Ya Mama’s Book Club: Classic stories to fall in love with

By Bessma Bader

I try not to have a favorite when it comes to children’s books, but from this month’s recommendations it has to be The Grufffalo. I always try and convince my little ones to choose this title for our bedtime story. When we were living in London and my eldest was around five-years-old, the author Julia Donaldson visited their school and read this book to them. We still have an autographed copy of it, that I admit I am more excited about than any of my children were.

I do hope you and your children enjoy this month’s selection as much as my family has over the years.


Baby in green hat reading book / Shutterstock

0-1 years

Where Is Baby’s Belly Button? by Karen Katz
A fun lift the flap book which has been a hit with all of my children. A great introduction to body part names. 

1-3 years

Brown Bear by Bill Martin Jr.
A classic. Published in 1967, this book is a favourite both at home and in the classroom. It has been published in many languages, including Arabic. 


The Gruffalo / Julia Donaldson / Axel Scheffler / Pan Macmillan

3-5 years

The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson
If you want to know how to read this book then look up the author reading it on YouTube. Like Where the Wild Things Are, there is a rhythm to this story, and it’s a pleasure to read. 

5-7 years

The Magic Treehouse series by Mary Pope Osborn
These are fantastic first books for children between 6-8 years old. I included them in this age category because I love to read them to my younger children. But they are excellent first chapter books for beginning readers. 


Boy wearing glasses with pile of books / Shutterstock

7-9 years

Horrid Henry by Francesca Simon
I am deviating a bit and will list a book that I didn’t particularly like reading myself, but my children read to themselves. It’s not my type of thing, but then again, I am not a seven year old. It follows Horrid Henry (who’s horrid) and has a brother called Perfect Peter (who’s perfect). They’re easy reads and a good starter book. 

10-12 years

A Series Of Unfortunate Events by Lemoney Snicket (Daniel Handler)
This is a book about children with the worst luck in the entire world. If it can go wrong, it will go wrong for them. With a twist of humour and characters that make you want to root for them, your child won’t be able to put these down. The series was created into a TV series that is just as good as the books.


Pile of children's books / Shutterstock

13+ years

The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe by C.S Lewis
This adventure touches my heart. Lucy finds Narnia in the back of a wardrobe while playing hide and seek. At first, her siblings don’t believe her, but then one by one, they visit Narnia, and their adventure begins. I love this book, I love Aslan, and to this day, I cannot have a Turkish delight without thinking of the White Witch.


About the author…

Bessma bint Bader is an avid blogger and qualified parenting coach with a passionate interest in child development and education. She began her popular blog, Ya Mamma, in 2010 where she shares pertinent insights into the trials and tribulations of parenting, inspired by her five young children. 

Since 2010, Bessma has been on the board of Saut as its treasurer – a charitable organization that promotes the welfare of people with Downs Syndrome. She is also on the board of the King Khaled Foundation, which is dedicated to improving the social and economic conditions for thousands of Saudi citizens.

Bessma is also the co-founder and owner of The Playroom – a play center in Riyadh, built around the belief that child-led play fosters creativity, encourages divergent thinking and builds good social skills.


Submit a Comment

Powered by Google Translate