Books Your 6-Year-Old Might Enjoy (& Ones You Won’t Fall Asleep Reading)
Books Your 6-Year-Old Might Enjoy (& Ones You Won’t Fall Asleep Reading)
One of the things I most enjoy with my daughter is reading her a story at bedtime.
After the school run, homework, dinner and bath are done and dusted and she’s all snuggled up in bed, cosy in her PJs, I breathe a sigh of relief in this set of accomplishments for the day and lie beside her and read a story.
This is when we can turn off the world and its demands and we can escape together into whatever adventure the storyline pulls us into!
It’s very bonding because it elicits fresh, thoughtful, two-way conversation. It sparks questions, from the practical to the abstract. It enriches my understanding of my daughter and I love how it keeps us both in the moment.
Reading together gives us a chance to explore ideas and topics in such an organic way. We’ve discussed everything from space to friendship, from birth to death! It’s the perfect gateway for you to access their hopes and fears.
Since birth, we’ve made regular trips to our local library to choose a selection of books – fiction and non-fiction, ones she can read herself and ones I can read to her. It’s such an inexpensive way to spend time together (car park fees aside) and help develop a whole range of skills.
I’m currently expecting my second child so the library was our first port of call to help my daughter find out about being a big sister and looking after a newborn! We’ve explored so many topics, jobs, themes and genres, as the need has arisen.
I believe my daughter’s imagination has grown from me reading to her at bedtime every night since she was barely a few days old. Honestly though, I’m so glad we’re reaching books with an actual plot now.
The educational value is clear but stories at bedtime are also the perfect opportunity for extra cuddles!
Below is a list of some of the books we’ve been enjoying recently… you can click on the book cover images to purchase your own copies on Amazon*!
R. L. Stine
I enjoyed this popular series of books as a child myself and in fact, this was one I’d saved for whenever I had a child of my own! She recently asked me for a children’s horror story, which initially worried me because isn’t everything supposed to be hearts, flowers and roses?! Well, I gave it a go, tentatively at first, just to test the waters. My daughter is quite advanced in her own reading so I figured that a more challenging plot might be exciting for her.
She loved it! Our favourite one was ‘The Cuckoo Clock Of Doom’ which follows a young boy whose family’s magic clock reverses time so that everyone gets younger each day (apparently a horror story). My daughter found this concept fascinating and a little difficult to grasp at first but the story very effectively held her interest with its ever-increasingly tense plot which made it difficult to stop after each chapter!
Archie’s Unbelievably Freaky Week
Ok, so this book is aimed primarily at ages 7-9 but if, like I was, you’re hankering after something a little bit different then this book may be suitable for your 6-year-old and will keep them (and you!) intrigued and laughing!
The simple but highly creative story follows Archie for whom weird things inexplicably happen every day, from encountering a highly poisonous spider to finding himself locked in the classroom cupboard.
With chapters divided into short little tales all by themselves and yet still connected with an over-arching plot, it was perfect for bedtime because one chapter was a story in itself whilst enabling us to jump right back in the next evening!
I later discovered that the author wrote ‘Aquilla’. Do you remember that 90s kids’ TV programme? How about when you were a bit older and watched ‘The Brittas Empire’? Yeah, that too! I knew there was something special about this book, the writing was refreshingly different and felt much more original than many of the other books we’d been reading.
The Rescue Princesses
This is a series of books in which the central characters, all of whom are princesses, embark on an animal rescue adventure.
These are exactly the type of safe, gentle, whimsical fantasy stories you’d expect to pop up in your library pile at some point, since princesses and animals are often a pretty big deal when you’re six. These kinds of characters feature prominently in children’s literature and are an ideal read at bedtime if you don’t mind a saccharine plot.
We’ve enjoyed ‘The Shimmering Stone’ and ‘The Golden Shell’.
Animal Magic Friends
Similar to The Rescue Princesses, this series is full of titles such as ‘Molly Twinkletail Runs Away’ and ‘Bella Tabblypaw In Trouble’, so you can guess that the plots involve mild adventure and victorious endings.
The animals in these stories do actually talk which is a love/hate thing for some parents but generally, children are delighted to imagine building friendships with cute animals in the human ways they can relate to, so this has gone down well in our house for an easy, light-hearted bedtime read.
The Secret Rescuers
Are you tired of animal rescue novels yet? Wait, just a moment longer! This series is a step-up with storylines which also kept me engaged in their more original and slightly less predictable plots.
