Reading to kids books: 8 Delightful Children’s Books That Celebrate Reading

Опубликовано: October 25, 2023 в 6:42 pm


Категории: Kid

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Children enjoy not only reading but also story-telling, this greatly helps them recollect stories and illustrate each character in the story. Certainly, every child enjoys telling the story that they read with parents and friends. They enjoy sharing their experience in reading and understanding of the story. And to carry this fun around any place they go, now it is easy to carry children’s books in any computerized reading gadgets and have the pleasure of read free eBooks.

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Maa Illustrations, has skilfully crafted the illustrations that adorn our Monkey Pen books. We collaborated with Maa Illustrations, an esteemed team of illustrators, to infuse our children’s books with life. Their talent shines through every page, bringing characters and scenes to vibrant existence.

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Immerse yourself in the enchanting world of Monkey Pen, where the magic of storytelling and captivating illustrations unite to ignite the imaginations of children across the world.

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Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! Book Review

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won’t—find in this book.

  • Educational Value


    This book essentially puts young readers in the position of adult figures as they find themselves having to deal with the persistence and coaxing of the pigeon. Throughout the book, the pigeon begs and pleads to be given the chance to drive the bus, allowing children to interact with the book and make the decisions for the pigeon. Despite his constant pestering, the pigeon ends up following directions and moves on to better things, giving readers the satisfaction of knowing they helped contribute to his happiness.

  • Positive Messages

    a lot

    At the end of the story, the pigeon learns to listen to directions and stop his wheedling. This, in turn, allows him to pursue other things — dreaming of driving a truck! Although persistence is made out to be a bad thing in this book, the pigeon’s steadfastness can be quite an admirable feat. Readers will also learn the satisfaction of saying “no” when necessary.

  • Parents Need to Know

    Parents need to know that with cartoon style pictures and an interactive story, this is just the sort of silliness that will appeal to a preschooler or lower elementary school-age child with a sense of humor.

What’s the Story?

On the title page, the bus driver addresses the reader directly. He says that he has to be gone for a while and asks if the reader can watch things, but not to let the pigeon drive the bus. As the driver walks off one page, the pigeon walks on the next asking if he can drive the bus. He begs, makes deals, pretends, complains, cajoles, bribes, and then insists that he be allowed to drive the bus, but his wish is not granted; so he fumes. The bus driver returns, thanks the reader, and drives off. The pigeon then spies a truck and a new fantasy takes hold of his imagination.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:

Parents say

Kids say

Minimalist in approach, the author/artist uses a limited number of very pale colors, and most pages have a single image (usually the pigeon) and a bubble of text. The strength of the story is in its simplicity. The conflict between the two main characters, the bus driver and the pigeon, is one of the most basic in early childhood: “Yes I will” versus “no you won’t.”

Things gets interesting, however, when each character appeals directly to the reader. This direct discourse from the bus driver and the goofy, wide-eyed pigeon draws the reader, or listener in the case of young children, right between the opposing parties. For young children (who think magically anyway), this is bound to be flattering and fun. Mo Willems, who has won five Emmys as a writer and animator of Sesame Street, makes a fine debut into the world of children’s books.

Talk to Your Kids About …

Book Details

  • Author:
    Mo Willems

  • Illustrator:
    Mo Willems

  • Genre:
    Picture Book

  • Book type:


  • Publisher:
    Hyperion Books for Children

  • Publication date:

    February 1, 2004

  • Publisher’s recommended age(s):

    2 – 6

  • Number of pages:


  • Award:
    Caldecott Medal and Honors

  • Last updated:

    August 12, 2019

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids’ healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That’s why we’ve added a new “Diverse Representations” section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by

suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media’s unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren’t influenced by the product’s creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

How to choose children’s books so that your child loves reading

Reading is not a duty, but a right

Children’s reading experts unanimously say that in order for a child to start reading with pleasure, parents must at least comply with several conditions . The first is to listen carefully to your child, to be interested in what exactly he needs.

“While reading, the child must find answers to his questions. These books can be “wonderful”, unusual from the point of view of parents, filled with kindergarten humor. But if they let the child feel what is written about him, then these are “those” books,” said Ekaterina Asonova, Candidate of Pedagogical Sciences, Head of the Laboratory of Sociocultural Educational Practices at Moscow City Pedagogical University.

