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6 timeless books you need to read with your kids right now.

State Library Of QLD
Thanks to our brand partner, State Library Of QLD

The world is a little weird right now, isn’t it? Most of us are trapped inside, spending 24/7 with our children and wondering how to keep them busy and ourselves sane.

But there’s one way to offer a bit of stability in these crazy times: open a book!

First 5 Forever, a program developed by the State Library of Queensland, believes that when kids share stories with those closest to them, it helps to build their special bond and also helps to nourish the connections in their developing brains.

Books are also great tools to help kids understand or talk about tricky emotions. So, we not only decided to compile the six most timeless books to read with your children during isolation, but also handpicked the ones that support their ability to deal with emotions.

They may be timeless, but they’re also extremely timely, because they help our little ones develop resilience as they try to understand their feelings about the world we’re in right now.

Also, just a heads-up: if you need some extra helpful tips, activities and ideas to keep young kids busy during isolation, head to the First 5 Forever’s website.

Now, let’s dive in.

Llama Llama Misses Mama, Anna Dewdney

This rhyming, reassuring story is all about Llama Llama’s first day of preschool. Llama Llama’s Mama is by his side and he meets the teachers and the other children but then it’s time for Mama to leave. Llama Llama is no longer excited. Will his Mama come back?

Spoiler: She does! This book teaches children it’s totally OK to miss mum but being brave opens up a whole new world.

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Tiger Days, M.H. Clark

Young kids love hearing how they’re fast like a cheetah or tall like a giraffe. This is a book version of this sentiment. Tiger Days looks at all the ways to feel and be, from fierce like a tiger to slow like a snail. It really helps children, especially those a bit younger, to understand their emotions and learn how to express themselves.

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Don’t Think about Purple Elephants, Susanne Merritt

This is a bit of a special book, which is perfect for kids who are perhaps a little sensitive. Don’t Think about Purple Elephants focuses on a little girl called Sophie who is prone to worrying. She is fine in the day, when around her family and friends. But at night her thoughts come alive. That is until her mother comes up with a solution - try not to think about purple elephants. A novel way to ease worry!

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Where The Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak

A classic, really. The main character Max puts on a wolf costume and causes mischief. His mum isn’t happy with his antics and calls him a ‘Wild Thing’, sending him to bed without dinner. But that’s where Max’s wild adventures begin.

A forest grows in Max’s room, an ocean rushes by with a boat to take him on a journey. A great way to show busy minds that your imagination is your friend.

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The Unbudgeable Curmudgeon, Matthew Burgess

This book by Matthew Burgess is a funny take on bad moods. We all have them, after all! And The Unbudgeable Curmudgeon looks at how sometimes, no matter what you do, you can’t help someone get out of one and then suddenly you’re in a bad mood also. The illustrations, by Fiona Woodcock, also make this the perfect page turner.

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Ish, Peter H Reynolds

Have a mini perfectionist in your home? Then this book is perfect. The tale focuses on a boy called Ramon who loves to draw but a throwaway comment from his brother leaves him struggling to put pencil to paper. His sister shows him that “getting it right” should be replaced with “ish-ly”. Doing things goodish is great message no matter what your age.

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What timeless books do your children love?

State Library Of QLD

In their first years of life your child's brain forms over a million new connections every second. Talking, reading, singing and playing with them every day helps to make these connections strong. First 5 Forever is a free early literacy program for families with children aged zero to five, where you can find tips, ideas and activities to help you make the most of your child's first 5 years. Find out more at slq.qld.gov.au/first5forever

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