Another offering from author Paula Harrison who wrote The Rescue Princesses, I am actually looking forward to ordering a few more on Amazon! So far, we’ve read ‘The Star Wolf’ and ‘The Magic Fox’ though I suspect my daughter will be especially keen on the books about unicorns and sea ponies!
Usborne Lift The Flap Questions & Answers
These non-fiction books are an absolute must for all children! Interactive and fascinating, each hardback book in this range takes a particular theme (our most loved are ‘Space’, ‘Dinosaurs’, ‘Body’ and ‘Picture Atlas’ – you see, it’s not all princesses here, promise!) and introduces the topic in the form of questions and answers. Even as an adult, I bet you’ll learn some things you didn’t know!
Those bright, familiar illustrations we have come to know and love from Usborne make this range of educational books the perfect set to collect for your children’s shelves. It also gives your child a pretty impressive party trick when they can suddenly announce some random facts in front of the other mums… My daughter can name all the planets in order, tell you which dinosaurs lived in which period and point out where a few countries are on the map. Ta da!
The Puffin Book Of Stories For Six-Year-Olds
Right, ok, I’ll admit that I’ve never actually read this book.
However, we have it as an audiobook on CD, so that counts, right?
Last year, when my daughter turned 5, I started a tradition of buying the relevant age stories on CD as after I had finished reading to her as usual at bedtime, she was so keen (insistent) to continue listening to more stories and this seemed like the perfect way to finally slip off to have a cuppa…
The CD contains a number of short little stories, read well by a number of different voices. I’d recommend audio stories, not just for you, but also for your child as a way of breaking things up a little and giving them other voices to enjoy. I love that each year, my daughter now looks forward to receiving and hearing a new collection of stories which are geared towards her age.
Daisy & The Trouble With…
The reviews on Amazon agree with me, this range is fabulous! They remind me a little of Jacqueline Wilson’s chatty, informal first-person style where characters really come to life. They’re aimed at a younger reader than Wilson’s books and tackle less controversial topics but that doesn’t mean to say they are sedate, quite the opposite in fact, they have so much energy and humour, you’ll find them a pleasure to read.
We’ve enjoyed many of the series, from the one where Daisy finds kittens on holiday and secretly tries to adopt them, to the one where she ends up in a graveyard at night on Halloween, to the one where she visits a chocolate factory with her class hamsters…
You’ll be laughing together and keen to find out about what Daisy does next! The author also has a small spin-off series starring Daisy’s arch enemy, Jack Beechwhistle, if you’d prefer a male central character.
Mindful Kids: An Activity Book For Young People Who Sometimes Feel Anxious Or Stressed
Lily Murray, Katie Abey & Dr Sharie Coombes
I used to be a Learning Mentor in primary schools after training as a Teacher for my degree, so I have encountered lots of books like this when supporting children who lack confidence or need a little encouragement. I bought this from The Works ages ago as I’ve got into the habit of noticing books like this and whilst I’m now a Photographer, I still seem to collect books of this nature
As it turned out, my daughter developed a few fears and mild phobias (the wind and rain) and I reached for this book from my collection. It’s bright colours and friendly illustrations appeal to the target age group and the simple interactive fill-in activities elicit conversation between parent and child as well as address fears and ways to tackle them. My daughter is still afraid of the wind and rain but she is aware of ways to alleviate how she feels and knows that she can always talk openly about her worries with me without fear of judgement, no matter what.
I’d recommend giving this book a try, it’s a case of just dipping in and out and makes for a different kind of activity book even if your child doesn’t actually express any fears right now. Perhaps it’ll be a great preparatory resource to help build their resilience just in case.
There are other books in the range too.
The Worst Witch
Do you remember it from your own childhood? Is this where Harry Potter truly began?!
This is a great lead-in to Harry Potter, I feel. We’ve recently begun reading Harry Potter, just the early books as I think the plot from the fourth book onwards becomes more challenging for a younger audience.
So, if you’re not ready for Harry, try Mildred! The Worst Witch is, of course, based around the same theme of a school for magic and the central character, Mildred, experiences typical issues which children can often relate to such as friendship and bullying, overcoming adversity and finding your strengths and coping with your weaknesses.
Its fantasy setting gives a great context for these familiar themes, keeping it engaging and exciting for little ears!
*So there we have it, a whistle-stop tour of our bookshelves right now! Go forth and enjoy your bedtime reading! The images above are my Amazon Affiliate Links – by purchasing through here, you can easily click through to buy your own copies and I may receive a small commission from Amazon, so thank you so so much! Hope you enjoy these handpicked books as much as we do here in The Hencoop!
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