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can anyone recommend some good authors for six-year-olds?

(29 Posts)
AnnieSG Tue 19-Jul-05 20:49:43

My DS is very much an average reader when it comes to his own reading, but he loves us reading to him, and is quite discerning. He's got a really good vocabulary and has got very sniffy about picture books, which is making it hard to find stories to read to him. We've done the first three Potters, but I've drawn the line at Goblet of Fire - it's just too scary. We've also enjoyed Luke Lancelot by Giles Andrae, which was a good level for him. We tried some Michael Murpurgo, but although he liked it, the subject matter was too grown up. I'd love some suggestions if anyone has any!!! Oh, he's into dinosaurs, Star Wars, knights...the usual boy stuff! Any good tips anyone?

WigWamBam Tue 19-Jul-05 20:51:41

Roald Dahl, and Spike Milligan's children's writings are the two that spring immediately to mind.

Cam Tue 19-Jul-05 20:51:58

Is he too old for Roald Dahl?

Cam Tue 19-Jul-05 20:52:23

snap wwb

Janh Tue 19-Jul-05 21:06:30

Dick King-Smith is great for this age group.

Janh Tue 19-Jul-05 21:07:05

Also the Pippi Longstocking woman (name escapes me)

Janh Tue 19-Jul-05 21:07:38


ja9 Tue 19-Jul-05 21:08:09

you're never too old for roald dahl!

Marina Tue 19-Jul-05 21:08:20

Esio Trot is a lovely Roald Dahl and not as bleak as some of his longer novels.

Annie, he might like Martin Jarvis' subtly edited versions of the Just William Stories by Richmal Crompton. All of the humour and warm-heartedness is there, and the sense of period (we have had some priceless chats with ds about the difference in lifestyles of little boys seventy years ago...), but some of the wordiness is gone. Our ds LOVES them and they will also work well later as early readers.

If your ds has enjoyed the first three Potters, then he is probably mature enough to enjoy the Narnia Chronicles by C S Lewis. We have just got to the end of The Silver Chair with ds and will probably hold off The Last Battle as we think this one is too scary and at the same time too abstract.

Usborne do a nice series of Easy Readers in two series, Red and Blue, and ds has also had these read to him initially and then enjoyed reading them. They are nicely illustrated and include volumes of Greek myths, two lots of King Arthur tales, Aesops fables, Sinbad the Sailot and some fairly silly but much admired tales about robots and dragons.

Just don't let anyone mention Captain Bl**dy Underpants to him...

Marina Tue 19-Jul-05 21:09:04

Astrid Lindgren o fellow Mod

Janh Tue 19-Jul-05 21:28:11

O thank you Marina

There is a list here , Annie - we used to have the Mischievous Martens/Lotta Leaves Home and also one or two Bullerby books. They came from IKEA IIRC (very appropriate!)

lockets Tue 19-Jul-05 21:33:12

Message withdrawn

Willow2 Tue 19-Jul-05 21:38:55

Horrid Henry, Horrid Henry, Horrid Henry... blooming marvellous and the tapes/cd's with Miranda Richardson are hysterical. (Although have to warn you that he is a very naughty boy.) There's also a very funny book about a talking nit (name escapes me but your bookshop will know what I am on about, honest.) Would also recommend George's Marvellous Medicine and Fantastic Mr Fox (Roald Dahl) - actually most RD.

AnnieSG Tue 19-Jul-05 22:08:28

Wow - thanks so much everyone. God, I love Mumsnet sometimes! Yes, we've done Roald Dahl and like him a lot. Of the 'older' ones, Matilda went down really well. Also we gave 'Lion, Witch.....' a go, but although he likes the talking tape, the book somehow wasn't right for him. Also Horrid Henr is v popular.
These are such helpful suggestions - I'm really grateful.
Just struck me - lucky little bleeders, our kids, aren;t they? In my day a thick ear would have been a treat.....

grumpyfrumpy Wed 20-Jul-05 12:51:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

binkie Wed 20-Jul-05 13:02:12

We're working through Laura Ingalls Wilder with ds (6) and dd (4.5) - runaway success, astonished, didn't expect it to be for ds at all. But it's stuffed full of "Pa fights a bear" "Ma narrowly escapes being eaten by a panther" "The family cross the frozen lake only Just In Time" "Pa's friend Mr. Scott is nearly killed by firedamp while digging a well" "What happened when Pa met a horde of timber wolves" all interspersed with exactly how you build a log cabin/a venison smoke-house/hinges when you have no metal. Ds calls those the how-you-do-it bits and is mesmerised.

