Staying at Home: Children's books and book reviews

Staying at Home: Children's books and book reviews

44676e7aa8eaad7a0d37aada537104ba.jpgYou might not be able to head out to your local library or bring a book back from school but there’s loads of resources out there from e-books, audio books and celebrities reading bedtime stories.

Books Explaining Corona Virus to Children



  • Project Gutenberg is a Children’s online library with over 60,000 free ebooks.  Find a book you’d like to read, download and read online.  Visit for more information.
  • Bloomsbury - Resources to download and links to your favourite authors’ websites.
  • National Literacy Trust – Family Zone - Ideas and guidance for simple activities that will engage your children at home, while also benefiting their reading, writing and language development. Free resources.
  • Seven Stories - Facebook page of the National Centre for Childrens Books, posting weekly virtual story time sessions in partnership with Andersen Press.
  • BookTrust is the UK's largest children's reading charity. There’s loads of resources online including a link to find your next book 
  • The BookTrust review lots of new books every month, and here's where you can find the ones they liked best of all.
  • It's never too early to start enjoying rhymes with your little one! Head to #BookTrustHomeTime6b29ab034ffe6a4a2a6421918e8cae65.jpg for recordings of some of your favourites and rhyme sheets you can download:… #UnitedByBooks
  • The World Book Day site has loads of resources including free audio books to stream now, reading recommendation for each age group, and competitions
  • Puffin Books will be airing 20 minute story time sessions every weekday at 3.30pm on their YouTubeInstagram and Facebook channels, with separate sessions for ages 0-5, 6-11 and 7+, including readings and draw-alongs from brilliant authors and illustrators to help children connect with the stories. 
  • Julia Donaldson will be performing stories, songs and poems every Thursday at 4pm on The Gruffalo Official Facebook page, joined by her husband and a host of illustrators she works with, including Axel Scheffler, Rebecca Cobb, Lydia Monks, David Roberts and Nick Sharratt.
  • Stay At Home Storytime with Oliver Jeffers on Instagram @oliverjeffers – Oliver will be reading one of his stories every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 7pm
  • Children’s Laureate Cressida Cowell is reading How to Train Your Dragon in daily chapters on her YouTube channel along with writing tips and drawing
  • Frank Cottrell Boyce will be reading The Astounding Broccoli Boy on Instagram @frank_cottrell_boyce
  • Joanna Nadin’s Story Shenanigans – Joanna Nadin will be reading from Penny Dreadfuls and more every day on Instagram Live @jonadin and on YouTube
  • Watch The Biggest Book Show on Earth – Author and Illustrator Extravaganzas for younger and older readers
  • A.F. Harrold Limited Edition Kids Poetry Podcast (AFHLEKPoPod) – released every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the next seven weeks
  • Jez alborough reads his books
  • 632ba8f7023f545a6f59bba086c8e9ba.jpgPiers Torday will be reading from The Last Wild and offering creative workshops for children every day from 2.30pm on Instagram
  • Tune in to Philip Ardagh’s Books and Things, where he will be reading from his books as well as showing some of the odder items from around his home, on YouTube

  • Author/illustrator, James Mayhew will be doing a Storytime at 3pm to round off the school day on YouTube
  • Join Sarah Crossan‘s poetry workshops for older readers (11+) and adults, Monday to Friday at noon on Instagram 
  • Publishers, authors and illustrators are happy for you to create and share your own readings of books online for children to access – please follow their guidelines
  • Check out the Facebook Page @AuthorEventsOnline organised by Caryl Hart with videos and livestreams created by picture book authors and illustrators for kids, teachers, parents and carers
  • Watch illustrator Richard Jones doing a special reading of his new picture book Perdu on YouTube
  • Enjoy the wonderful Sue Hendra doing a special reading of Barry the Fish with Fingers (featuring Betty the dog) on YouTube
  • Older bookworms can relish Stanley Tucci reading The Official World Book Day Bedtime Story, Roald Dahl’s The Witches.​​​​​     

Book Reviews:

Supertato Carnival Catastro-pea by Sue Hendra. A very popular super hero among the 5 and unders, great story and pictures. Supertato comes to the rescue and helps save the veggies carnival at the supermarket when someone tries to wreck it.

Dinosaurs Love Underpants by Claire Freedman because kids love these two themes! Great rhyming story, and bright illustrations. Has been a hit at many a story time for 5 and under. Good for underpants craft activity!

Oi Frog – by Kes Gray Cats sit on mats, hares sit on chairs, mules sit on stools and gohers sit on sofas – but frog does not want to sit on a log! The best rhyming story going that is great fun to read out loud and will have children and adults laughing together as they enjoy the silliness of the fast paced rhyme and the lovely illustrations.

I love my Grandma by Emma Dodd I enjoyed the rhythm of this book, as well as the simple and easy to follow text. The story was simple, but excellently showed the bond between child and grandmother- including how nice it is to be able to give the child 404787229b64070d5de03dafb2c3f3ab.jpgback at the end of day. I love the bright colours of the illustrations. 10/10.

Shark in the Park! by Nick Sharratt Engaging, bright and bold, Shark in the Park! is the perfect choice of picture book to read aloud to young children. The story of Timothy Pope and his brand new telescope never fails to provoke intrigue and delight from a captivated young audience, who are invited to participate in looking for the elusive shark. The clever cut-out peep holes give the book a fun, interactive quality and Nick Sharratt’s vibrant illustrations catch the eye of even the youngest children. The rhyming and repetitive text works perfectly for reading aloud and means that youngsters are soon able to join in with reciting the words (usually very loudly!). Shark in the Park! is the perfect pick for a successful and stimulating storytime and can be followed up with Shark in the Dark! and Shark in the Park on a Windy Day!, also by Nick Sharratt.

Do you or your child have a book review you would like to add to this list? Please email


Jo Messinger

Jo Messinger

Jo Messinger is Editor of the Wolverhampton & South Staffordshire Edition of Raring2go! A wife and mum to two lively boys who love living life to the full - just how it should be!

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