A child reading specialist explained that it is important for parents to understand “what needs a child can satisfy with the help of a book or what tasks he can solve with it. For example, learn something about your favorite pastime.

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The second condition is related to the situation in the family, in which they want the book to become an integral part of the child’s life. “The more often you read yourself, the more attention your child will pay to books,” says Lilu Rami, art director of the children’s literature publishing house Clever. She also said that she has been reading aloud to her daughter since birth. “A child who is read to from birth will speak faster and be imbued with a love of books,” a representative of the publishing house believes. “When my daughter grows up and the books in her life begin to compete with gadgets, we go to the bookstore with her, I will show her my favorite books from my childhood, we will leaf through the new items together. We will also sign up for the local library and make going to it a family tradition,” Rami explained.

Ekaterina Asonova also believes that visiting the library is one of the ways to get people interested in books.



“If a child has grown up with books, the most reliable thing is to go with him to a safe place where he will be allowed to take any books, where he can sit on the floor right next to the shelf, look at the books and feel yourself as freely as possible. The second important point: do not interrogate the child what he likes, but observe his interest. Children are not always able to formulate what they want. And the task of adults is to show that the choice of books is a field in which a child can express himself. Reading should not become a duty, but a right,” emphasized a specialist in children’s reading.

The third condition is complete freedom of choice of books in terms of design and genre. A child may like picture books or comics, and this is an absolutely normal choice not only for a preschooler, but also for older children, including high school students, explained the leading editor of the MIF. Childhood” Elena Abronova.

“Even a picture book can become a book for the first independent reading, but it must necessarily contain an interesting story that can be retold. In comics, the text is usually located in bubbles (“cloud with text” for the speech or thoughts of the hero. – Gazeta.Ru), onomatopoeia is often used – it can be difficult to immediately accept this manner of presentation, so for the very first reading I still advise not a comic . But this is very individual – for example, the children of colleagues “paid off” thanks to the series of comics about Emil and Margot and Hildafolk,” Abronova said.

The editor noted that for a book that starts reading, non-fiction may also be suitable if the child is fond of, for example, dinosaurs or insects, but in this case the text should be adapted for younger children, illustrations are required.



Criteria for a “correct” book

Experts are unanimous in their opinion that there is no standard in choosing a book that will start the reading process in a child. Nevertheless, there are several criteria for choosing publications that have every chance to win the heart of a child. These criteria depend on the age of the reader.

So, if we are talking about books for preschoolers or elementary school students, then here you should pay attention to design details, primarily to the font.

“Children do not always need huge fonts that comply with SanPiNs, but still, the font should be selected for a certain age,” said art director Lilu Rami. Also, according to Rami, it is necessary to pay attention to the cover: “We at the publishing house try to do everything to interest even the most selective child, creating beautiful covers.”

Editor Elena Abronova believes that in addition to the font size, a large number of illustrations and a small volume are important for the first book.

“In our publishing house, these are books by Tatyana Russita (“Kot Sock”, “But on my own!”, etc.). The words in them consist of three-four-five letters, short sentences, the books themselves are thin – the child easily reads such a book from cover to cover and receives a sticker. He understands that reading is not difficult, but quite interesting, ”Abronova explained.

In her opinion, for both young children and older children, design can become a gateway to the world of literature.



“Style can be the deciding factor when a child decides whether or not to read this book. “Teremok” with illustrations by Igor Oleinikov will help to discover that this fairy tale can be seen in a completely different way … ”, said Asonova, an expert in children’s reading.

Another “trick” that will help attract and keep the child’s attention is the presence of a funny or congenial character. Often publishers of children’s literature offer readers a whole series of books with such characters. The child can’t wait to find out what happened to his favorite character, and he asks his parents to buy him a sequel.

“So, for example, the favorite character of the Clever publishing house, Shmyak the Kitten, became a guide to reading for many children. More than once, while working at book exhibitions, I saw how the children themselves asked what new items we had about Shmyak and listed to their parents what they had already read so that they would not accidentally buy them duplicate copies, ”said a representative of the Clever publishing house.

For older children, there are no criteria as such in choosing books. The art editor of the Polyandria publishing house, Olga Yavich, advised experimenting with genres, looking for characters with whom the child would associate himself, as well as reading aloud a lot and regularly, even if the child has been reading well himself for a long time.