And the anecdote bits are so well written and lively; I miss out some of the poetic landscape stuff.

Marina Wed 20-Jul-05 13:03:28

Oh lovely, Binkie - what a good idea. I adored Laura Ingalls Wilder as a child - they are still in print then?

binkie Wed 20-Jul-05 13:08:04

Definitely, as part of the posh classic line of some publishers. As is Noel Langley's The Land of Green Ginger, which I think I might do with ds next (though as that's a bit of an Orientalist pantomime I have faint concerns about cultural stereotyping ... anyone know whether it's thought to be appropriate nowadays?)

Our Laura Ingalls Wilder is a cheapo Treasury of the first three which I found at Borders in Oxford Street. Amazon might have it too.

tarantula Wed 20-Jul-05 13:13:51

LIW rocks Loved her as a child Picked up a copy of a book called 'Little house on Rocky Ridge' by Roger Lee McBride which is about Rose Wilders childhood which is quite interesting too tho not as well written as laura's books. Might ahve to keep an eye out for the rest of the series.

AnnieSG Thu 21-Jul-05 10:11:46

Grumpyfrumpy and Binkie, thanks so much for those suggestions. I'm definitely going to try LIW (I didn't read her as a child, but LHOTP was my favourite TV programme. Used to tear home on a Thursday to see it!)

Binkie, with Roddy Doyle (whose adult books I love...although wasn't so keen on the one called something like star called Henry), how old is your son? Do you think they's be Ok for six? And any in particular you recommend?
This has been such a great help.

binkie Thu 21-Jul-05 10:30:42

Forgot to say, re LIW I also edit out a fair amount of the more oppressively goodietwoshoes bits.

A new idea: The Book People (fantastic mail order book co) just did a set of "Red Hot Reads" which is a box of ten 200+ page paperbacks of topically arranged classic short stories/novel extracts - "Ballet Stories" "Mystery Stories" "Science Fiction Stories" etc. - for a gobsmacking £9.99 the lot - it's aimed at 9-14 year olds but every bookish MumsNetter would, like me, devour the pack ... anyway, the "Animal Stories" one had "The Cat That Walked By Itself" in it, which has reminded me that I must must do

- The Just-So Stories

That was a rambly recommendation wasn't it.

binkie Thu 21-Jul-05 10:31:26

Oh, Roddy Doyle - that was gr'frumpy, wasn't it, not me?

AnnieSG Thu 21-Jul-05 10:38:16

Oh, yes...sorry! Got confused for a moment there.
What you were saying, though, about the 9-14 age range, that's pretty much where Michael Murpurgo is aimed. We enjoyed one, something about finding an ancient sword, then got another from the library called Billy the Kid, about a footballer in the war. I naively didn't expect the war part (which wasn't highlighted much at all on the blurb) to be in too much detail, but to my utter horror, halfway through there was a whole bit about the Holocaust and dead babies. I ended up having to tell him all about it and really beat myself up for choosing a book too old for him. It was awful, and now I'm really nervous of going for anything aimed too high......

binkie Thu 21-Jul-05 10:45:29

Yes, I don't think I'd do Morpugo yet.
Someone else mentioned Dick King-Smith, who I somehow think of as belonging in the same category, but "gentler", so better for young ones.

The more deliberately timeless a story's style is (like Just-So Stories, she harps) the less likely you are to find that scary breaking in of the everyday/newspaper world. Time enough for that when they're ready for Jacqueline Wilson, I think.

AnnieSG Thu 21-Jul-05 11:09:34

Thanks, Binkie. Think part of the problem is lack of variety in our library, and the bookshop, even thought it's quite big (an Ottakers). Don't get to Borders often enough, so I might have a bit of an Amazon fest with these helpful suggestions. I'm definitely going to give Just So stories a go too.

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