It’s World Book Day today – a day dedicated to turning kids into readers.
This is the day when schools let pupils dress up as their favourite character from a book, so you’ll probably see some elaborately dressed children walking to their lessons today. And for parents pressed for time, there’s always the option of digging out a pair of toy glasses and drawing a lightning bolt on the forehead of their offspring. Job done.
None of us are in fancy dress here at The Lowdown – we’re adults – but we did have a quick vote on the books we loved as kids. We’ve listed the office favourites below. All our choices are available to download as eBooks, so you can teach your youngster how to use a mobile device for reading at the same time (check out the best gadgets and apps for reading here).
Roald Dahl – George’s Marvellous Medicine
It’s no surprise to find the legendary Roald Dahl on top of this list. He's been referred to as "one of the greatest storytellers for children of the 20th century", and he's as popular now as he ever was.
The only question was which one of his fantabulous tales to go for, and 'George's Marvellous Medicine' was a surprise winner in our office.
Dahl’s best books have a wicked, twisted sense of humour, so get ready for a tale featuring an attempted poisoning, giant chickens and a vanishing grandma.
And please don't skip the warning at the start of the book: "Do not try to make George's Marvellous Medicine yourselves at home. It could be dangerous."
R. L. Stine – Welcome to Camp Nightmare
For many of us, R.L Stine’s 'Goosebumps' books were our first taste of horror. We loved these tales of brave child characters being placed in terrifying situations, and it was always great fun trying to guess the twist at the end.
There were 62 books in the 'Goosebumps' series, but for some of us still-spooked Lowdowners, ‘Welcome to Camp Nightmare’ was the only choice. This tale of Billy Harlan’s camping trip into the heart of darkness still gives us the willies.
If you want to download this on Google Play, search for number 14 in the ‘Classic Goosebumps’ series.
David Walliams – Demon Dentist
David Walliams now has a dozen children’s books to his name, and his brand of deliciously dark humour isn’t a million miles away from Roald Dahl’s.
'Demon Dentist' was published in 2013, so The Lowdown staff that voted for it must have read it as adults. But we’re not judging, it’s a great read for all ages. Miss Root, the demon dentist, is a memorably macabre character. And poor little Alfie and his sick dad are a great pair of heroes to root for (no pun intended).
If you’re downloading this for one of your kids, it might be a good idea just to make sure they haven’t got a dentist appointment coming up.
What books changed your life when you read them as a kid? What do you think of our reading recommendations? Should 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' have got the nod over 'George's Marvellous Medicine'? Are you surprised that Slappy the dummy wasn't the top 'Goosebumps' choice? Feel free to comment below.