Actress and novelist Giovanna Fletcher values bedtime reading with her two boys. Ahead of Father’s Day, she chooses her favourite picture books to read with dad
Reading books is a big deal in our house, especially children’s books. It helps Buzz and Buddy relax and unwind before bed, but also marks the start of child-free evenings for me and Tom – unless they turn into one of those horrendous nights where no one sleeps. (But let’s not dwell too much on them – hopefully they’re few and far between .... !)
Bedtime reading can be incredibly special for all the family, and it’s a wonderful time to really capture the imagination of our children. Therefore it’s worth spending some time pondering over the books we choose to read them. Giving books as presents is a lovely idea no matter the occasion, but in the lead up to Father’s Day I’ve pulled together a list of books I think children would especially enjoy reading with their dads.
This is Not a Bedtime Story by Will Mabbitt and Fred Blunt
This book had me laughing out loud as I read along. A dad is reading his little girl a bedtime story, but she's displeased with his pick and so uses her imagination to spruce it up. I love the interactive element between them and the story they're exploring. It's so fun to read and I especially love the dad's reaction to some of the more extreme ideas his daughter invents.
Goodnight Spaceman by Michelle Robinson and Nick East, with foreword from Tim Peake
Following two young boys as they get ready for bed and say goodnight to various parts of an adventure in space, this book really pulled on my heartstrings. In fact I actually found myself blinking back the tears on the last page thanks to Tim Peake's magical foreword. A touching and inspirational read which would certainly be made all the more special if read by dad (the dad of the two boys is the astronaut mentioned throughout – the whole thing is effectively them saying goodnight to him!)
The Bumblebear by Nadia Shireen
Norman the bear loves honey, so he joins bee school (dressed as a giant bee, of course) to get his paws on some more. He has a surprisingly good time with his new friends but his love of honey sadly exposes him. This is an adorable story told in a really cute way. I found it a joy to read.
Odd Bods by Steven Butler
We are all just a little bit odd, and that is what this book highlights beautifully in a comical way. I love the message of accepting each other despite all our idiosyncrasies, and that it's aimed at children. The earlier the next generation realise that we're all unique, the better. Silly, fun and deliciously odd – a great book!
The Dinosaur that Pooped Daddy by Tom Fletcher and Dougie Poynter
Based on my husband's Dinosaur that Pooped series, this board book is aimed at slightly younger children, and nicely introduces them to the famished and loveable dino while working on their numeracy. Plus, this book centres around finding daddy, before we realise dino gobbled him up and subsequently has to poop him out . . . Dinosaurs pooping out daddy, what’s not to love?
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