“There are slow books with lots of room for thought and conversation: Keeper of the Moon,” Hope in the Cherry Tree, “Sometimes I Feel…,” “Out of Nowhere. ” There are books that evoke tenderness, tune in to care and sensitivity, for example, The Forgotten Lamb, Thunderstorm. And there are those that will help awaken the imagination, inspire creativity: “The Melody of Life”, “What We Will Build”, “The Game of Architecture,” Yavitch explained, emphasizing that every parent has a search for a book that the child would like, may take varying amounts of time.

On motivation and demotivation influenced by parents

The desire to “inculcate” the habit of reading can fail if the parents put too much pressure on the child. For example, in an attempt to motivate, they say: “But here I am at your age …”. This is not the best way to get interested in reading, Asonova is sure.

“If you set yourself as an example, then it can work exactly the opposite. And it can also be painful for the parent himself if he finds himself in a situation where he has been devalued, ”explained the expert.



Another example of an unsuccessful attempt to get children to read books is when parents limit their choice to a home library, albeit a very diverse one.

“You should not think that your library contains everything that is possible, and suggest that your child choose books only from it. Visit libraries, new spaces filled with books. It is possible that the child will find a book there that you already have at home. You shouldn’t be offended by him, it’s better to be glad that he nevertheless found her, ”Asonova recommended.

A reading diary, often recommended in school, can both motivate and discourage reading, especially if parents make it a chore. The art director of the Clever publishing house advised “to keep a reader’s diary, set different goals that it would be interesting for a child to close.”

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Anastasia Yekushevskaya, a psychologist and academic director of the Skysmart online school for children and teenagers, supports the idea that a game element will help to strengthen motivation, for example, rating (maybe comic) books, quests based on favorite works, and books with various interactive elements.

The Devar publishing house has been operating on the Russian book market for a long time. It specializes in printing printed products with augmented reality technology. Such publications represent a symbiosis of a classic book – with text, illustrations – and modern technologies: just point your mobile phone at a page with a special sign, and its characters come to life.

Another way to draw attention to reading is to invite your child to write a book about himself.

“Researchers from Latin America compared the impact on motivation of a non-personalized and personalized book – in the second case, a photograph of the child himself can be pasted into the publication so that the main character is with his face. They noted that a personalized book does affect the motivation to read, but does not guarantee retention of attention to books in the future. But this is already something, this is a way to show a child that a book can be interesting, ”said Asonova, a specialist in children’s reading.

She advised parents to trust their child in choosing literature, not to be frightened if he “gets stuck” on the same books for a long time, and also to remember that “access to culture and knowledge is not limited to books – there are cinemas, museums, theaters, sports , scientific laboratories, nature reserves. All this can become a source of questions, the answers to which the child will then look for in books.

“The task of parents is to make the child’s life happy and provide him with access to knowledge and culture,” the expert concluded.

20 modern children’s books worth reading

Literature section publications

A.P. Gaidara presented the catalog “100 Best New Books for Children and Teens”. Many of the publications included in it were published in Russian for the first time. We have selected 20 of the most fascinating books from this list. Choose your favorite reading: a panorama book about tyrannosaurs, the history of the exploration of Antarctica, or “Beastly Tales” about forest dwellers.

Valentin Serov. Sasha Serov (detail). 1897. Private collection


Sophie Blackall. If You Come to Earth


The book If You Come to Earth was created by American artist and illustrator Sophie Blackall. She was inspired by the children she met when she traveled to the Republic of the Congo, India, Rwanda and Bhutan in support of UNICEF and Save the Children. The publication with pictures is a guide to the Earth for an alien from outer space. Sophie Blackall talks about water, weather, birds, clothes, feelings and more. She calls to remember that people on our planet are one family with a common home.

Dougal Dixon. “Tyrannosaurus Rex. Interactive Panorama Book


Dougal Dixon is a British writer and world-famous expert on dinosaurs. He advised the authors of programs and films about prehistoric creatures in America, Great Britain and Japan. His interactive panorama book “Tyrannosaurus Rex” helps to study the structure and lifestyle of one of the largest land predators in the entire history of the Earth. The illustrations for the publication were drawn by the American artist Rachel Caldwell, and it was translated into Russian by Konstantin Rybakov.

