Renate Engelbrecht
Content producer
4 minute read
10 Nov 2021
1:16 pm

Children’s Book Week: Seven best reads for kids

Renate Engelbrecht

In light of national Children’s Book Week, these are the best children’s reads to buy for kids between the ages of one and 10.

Children's books to buy. Picture: iStock

Books are special. Nothing comes close to the touch and smell of a new book, yet we all opt for e-books, internet games and Netflix. Still, when you read a book it is as if you realise how much more there is out there; your imagination takes flight and you see things in a new light.

These books are all worth adding to your child’s book collection, whether it’s for now or for in a couple of years.

How life began on earth

Aimed at children between the ages of seven and twelve, this nonfiction book by Aina Bestard gives children an exquisite overview of the evolution of life on earth, from fossils and dinosaurs, to the first humans.

ALSO READ: Seven children’s books written by actual children

How life on earth began Children's book week
‘How life on earth began’. Picture:


Children from the age of three might find a friend in a shipwrecked boy who ends up on an island inhabited by a creature called Hom – the last of his kind. The colourful picture book is delightful with some serious undertones as the boy and Hom teach each other various skills and have a lot of fun.

The book is about friendship, but also has an important message about the consequences of the decisions you make and protecting biodiversity. Paddy Donnelly’s detailed illustrations help children easily get involved in the story.

‘Hom’. Picture:

The Wolf and the Fly

Written by Antje Damm, this book is aimed at toddlers up to the age of three and it’s about a greedy wolf that eats various things, making them disappear from the shelf.

Kids will relate to the wolf’s burping, napping and even a trip to the loo. The big question is if it would be a good idea to eat a fly, though.

Children's book week The wolf and the fly
‘The Wolf and the Fly’. Picture:

The world needs who you were made to be

This book, by Joanna Gaines. is all about celebrating our differences. Written specifically for children between the ages of five and eight, it guides children to appreciate others’ one-of-a-kind strengths and differences.

It portrays how things can be made more beautiful when we share our talents and abilities and it teaches kids that we should lend a helping hand and do out best to take care of one another.

Considering the challenges children have had to face over the last two years, this book poses as the perfect guide, while also boasting lovely illustrations by Julianna Swaney.

The world needs who you were made to be
‘The world needs who you were made to be’. Picture:

Skabenga the Resident Cat

For a true South African story, The Oyster Box’s book about its very own characterful resident cat, Skabenga is perfect for all avid readers, no matter their age. The cat’s Zulu name means hooligan or vagabond and the feline is the popular Umhlanga-based hotel’s longest standing resident, with probably some of the best stories to tell.

The book is available at The Oyster Box’s gift shop or you can contact

I love you more than Christmas

Ellie Hattie and Tim Warnes’ paperback about a little bear who loves Christmas is sure to bring some festive celebration into your home. The story about the bear family’s love for the heart-warming magic of Christmas has just been published and will have your toddler in awe of the importance of love, family and friends.

I love you more than Christmas
‘I love you more than Christmas’. Picture: Penguin Random House

The Christmasaurus’

Tom Fletcher’s timeless Christmas-inspired picture book will have your kids’ imaginations run wild with his re-invented story about the Christmasaurus. This time the bestselling author (and star of BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing) brings a book with rhymes for all adventure-seeking youngsters to enjoy. And, Shane Devries’ illustrations are nothing short of spectacular, bringing the book’s characters to life.

The Christmasaurus
‘The Christmasaurus’. Picture: Penguin Random House