By Sandhya Renukamba

Remember that advertisement for chips in which we cannot stop eating after just one, where we ate and ate until all were done? There are books like that too – just reading one of them is not enough. Fortunately, some of them come in a whole set or series.

Here are five such sets of books, for young readers who have begun to read on their own, and are bursting to try their newfound wings. I can guarantee that the reader will be hooked on to them, and will return to them again and again. They also make for great books to read aloud as bedtime stories.

Berenstain Bears

Each book deals with an everyday situation that children and their parents would find themselves in. They deal with things like too much TV, classroom bullying, stranger danger, money matters, staying safe, the craze of toys, being ‘cool’, visiting a doctor, helping around at home, healthy food choices, homework hassles, and many such things that would elicit a nod of recognition from many a parent, along with keeping the child engrossed.

Dr Suess books

These books are a must read in any reader’s life. They are also often re-re-read by children much after they outgrow them, and investing in a set of them is quite worthwhile. Whacky, quirky humour, with simple words, often manufactured ones, just for fun, the books also teach a lesson or two at times. Some of our favourites are Green Eggs and Ham, Wacky Wednesday, Cat in a Hat, Cat in a Hat comes back, Oh The thinks you can think, Yurtle the Turtle, The Lorax, Fox in Sox, Horton Hears a Hoo, … I could go on!

Mr Men and Little Miss books by Roger Hargreaves

Tiny books, easy for little hands to hold, that stack very satisfyingly with a picture that emerges on the spines if arranged in the correct order, these books, dealing in easily recognised feelings and situations, are a must for little readers who are just beginning to get a feel of their individuality. Children will love these.

Amelia Bedelia books

Amelia Bedelia is a charwoman, a house-help. She is also very scatter-brained and takes words very literally. When asked to dust the furniture, she ‘dusts’ it with baby powder. When asked to draw the drapes, she takes a paper and pencil and ‘draws’ them. When asked to put the lights out, she picks the light bulbs out of their sockets and puts them ‘out’ of doors. When asked to shorten the marked dresses at a boutique where she works part-time, she chops off the dresses at the marked places and ‘shortens’ them. There is much word play that children will enjoy, and that will introduce them to this strange English language, where one word might have many meanings, and can be used literally as well as idiomatically. This set, I would say, can be enjoyed enroute to enjoying the humour of Wodehouse later in life.

Mathstart series by Stuart J Murphy

These are a series of books graded by level – and introduce math concepts in the form of a story. Numbers, counting, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, squares and square roots, concepts of geometry – all of these, and more, are there in these brilliantly narrated and illustrated books. These are a must buy for your home library too.



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