Mikhail Savinov. “How Antarctica was discovered”


In the book “How Antarctica was discovered” historian and writer Mikhail Savinov spoke about the First Russian Antarctic Expedition. In 1819, 190 people set off on a journey through the waters of the Southern Ocean on two sloops – Vostok and Mirny. Their main goal was to find out whether the mysterious sixth continent of the Earth actually exists near the South Pole. The expedition was led by two famous Russian admirals – Thaddeus Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev.

Andrey Dubrovsky. “We live in Ancient Greece. Encyclopedia for Children”


Historian and writer Andrei Dubrovsky compiled an encyclopedia about the “cradle of Western civilization” — Ancient Greece. The book is divided into chapters that introduce readers to the geography of city-states, Greek gods, mythical heroes and the life of local residents. The encyclopedia also includes stories about the ancient Greek alphabet, the Olympic Games, and great conquerors.

Eugenia Günther. “I am a princess!”


In the book “I’m a princess!” The writer Eugenia Gunther spoke about 12 fictional princesses from different countries and eras. At the same time, she described with historical accuracy the life of young titled persons from Ancient India, France, Great Britain, the Russian Empire, North Africa and other states. Readers will find out what daily routine the princesses obeyed, what outfits they wore, how their subjects addressed them, and what the future awaited them.

Lubov Novickas. The Decembrists


Lyubov Novickas collected historical documents, memoirs, essays and excerpts from letters related to the Russian Decembrist movement in the early 19th century in the book The Decembrists. The illustrations for the interactive edition were made by the artists Anna Novoselova-Changa and Anastasia Bezgubova. Each spread is dedicated to a separate event or person associated with the Decembrist uprising. The book has retractable elements and three-dimensional drawings, and it also comes with a board game.

Ksenia Remezova. “The Avangard Train Is Rushing


Art historian and educator Ksenia Remezova wrote the book The Avangard Train Rushing Together with illustrator Olesya Gonserovskaya. Memoirs, manifestos, contemporaries’ diaries and critics’ reviews of Russian art at the beginning of the 20th century became the basis. The main characters of the book are the artists Kazimir Malevich, Wassily Kandinsky, Natalia Goncharova, Vladimir Tatlin. According to Remizova, the impetus for working on the publication was “experiment, search for a language, innovation – everything that accelerated the artistic thought and actions of Russian avant-garde artists” .

Petr Vorotyntsev. “On the stage. The History of the Theatre”

Image: labirint. ru

The book “On Stage. The history of the theater” begins with a story about what a game is in people’s lives in general and how the theater was born in antiquity. The author consistently introduces readers to the main stages in the development of theatrical art and the main world playwrights – William Shakespeare, Jean-Baptiste Moliere and Pierre Corneille. Separate chapters of the publication are devoted to opera, ballet and children’s theaters. The text of the teacher of the history of theater and cinema Pyotr Vorotyntsev is supplemented by illustrations by the artist Alisa Yufa.

Anastasia Strokina. “Chaikovsky. Triumph of Light”


Children’s writer and translator Anastasia Strokina for her book “Tchaikovsky. Triumph of Light” processed and outlined the biography of the composer. The author spoke in detail about Tchaikovsky’s childhood and the key moments of his life. Separately, she described how the composer created his works. For example, in his last, Sixth Symphony, he “shared the memory of his own life, of the beginning, of doubts and hopes, of success and disappointment, of love and loneliness, of strength and fear, of light and endless darkness. You just need to listen carefully, take your time, trust the music – and it will tell everything so honestly, so truthfully, like no one else can” .

Dina Artyomkina. “Stanislavsky. The first Russian director”


The author of the biography of the famous theater director Konstantin Stanislavsky was the writer Dina Artyomkina. She explained to readers what theater and performance are, told how young Konstantin Alekseev, who later took the pseudonym Stanislavsky, developed a love for this art form. From this book, children will learn about the first works of Stanislavsky and how, thanks to him, a director’s theater appeared in Russia at the end of the 19th century.


Bjorn Rörvik.

“Shark Enemy of the Radish and Other Stories about the Fox and the Piglet”


Norwegian author Bjorn Rørvik has been writing stories about the friendship and adventures of the Fox and the Piglet since 1996. This series received an award from the Norwegian Ministry of Culture and has been translated into several languages. Roervik’s heroes are often compared to the characters in Alan Milne’s Winnie the Pooh tale.

