Roald Dahl makes it into this list. The endearing (and enduring) story of Matilda will touch bookworms and introverts everywhere. Despite her discouraging parents (who are oblivious to her brilliance) and the frightening Miss Trunchbull, Matilda finds comfort in reading and her teacher, Miss Honey, who nurtures her talents. Beautifully heartwarming, humorous and touching, the story will teach your kids that anything can be done if you put your mind to it.
The Twits by Roald Dahl
This tale of two twits is one of Roald Dahl’s best books for kids if you enjoy a bit of absurdism thrown in with a pinch of dark humour. Mr and Mrs Twit are a truly horrible pair: they’re cranky, stinky and love playing awful tricks on each other. Despite the revolting behaviour of Mr and Mrs Twit, we have a big soft spot for this book. It’s the source of one of our all-time favourite quotes, too: “If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”
Short for The Big Friendly Giant, this beloved children’s book revolves around the friendship of Sophie and The BFG. He’s the only nice, vegetarian giant in a land of “human bean-eating” giants. This legendary and well-loved creation by Dahl is known for his bigheartedness and hilarious, “jumbly” way of speaking. In the signature style of Dahl’s books, the entire book is wonderfully fantastical, odd and will give you the case of the warm-and-fuzzies (to be perfectly accompanied by a cup of hot cocoa).
Need more good book ideas? Check out the HoneyKids Book Club! Every month, we share our fave picks and talk about why we love ’em. Whether it’s because it’s devastated us to our cores or made us LOL like crazy, you’ll get the deets… Happy reading!