I suppose I’m going to have to give up reading bedtime stories to my sons pretty soon- they are nine and twelve-and-a-half…
Right now though, we’re still really enjoying it. So what makes good bedtime story-session for older boys?
Here are some recommendations: We’ve enjoyed “Charmed Life” and “Howl’s Moving Castle” by Dianna Wynne Jones, “The Story of the Treasure Seekers” by E Nesbit, all the Roald Dahl, and Narnia books. It’s not all classics though. An unexpected hit is the downright silly Wicked Tales by writer and storyteller Ed Wicke. He gave me a copy when I met him in 2011 and the boys have been enjoying it ever since! “Cake Wrecks” by hit blogger Jen Yates is just hilarious for any age and “Geoffrey the Tube Train” by Alexei Sayle is one of our favourite books of all time- the boys almost know it by heart. The wicked mixture of baby picture book parody, bloody savagery and wild political humour never gets boring. We do quizzes and read information books. If all else fails and we can’t agree on a title, we turn to the Mr Gum series by Andy Stanton.They are a dream to read aloud and so funny that adults love them as much as children.
It’s fun to get creative and they love being read stories that they’ve written themselves.There’s usually some in their literacy book from school. (I really hope that the kids from Yr 5 Boutcher School will enjoy reading Nurse Mabel and Her Amazing Fleas for their bedtime! It’s the launch party today and I’ really looking forward to it….)
If it’s a book we’ve had before they like to change things, like swapping all the characters names to those of different Dr Who monsters. We like to joke around with their old favourites- I’m often asked to ‘read’ the terrifying apocalyptic tale of “Topsy and Tim and the Attack of the Smily-Face People”. Sometimes I’m asked to “skip the boring bits” (meaning “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” can be finished in three minutes.)
The picture below was taken a few years ago but it sums up for me lots of the fun of bedtime stories.