The book “The Shark Enemy of the Radish and Other Stories of the Fox and the Piglet” consists of five hilarious stories about finding the cuckoo, riding the royal spit, saving the radish crop, looking for foxes and piglets, and extracting melon yogurt. In Russia, it was translated by Olga Drobot with the support of the NORLA Foundation (Norwegian Literature Abroad).

Konstantin Arbenin. “How I made friends with summer. From the diary of a storyteller”


The book of the poet, prose writer and musician Konstantin Arbenin “How I made friends with summer. From the storyteller’s diary” consists of 30 stories about miracles that happened to the main character when he arrived at the old village house. The author endows inanimate things with characters, gives plants and weather phenomena their own voices. And colorful illustrations by Olga Kolyadina help to revive the magical world of the writer.

Anna Starobinets. “Beastly Tales”


In “Beastly Tales” Anna Starobinets tells the backstory of the characters in her “Beastly Detective” series. The book consists of legends, fairy tales, poems and songs that animals in different forests of the world tell and sing to their cubs before going to bed. Here, readers will meet with little Badger Cat, puppy Mukhtarchik, owl brothers Ug and Chuck and other heroes. The stories are intended for children of primary and secondary school age.

Miriam Daman, Nicolas Digard. “The Secret of the Wolf”


“Far, far away in the north stood a forest, dense and forgotten by everyone” – this is how the book “The Secret of the Wolf” by French writers Miriam Daman and Nicolas Digarde begins. They beat the plot of the famous fairy tale about Little Red Riding Hood in a new way. The story runs in parallel: the authors of the book tell the story of the Wolf, and the artist Giulia Sarda shows the life of the heroine, a young woman who takes care of her sick father. When creating illustrations, Sarda was inspired by the work of the Russian artist Ivan Bilibin.

Anna Dyer. “Let’s go to Unalashka”


The main character of Anna Dyer’s book “Let’s go to Unalashka” is a boy named Mark, nicknamed Morkovkin. He starts his own detective investigation to find out everything about his grandfather. The writer Lyudmila Ulitskaya recommended this work as follows: “Finally, the first modern children’s book of the 21st century has appeared in Russia. Not a fairy tale, not a detective, but a wonderful story of today’s boy. It’s impossible to get away from her!”

Jakob Wegelius. Esperanza


Readers are familiar with the work of the Swedish author Jakob Vegelius based on the book about the adventures of a talking monkey, The Truth About Sally Jones. For it, the writer was awarded the August Strindberg Prize. The book “Esperanza” was written and illustrated by Vegelius in 1999, but it was published in Russia only in 2020.

The main character, street juggler Khalidon, is looking for his missing friend Captain. Throughout the story, he does not lose hope (this is how the title of the book is translated from Spanish).

Alexey Oleinikov. You Can’t Stay to Run


You Can’t Stay to Run is a collection of stories about refugee teenagers and their families, all based on real events. The text was prepared by the writer Alexey Oleinikov, and the illustrations were made by students of the Higher School of Economics. The book tells about the difficulties that forced migrants had to face, and contains a reminder on how to help those who find themselves in a similar situation.

Evgenia Dvoskina. “Will Sasha come out?” Soviet childhood in stories and pictures”

Image: ozon. ru

Evgenia Dvoskina is a member of the Union of Artists of Russia and the International Federation of Artists. Since the 1980s, she has illustrated publications by Astrid Lindgren, Nikolai Nosov, Yuri Koval, Ksenia Dragunskaya and many others. For the book “Will Sasha come out?” Soviet childhood in stories and pictures” Dvoskina drew 110 pictures with commentary stories. In the life of its heroes there are leggings and a biting sweater, filmstrips and horror stories, nets and pioneer ties, boiled condensed milk and Vzlyotnye sweets. The book will introduce modern children to what surrounded their parents and older relatives in the past.

Wilson Rawls. “Where the fern is red”


The worldwide circulation of the book “Where the fern is red” by the American writer Wilson Rawls amounted to more than 14 million copies. This is a classic coming-of-age novel set in the 1930s during the Great Depression. It tells about the adventures of the boy Bill Colman and his two hunting dogs – Little Ann and Old Dan.